Several years ago, I spoke at a Mother's Day brunch on the joys of being a mother. I shared my "Six Sure-Fire Tips to Raising Godly Children" (which, of course, my five grade-school-aged children were). After I finished speaking, an older woman approached me with tear-filled eyes and said quietly, "I did all that, and my son still rebelled." I murmured a sympathetic response, but thought inwardly, Lady, you have to have done something wrong! If you had your act together, this wouldn't have happened to you. I was pretty smug about my material.
You see, I was used to women asking me, "How do you do it allraise five children, help edit a magazine, be on the school board, and teach Sunday school?" I prayed to God that he would keep me from being prideful, but I relished compliments from people about my seemingly "perfect" life.
The years zipped by. We had teenagersand a family crisis. One of our sons was caught having a beer party while we were away from home. What! My son? Couldn't be!
It also slowly became apparent our daughter, whom we'd adopted from Korea, had multiple learning disabilities as well as a deep rage about being abandoned at birth. I began to realize none of her problems fit any of my "sure-fire" formulas.
Next I became ill with an autoimmune disease and was told by experts it was stress-related.
It was then I remembered that mother's agony over her rebellious sonand my half-hearted response. I realized pride, like a spiritual virus, had infected my life. I'd been proud of whom I was, what I did, and what I'd been given. In showing me I wasn't invincible, God had answered my prayer about pridemuch to my chagrin.1