I desperately want to be a SuperHero. My goal is to be the perfect “Christian” woman , wife, mom, housekeeper, friend, mentor, cook, mentee, athlete, etc. And if I’m not acting like a superhero, don’t worry – I really am, I’m just not doing it right now… I’m sure that once I finish the next book or conversation all of my superpowers will be fully functioning again.
A lot of my life I’ve gotten away with it (fooling myself – sort of… and a lot of other people). Sure, I don’t mind if you stumble across my “resume” and notice a few of my outstanding achievements.
So why in the world is this SuperHero Extaordinaire beating her head against the wall a lot lately (and truthfully sometimes crying and sometimes even yelling)?
Well, for one, God saw fit to let me marry. I married a man who (poor soul), didn’t realize that he had to fit into my SuperHero world… which meant that we were supposed to have a perfect marriage right from the beginning (after all, he married me. I know exactly what it takes if he will just cooperate.) But this man has not always followed all of my Super Ideas. In fact he has the nerve to have some of his own (not as super as mine). He’s ruining this for me. And what if, because if his crazy ideas and ways of doing things, others happen to peek into our world and he blows my superhero image?! I can’t have that! So I push and plead and scream…. I cannot seem to control this man. And because we’re around each other SO much I think he’s realized something that I’m afraid to realize myself (shhh… I may not actually be all that super). This makes me very angry at him. Why won’t he just back off and admire me like everyone else? Why does he have to be so upclose and personal and …informed. It makes me want to scream (and sometimes I do.)
And then, God, Mr. Funny Man, decided to give me children. 2 of them. And do you want to know what they do all day? They mess up and undo all of my super efforts! I’m not kidding! They are only 2.5 years old and 9 months old. They stand no higher than my super knee and combined they only weigh about 1/3 of what I weigh… but somehow they dirty everything that I clean; they dis-organize everything that I organize; they don’t eat and sleep and play and learn and OBEY exactly the way that I tell and want them to… and now I am really starting to feel undone. But wait, if anyone calls on the phone, thankfully, I can still run around the house super quickly and throw things in laundry baskets, shove groceries into pantries, wipe down counters, let Noah eat some of the crumbs off the floor, turn on some music and convince you that this is what it has been like all day – super! I want everyone to know that my children have super schedules, super eating habits, super behavior (he’s just late for a nap right now), and super skills (which is due to parental diligence on my part and NO TV! – most of the time). And why yes, I do make everything that we eat from scratch - 100% organic. Welcome to my home. Aren’t you blessed to know us?
Here’s the truth that is starting to get my attention: I’m frustrated a lot of the time (and scared and guilty and angry) because LIFE is blowing my SuperHero Identity. And I’m starting to wonder if that is exactly what God wants to do. How can a life that’s all about me (“Christian” or not) be about HIM?
I don’t really love people when I’m a Super Hero Wanna Be. I just want them to fit into the places I have for them and then everyone, go ahead, admire me. Maybe it feels like “love” – because I’m being “nice” to them. But it’s more like using people and loving myself. This makes sense when I realize how competitive I’ve always been. I never want anyone to have an opportunity that I don’t have, be invited somewhere that I’m not invited, be better at something than I am, receive notice that I did not receive. Wow. Gross.
I also remember reading one time in a book that I never finished (that happens a lot. I know that SuperHeros finish all books that they start. I, however, do not.) …I remember reading a sentence that said something to the effect of: “My children do not need me to be Super Woman. What they need is a Woman of God.”
That thought has stuck with me. “A Woman of God.” Doesn’t that mean a SuperWoman? For a long time I think I’ve thought that it does. I am beginning to let myself believe that the answer to that question is emphatically NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Rather, there is ONE SuperHero and His Name is Jesus Christ. He is madly in love with me and HE KNOWS – better than anyone else that I am NOT a SuperHero… rather, a rebel failure. He’s offering me the chance to take off my costume, stop pretending, let everyone around me off the hook, and begin receiving freely everything that HE has to offer ME!
That is where my journey must go from here… coming to admire and love THE SuperHero and realize more and more that I am not a SuperHero, BUT there is one fighting for me, and oh-so generously providing me with all the everything that I’ll ever need.
What will this look like?
I don’t know about every day, but I can tell you what it looked like today. Today I looked in the faces of two absolutely beautiful children who I am madly in love with and thought “Thank you, Lord!” We went to Walmart and filled our basket full of groceries (thank you, Lord, again). We came home, unloaded them all on the kitchen floor and that is where they stayed while we ran around outside. As I was sitting on the grass, not having showered, looking rough, wearing a baseball cap – watching John Chase run around in the sunshine with delight and seeing Noah practice using his legs and toppling into the grass – I worshipped. And I was filled with joy – because all of these beautiful things are freely given. I have not created any of it. I have not earned any of it (by being super enough). ..but I know the ONE who has made and given it all and He’s told me that I’m welcome to get LOST in HIM!!! Because of the cross of Christ I know that I can sit in the grass and enjoy my children to the glory of God (without any thought of impressing God or others). I tried to give my children a healthy lunch and I put them down for naps. I sat down to “journal” at my computer, and now I’m going to tidy up… not because I’m a SuperHero, not because I have an identity to maintain, not because I have something to prove. I’m going to clean up knowing that I am just as full and loved and complete now (when my kitchen is a wreck – and let me tell you, it is a WRECK) as when I am all done cleaning.
I don’t think that there will be a day when it all gets done. Take a deep breath, Leslie. I don’t think that there will be a day when I have everything under control… but God, please let there be lots and lots of days where I am awe-struck by You! God, please let there be lots and lots of days when I cannot get over everything that YOU have done for me and made available to me in Your Son, Jesus Christ! God, please let there be lots and lots of days where the love and acceptance that I have received from You pours out onto my husband and children and others. Jesus, please let there be a longing deep inside of me for YOUR appearance – the Day when YOU are revealed to the whole world as THE SUPERHERO THAT YOU ARE!!!
Feb 26, 2009