Everyone has heard the term “Mother Bear”; most of us have been there, done that, or at least seen what it looks like.
I will never forget the phone call that caused the “mother bear” to rise up inside of me. It was a mother’s worst fear. I had just gone out shopping with a friend and as we were pulling up at our place of work, one of the stylists we worked with ran out the door yelling, “Felecia, Mark just ran over Brooklyn!”
My mind began to race: What? What did you say? Did I hear her right? He ran over my little girl? Panic set in as thoughts continued to flood my mind…is she dead? What was he thinking? Why was I shopping and not at home? What was he driving? Where is my baby? Then, my thoughts changed from worry to anger to, I hate him…
As my dear friend drove me home to get more details, I will never forget the feeling of her rubbing my leg to comfort me–her not saying a word and me fighting within myself. I was angry; I wanted to scream–to hurt my husband like he had hurt me and my little girl. My sinful nature was in full swing (Galatians 5:19), but then I cried out, “LORD, please help me love my husband even if she dies!”… What? Where did that come from? Love him….I hated him for what he had done. No, Lord, please help me love him no matter what…
Yes, a fight was taking place–my sinful nature full of hatred, anger, and rage was at war with the Spirit of God (Galatians 5:22) Who dwelled within me. But–as I cried out to the Lord with each breath–love, gentleness, and self-control were manifesting within me and my sinful feelings were being replaced by the Fruit of the Spirit. The Spirit of God was showing me my husband’s broken heart, his guilt, and his fear. “Oh Lord,” I prayed, “please be with him. Give him your peace, forgive me for my anger. Help me love him.”
By the time I reached the hospital all the anger had been fully replaced by love. I saw my little girl lying there with tubes, wires, and people all around her and still my heart was heaviest for my husband. Now–moms out there–you know that was only a “God moment”! What I know is God saved not only my daughter’s life that day as a 9,000-pound truck ran over her, but He also saved my marriage from my sinful nature. He turned my sinful nature into a nature full of the Fruit of the Spirit. These emotions of love, peace, and kindness did not come naturally in this kind of situation, but God supernaturally placed them in my heart. Here’s the deal–I did not have the ability to do that on my own. What I did know to do was to call out to my Abba because I knew Him and because I had spent time with Him.
Ladies, please spend time with the Father so that in times when it seems perfectly natural to let that sinful nature loose, you can see our Father in Heaven transform your heart. We do not have to let our old sinful nature rule (Romans 6:6). We have a new Spirit living within us now.
My sweet girl survived that terrible accident and has a testimony of her own–of God rescuing her that day as she cried out to her Father while she was under the wheels of that truck. He heard her cry and saved her life. He also heard her mother’s cry: to help her love her husband, and He saved her marriage. How sad it would have been if that situation had been overshadowed by a mother full of rage instead of a mother full of love! If we truly love our little cubs, we must not let our old sinful natures rule. A Mother Bear is no savior, but we can live by the Spirit and pray that by doing so our little ones will see the One Who came to set us free (Romans 6:18).
I know God did not cause my husband to run over Brooklyn that day, but He did take what Satan meant for harm and used it for good. Watching my daughter’s walk with the Lord now 15 years after the accident and just celebrating a 30-year anniversary with my husband, I am grateful for the words I had hidden in my heart so that I did not sin against Him.
So, how do we overcome the strong, sinful nature that comes so instinctively?
- Accept Christ as Lord of our lives (Romans 10:9-10).
- Spend time in His love letter to us (Deuteronomy 8:3, Psalms 119:105).
- Spend time in the lap of our Father (Hebrews 10:19-22).
- Hide His Word in our hearts (Psalm 119:11).
- Listen for His voice (Isaiah 30:21).
- Thank Him daily (Psalm 100:4).
Ladies, I want to leave you with one more encouragement: “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:23-24).