Return to sender

Return to sender

Return to sender 1704 2560 Hope City Church

Confession time: on several occasions in this lockdown season, I’ve found myself thinking it would be nice to “un-become” a parent.

Spending 24/7 with a strong-willed, very loud, very determined, very everything three year old certainly has its moments and I’ve found myself wistfully dreaming of times when I could get up when I wanted…sit and drink a coffee uninterrupted… and leave the house for a walk without dealing with an epic meltdown about putting shoes on.

I see other mums on Instagram peacefully completing the most wonderful home-grown crafts or having their kids play tea parties with their toys for what looks like hours…meanwhile, my son is – literally – climbing up the walls 🤯

I often feel like being a parent should be easier than it is.

But I can also think back to a time when becoming a parent was my greatest desire and long-standing prayer.

When I was talking to God about this recently, I really felt Him say: “I’ve graced you for what I’ve gifted you with”.

The gifts God pours into our lives – His love, His mercy, His freedom, the family He’s set us in, the skills He’s given us, the friends around us, the resource He blesses us with, the strengths we have, the calling He’s appointed us to – they’re all freely and generously given.

Desiring all God has for us is a good thing. And He’s ready and willing to give good gifts as we access them by faith.

But they also require stewardship. In this season, I’ve felt really challenged to invest into being a good parent, so I’ve watched a couple of parenting courses and also chosen to work on being much more intentional about how I’m stewarding this gift of my son.

The incredible thing about God is that He doesn’t just leave us to crack on…watching us struggle…waiting for us to breakthrough in our own efforts.

His gifts come with His grace.

There’s no one else graced to bring the best out of the gifts that you’ve been given.

That doesn’t mean it’s always going to be easy. But it does mean that He’s covering us, He’s with us and He’s inviting us to lean on and draw on His strength as we learn to steward and grow in the calling He’s placed on our lives.

To echo the words God spoke to Paul when he wanted to “return to sender” the challenges that had come with his gift:

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2: Corinthians 12:9)

You are graced for what you’re gifted with.


So let me encourage you today, lean into His grace and allow His strength to become perfect in your weakness.

Written by Pastor Kat Harding (Hope City Sunderland) as part of the SHE IS Collective Blog Series