Softly muttering, slamming cabinets just a little too hard, moving a little too quickly, everything within me was churning with resentment and self-pity. Here I was again, holding everything together, keeping all the plates spinning, all the children fed, all the needs met. I just wanted this one night out, this one time to step away from it all and relax with some friends. I longed to laugh, listen, and be something more than a compilation of chores, duties, and work. But he could not make it home. He was apologetic, but surgeries don’t wait. Trauma doesn’t pause for a mom’s night out.
The same thoughts began to creep in; the old familiar whispers played the tune that my life was hard. “No one else understood” began to sing a melody to my heart. The resentful murmurings that four children under 5 were too much to juggle without a break mixed with the belief that he had no idea how much I worked. All these thoughts began to crescendo into an overture of bitterness. And I began to dance to this music, listening for moments of discord and disappointment, adding them to my belief that life had become unfair.
Into that season of whirling anger hidden underneath a ready smile came a friend who offered something new. She would invite me to her home for the day, feed my children, laugh at their antics, allow them to wreck her home, and listen to my heart. In one especially chaotic month filled with sick children, busy work, and visits from in-laws, she appeared on my doorstep, goodies and cleaning products in hand, ready to scrub my house despite having her own home filled with its mess. In that afternoon of ministry, she quietly taught me the truth that fairness should never be the melody of my heart, that the true song for a child of God was humble service. My rights slid into silent chagrin as I realized the one who worked in my place, in a task never assigned to her, was quietly loving me extravagantly. Fairness failed to resound in the hush of humility.
She quietly lived out Philippians 2:5-7 in a tangible way. “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.” She sang the song of Christ’s humility over me.
Often these tiny moments teach us more about His love than a thousand bible verses ever will. We began to examine what Jesus’ genuine service looks like throughout her friendship and investment in me. The trap of fairness demands both parties contribute equally and denounces giving more than is needed. We clamor for fairness when our eyes look at ourselves, yet God radically realigned the concept of fairness through Jesus. He humbly took the form of a servant, a man, that He may experience all that we do, meet us in our weaknesses, and stand in our place at the cross. Shifting my focus to His gift realigned my heart and mind. I learned to take the old melodies of fairness and self-pity captive and replace them with the symphony of His love and grace.
Do you sometimes sway to the tune of fairness? Does your head nod when you think of all you have done? Tasting of His grace & mercy eradicates the trap of fairness and changes our posture and service towards others. He calls us to have this same mind — to love without measure and serve without bounds. When we begin to understand His radical servanthood, He changes our song. His extravagant grace and undeserved suffering quiet the discordant noise of self-focused fairness. The music we listen to impacts the way we move in love.
As a mother to 8 children, Bethany Kimsey has seen God radically change her messy motherhood from weary, anxious, and frantic to peaceful, joyful, and triumphant. She helps weary mothers win the battle against worry and fatigue as they understand their identity in Christ and rest in the hope of the Gospel in community with other moms. As a writer, speaker, and encourager of mothers, she wants to see a generation of Grace-Filled Warriors stand together and walk triumphantly behind the One who sets them free from performance, doubt, and fear.
She would love to connect over at her website bethanykimsey.com or on her podcast “When God Breaks Through.” You can also connect on Instagram or Facebook as well.
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