Goodness That Is Not My Own

I’m so very tired. This past week has been so full. There have been so many good things. I am so very thankful. But this week has also had it’s struggles. We are integrating a new human into our family. A new human who has nearly 10 years of experiences outside of our family. A new person who has to learn us while we seek to learn him.

I am tired. I feel weak. I am full of sin. I have failed miserably many times. I have cried. And I have been irritated. I have snapped words in anger. And resented. And pouted. And cried selfish tears. I have wanted to give up. I have dwelt on thoughts of discouragement. It’s not been pretty.

And in the middle of all my struggles, these are the words I keep hearing:

“Wow! You and Justin are such GOOD people!”
“It’s so inspiring how you LOVE those kids.”
“What a LIGHT you are to the community!”
“You must bring so much HOPE to these little ones and families!”

I hear these things and my sinful, tired heart cries more and more. I am not good. I am not loving. I am not a light. I am hopeless. I wake up every morning with new plans, a schedule to follow, and the determination to “be good, do good, and give good” that day. And I end the day in a grumpy, selfish, weepy mess of discouragement.

Why can’t I just be good? Why can’t I just love all these kids…and my husband…and everyone else more? Why do I keep failing to be a bright, shining light? Does anyone who interacts with me feel anything near a semblance of hope?

I cry myself to sleep and the cycle starts again with my alarm clock ringing in the new day.

I can tell you with absolute confidence. I am not good.

I want to be good. And I want to be able to be good by myself. Through my own effort. With Wonder Woman-esque strength. This has been my M.O. since I was 2. Since my first phrase, “self do it.” I’m stubborn and a bit hard-headed and sometimes… well, sometimes it takes me a week to remember who I am. And who I’m not.

Because… God is good. God is love. God is light. God is hope. Not me. Not my husband. Not our home. Not our ministry. God. He, and only Him. No one else can lay claim to His titles or measure up to Him. And that is good.

I get so caught up in my daily drama. In my failures. In the mess. In the overwhelming realization of my responsibilities. In the sameness of the same chores each day that are seemingly never ending. And sometimes, in all the busyness of looking around and trying desperately to tie up all my loose ends, I forget to look up. And I forget that my daily drama is part of God’s larger story. My failures have been paid for. They are covered in Christ’s blood. My mess is the reality of evangelism in my home. My responsibilities are being sovereignly ruled over by a God who is personal. A God who cares. The never-ending, every day chores call me to faithfully serve as my God faithfully serves me each and every day.

So tonight I am crying again. But not because of what I’m not. Because of who He is to me. And what He has done for me. Tonight, I rest in Him.

My children – even though they desperately need goodness, love, light, and hope in their little lives – my children don’t need me. They need a Savior. And in God’s mighty plan, He has ordained that His goodness beautifully contrasts my brokenness. His love endures faithfully when mine is short-tempered. His light shines unblinkingly while mine sputters and spews. And His hope. His hope is never discouraged or tired.

So, I will continue reaching out my hands and gathering those who need goodness, love, light, and hope. Because I know Who has those things in abundance. And all I need to do is simply reflect Him.

“God is good, He is good when there’s nothing good in me.
God is love, He is love on display for all to see.
God is light, He is light when the darkness closes in.
God is hope, He is hope, He has covered all my sin.

So, I’ll run into His arms! I’m running to His arms!
The riches of His love will always be enough.
Nothing compares to His embrace.
Light of the world forever reign.

My heart will sing, no other name.


(Lyrics from “Forever Reign”
Written by Jason Ingram and Ruben Morgan)


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