Motherhood has a way of finding us in places we never thought we’d be. It sneaks into the weakest parts of our being and strangles truths that had somehow always gone unnoticed. It has us bursting for joy and wiping away tears from one moment to the next. It is perhaps the greatest appointment we will ever know and yet, it leaves our souls aching…wondering who we were before, who we will be later, how we will balance it all.
Mothering is so complex that the faces who bear the journey can blur together to form one group of commonalities, bonding individuals that would have otherwise never connected. Yet, the journeys look so completely different, that there is no simple definition of how to walk through it. Today we begin a series to explore The Many Faces of Mothering.
God has fulfilled the longings of my heart, but in His ways. My vision of mothering before children was far different than what I am living. He has urged us to be open to more children than we had ever thought we would be, and yet I cannot imagine not having this big, crazy, chaotic family. He has pulled us in and out of ministries, helped us find a love for homeschooling, and moved us across the world to an island in the Pacific. He has opened doors for my writing, allowed me to be part of a community of Christian writers, fulfilled my desire for a purpose once again, and helped me fight the feeling of isolation. His ways are always best.
My mothering looks different because my vision was disconnected from God. I hadn’t truly given my life to Him at that time, so the ideas I had about being a mom centered upon my own desires. But, motherhood brought me to my knees. It broke my independence. I’m not sure any role can bring you to the foot of the cross as much as parenting. The sleepless nights, the sick cries, the toddler tantrums, the potty training, the hurt hearts, the healing, the reading, the growing so fast, the back talk, the sibling squabbles, the belly laughs on the floor with the cutest kids ever created, the I don’t know moments…all require Jesus. I needed Him in a whole new way.
And so my life looks kinda crazy to some. The large family, the homeschooling, the moving to Hawaii, the strict media restrictions; these kind of decisions have others shaking their heads at times, and that’s ok. Maybe you live that kind of life too. Not a life that looks like mine, but rather a life that looks so completely like you that it has others wondering because you’ve allowed God to guide your choices. Maybe it looks seemingly ordinary, but God has blessed those decisions just the same so it is anything but. Yours is a life of extraordinary calling.
Often times as moms it seems the choices we make for our own families are seen as blanket statements to the world, as though we are saying this is the way it should be done. That may be the case for some people sometimes. I’m aware of the mommy wars. But, in my own experience, I am just trying to do my best to follow the Lord and guide my family to Him. I do both what seems to work for us and what I feel He is leading us to do. Rarely do I think that a choice I am making is for everyone though.
We are each called to different paths. There will be different hardships and different blessings. We have a variety of gifts to serve our families and the church. I had originally wanted to work when I had kids. I wanted a career, but the Lord called me to stay at home. It was the first of many decisions made that shaped my life. He had plans for me beyond what I could envision and I am so grateful I followed. The path He is calling you to may look far different from mine, different from what your extended family has traditionally done, different from the ladies at church or your neighborhood friends. That’s ok. Follow. Trust. It will all be worth it. God really does know best.
I can say that because I’ve lived it. I’ve resisted it at times. I’ve pouted when things didn’t go my way and felt the heartbreak of having to walk away from people and past times that I loved. But, I can say, without a doubt, that I trust him with my mothering. I trust Him with my life and the lives of my family.
I felt His hand cradle me after my baby went from my womb to heaven. I felt His arms envelop me when I lay prostrate on the floor exhausted from a strong willed child. I felt Him wash His peace over me when I had a chronically sick toddler. I felt my prayers answered when I begged for healing. I saw Him as the Great Redeemer when my marriage felt shaky. I trusted Him when He led my family across the world. Now, I cling to Him for what’s next.
You are designed with a purpose. Your mothering journey has such significance to your family and to the Kingdom of God. Trust the path He calls you to and tune out the noise of this world. Cling to Him with the anticipation of what’s next.
The details of the journey aren’t so important. Don’t compare. It’s whether or not you’re taking that journey with Jesus.
Please join me for the Thursdays leading up to Mother’s Day as 3 amazing women share the mothering journey God has led them through.