A Scheming Mother

Genesis 27—where we see Rebekah manipulate circumstances to get Esau’s blessing for Jacob—sounds eerily familiar.

Isn’t it the struggle that all mothers have to take matters into their own hands and make things happen for their kids? And not just mothers. I think it’s the temptation all women face since Eve: to trust themselves and what they think is best, and ignore God’s sovereignty, plan, and power.

I’ve seen this tendency in the lives of many women I love. It often masquerades as concern and fear. If I don’t do “x”, “y” might not happen. Things might go terribly wrong. No time to ask for input or to consider whether or not my “help” is actually helpful. I must act now. A little white lie now and then might be necessary to get the outcome I think is best.

I’ve felt this urge to control too many times to count. And most of the time, I don’t stop to evaluate my motives. I just push until things unfold the way I think they should.

“My heart and my actions show that I don’t really want to depend on the Lord and trust Him with the outcome.”

One of my children faced a challenge this summer and, oh boy, the desire to come in like a mother bear protecting her cub was strong. As I sought to understand the challenge, I just wanted to make it go away. My first instinct was to swoop in to the rescue. This desire comes from a place of love. But there is more to it than that. I am also motivated by fear and even a selfish desire to keep my world as comfortable and stress-free as possible. If my child’s struggle disappears, I don’t have to worry about it, or pray about it; it makes my life a little easier. My heart and my actions show that I don’t really want to depend on the Lord and trust Him with the outcome. In this situation, I carefully and deliberately shared information with my husband to convince him I was right. I wanted him to agree with me and take the action that I thought was best.

“God wants my faithfulness; He doesn’t need my ‘help.'”

My husband wisely listened but did not get sucked into my dramatic response. Over the course of the week, he remained calm and respectfully redirected me. And he was right. It was much more formative for my child to persevere and grow through the challenge than for me to take it away. God wants my faithfulness; He doesn’t need my “help.” It may actually subvert something that He is doing.

This year, my family has faced multiple transitions and loss that can be destabilizing. My husband and I both lost our mothers. I began working full time. Our oldest daughter moved farther away for graduate school. Our son worked at a camp across the country and will spend the next semester abroad. Our third child left for college in Chicago this week, and our youngest starts her senior year. In a short span of time, our lives have changed significantly. The desire to control something, anything, is strong! But in all of these changes, God remains the same. He is faithful, He is my Rock, my Shield, and my Hope. I can trust Him because He is good and His plan is good. Always.

Keri Geary

Midway through launching her four teenage/young adult kids into the world, Keri enjoys life with her loving husband, a fun job, and random volunteer roles. She has a weakness for iced mochas and cookie dough, but fortunately likes to exercise too. She’s working on saying yes to more things that matter and no to more things that don’t. Keri attends our Downtown campus.