One Pink Toothbrush

Welcome to One Pink Toothbrush, where I will be posting moments from my days as a mum and as a wife. Funny moments, messy moments, thoughtful moments, teary moments.... and hopefully using each moment to see what God might be saying.

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Eyebrow Shaping

Tomorrow, one of my sons will start a week of SATs tests. This hasn’t been an easy ride for him. He was worried he might not get a job if he fails them. He called himself stupid, compared himself with others and there have been some tears along the way.

It’s hard, watching someone you love doubt themselves. You just want to fix everything and make it all right. But I know I can’t protect him from all that life throws at him along the way. And I simply shouldn’t. We all grow through the tougher seasons. I can teach him, and comfort him. I can encourage him and build him up. But ultimately he needs to find his security in who God has made him to be, the purposes God has for His life, and to trust God with what lies ahead.

God has made this son of mine to be wonderfully creative. If the SATs paper was on cartoon drawing he would ace it. But it’s not. And the journey over the last few months has been to let him know that that is okay. Maybe he will ace his SATs, and maybe he won’t. But my love for him won’t change. God’s plans for his life won’t change either.

This son of mine doesn’t worry what people think of him, a brilliant quality a lot of adults would like. He is selfless and sensitive. He is a faithful friend, an excellent swimmer, and has intricate design ideas when it comes to Lego. He has an expertise in Marvel knowledge. None of these things are tested on a SATs paper. 

As an analogy, if I looked at my son as a whole body, the SATs prep and indeed the SATs test are the equivalent of eyebrow shaping, and even then, the shaping of one eyebrow. Sure you put some effort in, but in the blink of an eye, life goes back to normal. When this week of tests finish, he will hopefully go back to whatever was normal for him. (Plus a new Lego model for getting through!)

I drew a person, (not as well as he could draw one, but that's okay because we're different). I put 'Literacy' and 'Maths' as eyebrows. We then filled in the rest of his body with his hobbies, his strengths, his likes, his God-given identity, just so we could see that Literacy and Maths are important, but they don't make him who he is. The last few months have been teaching him that SATs do not define him. Tests do not define him. School does not define him, and actually I do not define him either. God has designed him, and the cross defines him. He is a forgiven sinner, saved by grace. He will also come to see that some of his weaknesses/failings play a part in shaping him. Or rather how he learns to deal with those weaknesses/failings, but who he is in God, and who he is to me, that's already cemented in. That can't be re shaped.

The challenge for me is to know that I too am a forgiven sinner, saved by grace. What do I allow to define me? My abilities, my roles, my responsibilities, what I’m good at or bad at, what I should or shouldn’t do, comparison with others? Or do I allow the cross to define me? Do I base God’s love for me on what I’m acing at, what I'm failing at? Or on God’s UNCONDITIONAL  love for me? Am I free to be who He has called me to be? It’s one thing teaching your child all this when it comes to exams and tests, but it’s another thing living in the truth of it for myself, in every day life and the tests it throws at me!

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well”. Psalm 139v13-14