Validation for Moms

Ah, validation.

Receiving it frees us.

Desiring it paralyzes us.

Seeking it in the wrong places {spouse, children, job, fame, employer) eventually crushes us.

But finding it in the right Person? It can will change your life.

I know because I’ve sought validation all my life⏤maybe everyone does. First from our parents as defined by two words, “Watch this!” Then, the teenage years hit and we find ourselves dressing a certain way or cutting our hair to appease our peers. Of course, when someone, let’s just say a friend, mistakenly uses spray deodorant instead of hairspray in preparation for a big date, the outfit doesn’t really matter all that much. *wink*

For years, I attended the Blue Ridge Mountains Christians Writers Conference in hopes of being validated as a writer. I soaked up knowledge, received life-bearing words from Donn Taylor, and even won a few awards along the way. But within weeks {sometimes hours} of returning home, the confidence fizzled.

 

Then one day I gave up the need to be validated.

 

God used this situation to confirm that I was in the right lane and I haven’t looked back since. After all, knowing I was using my time for His glory was the “why” behind the need for validation. Writers, unlike teachers or speakers, aren’t always sure that their words make a difference. And yet, we write and rest in the not-knowing, trusting God for the results.

 

So I thought I was all validated up after learning to rest in my calling. But…

 

It’s no secret I’d made a mess of my life by the time I was twenty-seven. I’ve shared my testimony in churches, quiet bible studies, and throughout different posts on my blog like this snippet. The boys were young then, two and six. As they grew older and became husbands and fathers the shame I felt all those years ago began to re-surface in subtle ways.

One particular way the enemy sharpened the sword of shame was to point out how “normal” mothers, like most of my friends, deserved unconditional love, acceptance, and respect from their children⏤but not me. I quietly accepted the sentence of being less-than as part of my consequences for making sinful choices that had directly affected their lives.

 

And yet, what mother doesn’t desire all of these things from her children?

 

Without realizing it, I sought their validation in hopes of being accepted as an imperfect-but-flawed-mother-who-loves-them-to-pieces.

 

Then this happened.

 

Last week, while alone for a stretch of days, this need for validation from my sons came to light. I knew I didn’t feel this way because of something the boys had done or said⏤it came instead from my desire to be understood and loved unconditionally, whether I deserved it or not. I prayed, not exactly sure what to do with my newfound knowledge. And then, in a way I can’t explain but can only confirm, the Lord “spoke” loud and clear:

 

Your validation⏤Your acceptance as a mother⏤is found in Me, not your boys.

 

I sat stunned for a few moments as tears fell and joy arose.

 

The burden of shame was swept away, not because I deserved it but because Jesus died for it. Click To Tweet

 

This truth⏤that your ultimate validation and mine are grounded in the acceptance we have in Jesus⏤frees us to be the wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and friend God always intended us to be.

 

We can't change the choices we made in the past but God changes the choices we make every single day and these choices will affect the generations to come. Click To Tweet

 

Praising God for His Validation

 

Is there some area in your life where you’re seeking validation and coming up empty? The One who knows you⏤really knows you⏤says:

I delight in you. (Psalm 149:4)

I sing over you. (Zephaniah 3:17)

I am for you, not against you. (Romans 8:31)

You are the apple of my eye. (Psalm 17:8)

I forgive you and will remember your sins no more. (Hebrews 8:12)

 

Well, now is the right time to listen, the day to be helped. Don’t put it off; don’t frustrate God’s work by showing up late, throwing a question mark over everything we’re doing. Our work as God’s servants gets validated—or not—in the details. People are watching us as we stay at our post, alertly, unswervingly . . . in hard times, tough times, bad times; when we’re beaten up, jailed, and mobbed; working hard, working late, working without eating; with pure heart, clear head, steady hand; in gentleness, holiness, and honest love; when we’re telling the truth, and when God’s showing his power; when we’re doing our best setting things right; when we’re praised, and when we’re blamed; slandered, and honored; true to our word, though distrusted; ignored by the world, but recognized by God; terrifically alive, though rumored to be dead; beaten within an inch of our lives, but refusing to die; immersed in tears, yet always filled with deep joy; living on handouts, yet enriching many; having nothing, having it all.

Dear, dear Corinthians, I can’t tell you how much I long for you to enter this wide-open, spacious life. We didn’t fence you in. The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren’t small, but you’re living them in a small way. I’m speaking as plainly as I can and with great affection. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively! 2 Corinthians 6:3-13 The Message

 

Fellow seekers of this wide-open, spacious life:
May we find our worth, our confidence, and our rest in the assurance that we are validated by our heavenly Father who cleansed us, forgave us, and breathed new life into our lungs the moment we confessed our sins. 

 

 

More: 4 Ways to Pray for Our Adult Children

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