I write this with a heavy heart. I am stripping down all the walls I so carefully built up around me. The ones that make it seem as if I have the right perspective. The walls that seem so neatly and humbly built. This is the most transparent I can be – that I have ever been. This is extremely hard to write. I am greatly troubled by this struggle! My struggle is one simple word, yet tremendously destructive, called pride. Right now, the sermon series at our church is on the seven deadly sins, pride being the first. I was not made aware of my pride because of the series. But, it called out my name. It stepped on my toes. It’s brought me here, to this point, to write this blog – to face the truth of my struggle. To share it, not boastfully, but that another may be able to relate and be encouraged by it. Besides, there is freedom in admitting the truth. There is a vulnerability in being so open, as if searing into the deepness and secret of the heart, yet it can bring healing and accountability too.
My youngest son, just eight months old, is facing physical challenges. There is something abnormal about his movements. Because there is something amiss, I worry about his future. I worry about what he could encounter as he develops into adulthood. Could this be a developmental hiccup? Absolutely – it’s possible! Could this be the beginning of a life-long challenging road? Yes. I want to be very clear: It is not my desire or joy to see my son face potential life-long challenges and trials! So, the following has nothing to do with that.
Because Uriah is not visibly disabled or deformed in an obvious way, it’s very easy to miss his challenges. He doesn’t always display his limitations in the short time others spend with him. When most people see him he is being fully supported by another, being held, or sitting in a seat, which makes it difficult to see the extent of his struggles. Many have told me, “There’s nothing wrong with your son.” “He looks perfectly fine to me.” “I don’t see what you see.” I know their intention is honorable but it’s not helpful or encouraging. It makes me want to prove them wrong. In short, it feeds my pride. It’s another reason why I cling so hard to the validation of the doctors, therapist, coordinators, or really anyone that “sees what I see”. It’s hard to admit that.
If God chooses to heal Uriah, then to everyone else it looks as if I was wrong all along. If he had an obvious deformity or disabling illness, no one would question that God healed him. But since his struggles are not notably obvious to everyone, if God healed him then it would look as if nothing was ever wrong. Everyone else would appear right and I, as his mother, would be wrong. I would look bad. Never mind that I have no control over the situation or even understand all of it myself, I just want to be right.
It’s pride. There’s no other way to spin it! It’s ridiculous! I have wrestled with this for a while now. As much as I do not want to be wrong, I do not want Uriah to miss out on complete healing because of my pride (even though that’s an illusion because God’s sovereign plan existed even before any of us did). But it feels as if I would be at fault if God does allow his struggles to be life-long.
There is a lot of guilt and shame in what I am feeling. It is a form of bondage. Bondage to my own pride. As with many other things in this life, I have to let it go.
I have to let go of my pride. Let go of my hurt and expectations. I do not want to get in the way of God using this situation, whatever the outcome! I want Uriah to live a “normal” life; I don’t want him to face any challenges. I have shed many tears over just that. But I still have to confront and work through my pride.
We all know that pride is wrong, that it’s a sin. It tears apart families, businesses, churches and relationships. But what does the Bible say about it?
Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.
But He gives more grace. Therefore it says “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
I Peter 5:6-7
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you. I included verse 7 because anxiety, or worry, is still pride because it involves taking your life’s concern upon yourself instead of giving them to God and trusting that He will take care of you. This applies to me worrying about my son’s future.
So what does humility look like? How do we humble ourselves before God?
Because pride is a sin – that’s why it feels like bondage –it requires repentance. Once the believer’s fellowship with God is made right, we can begin with a right perspective. Pride is the result of a disordered view. Me first. My agenda. My expectations. My plans. My goals. My desires. Making myself look good. Me being right. Not God, but me. Humility acknowledges and reveres who God is. Reverence requires us to step down off our big, selfish, self-indulgent, arrogant pedestal and admit and accept that we are creation not Creator. Humility puts Him first, above all others and above all things. It believes that God is sovereign, He is just and His plan is perfect. It strives to love God and love others before ourselves.
True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.—C.S. Lewis
Because of these comments made to me regarding my son, I believe I have come across very negative and defensive. And so I conclude by asking forgiveness to anyone who I have been arrogant toward or who I have hurt with my pride. Please come to me so I can make it right.
“All these things My hand has made, and so all these things came to be, declares the LORD. But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.”
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you.
The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.