I’ll be honest with you. As I’m working on building my audience for this blog, I’ve been so caught up in writing posts that I know will bring traffic to my page and are easier to write. But I was reminded today at church by a close friend and by a song sang during worship what and who I started this blog for — and I was humbled.
As I listened to the words, I heard a Voice I have been unintentionally blocking out for a few weeks… too focused on the what and not the why. It’s amazing how, even when we are doing what God called us to do, we can take it for granted and get distracted from the reason, the purpose, the beautiful relationship God wants to grow with us by providing the mission He has given us.
“There is grace when the heart is under fire…”
Two months ago, I was sitting in a hospital room, broken, afraid, frustrated, exhausted, and so many other emotions. It feels like years ago. I had just given birth by emergency c-section to my son, Joshua, who was in NICU. I had only held him for an hour since he was born and had to leave him in the care of strangers several floors below me.
I found myself thinking, “This wasn’t how it was supposed to happen. He’s supposed to be in my arms right now and we’re supposed to be bonding. I was supposed to give him his first meal from me, not from a bottle of formula at the hands of a stranger. He’s supposed to be laying on my chest sleeping to the lullaby of my heartbeat while I rub his hair and coo over his precious face, not under a UV light with protective covering over his eyes.” And somehow in that moment, over all of the other anxious emotions I felt — because, yes, they were still there — was a divine peace. A comforting Hand on my heart. A still, small voice saying, “It’s going to be alright. You don’t see it now, but it will all work out for My Good. You have a hard road ahead, but it will get better. Keep fighting. You are not alone.”
“I won’t bow down to the things of this world…”
As the hours in the hospital grew to days, I was able to see my baby more and more, but I also learned a valuable lesson in this time. I learned that I had no idea what I was doing!
Women are made to believe that the moment your child is born you have immediate Mom-instincts. You become Super Mom and automatically know how to take care of your child. The funny thing is, well-seasoned Mom’s know this isn’t true, but we preserve the myth anyway.
I think we do this because we still listen to the lie of the world that moms have to be perfect. We may not hear these exact words, but more and more we’re hearing about new things that can hurt our children. All of a sudden, we have to become an expert in science, nutrition, child-care, psychology, and pediatrics to be able to make the right decision for our children. And the world is watching — via social media — for the moment they think we have made the wrong decision. And they are going to let you know! It’s just unrealistic to believe you have to know exactly what you’re doing the moment you bring that bundle of joy into the world.
I suffered unnecessary frustration, self-doubt, and self-rebuking for being what I thought was a terrible mother because my child was several days old and I still wasn’t feeling that maternal instinct everyone promised I would gain.
“I can see the light in the darkness… I can feel the ground shake beneath us…”
There are still moments and hours and days when I feel less-than as a mother to Joshua. When someone can get him to stop crying when I can’t. When I’m 5 minutes late for his next feeding. When the AC gets under 70 degrees for just a few minutes. When I feel like everyone else is a better Mom to my son than me.
It’s in those moments that God shows me the light in the darkness. “You’ll figure out how to get him to stop crying; it just takes practice.” “He won’t starve if he didn’t get the bottle at exactly 3:00.” “He has socks and a hat on. He’s not cold. You checked him just a few minutes ago.” “You can do this! You can do all things through Christ who gives you strength.” “Cast all your anxieties on Christ because He cares for you.”
“Should I ever need reminding of how Good You’ve been to me…”
I praise God for the trials, the hard moments, and the tests. I wouldn’t trade them for anything. Even when my son is screaming, and I can’t get him to stop; I still love those moments. Yes, I’m gritting my teeth and pulling my hair with frustration, but I can still look back later — when he’s finally asleep — and appreciate those moments.
I can be joyful that my son is healthy (and has a great set of lungs). I can be full of glee that he’s my baby (I know because he has my stubbornness and determination). I can be awe-struck by the masterful hands of the Creator, stitching us together piece-by-piece in our mother’s womb in such a way that we have the ability to scream when we’re hungry, or dirty, or frustrated. I can be humbled that God chose me of all people to be Joshua’s mother and know that He will provide me with strength and Holy Spirit Wisdom to do what I need to do to nurture, love, and raise up this baby (click here to read my post on praying to be a “Good” Mom rather than a “good” Mom).
I can also be thankful for the trials because I know they are teaching me and growing me to be a better mother. And in those moments I praise God.
“Count it all joy, my [sisters], when you meet trials
of various kinds, for you know that the testing of
your faith produces steadfastness.”
(Click here to read 100 verses about being thankful in our trails.)
“I’ll count the joy come every battle ’cause I know that’s where you’ll be…”
I was reminded this morning that I started this blog for Mom’s to know that they don’t have to strive to be perfect. None of us are professional mothers; we figure it out as we go along and should expect some mess-ups and do-overs along the way. But guess what? There’s another in the fire standing next to you. You are not alone, Mom, even if you think you are. If you have never felt more alone than this moment, know that He is still there holding back the seas. We’re going to sink some, just like Peter, but God is there to pick us back up every single time. It’s our job to accept His hand.
But here’s the most important part. Don’t think He’s going to pull you out of the waves and put you on the shore. We still have to face these trials, these waves so that we can grow. But if you let Him, He will walk right beside you the whole way!
I pray that you will feel His presence today and will allow Him to take your anxieties and give you peace. Whatever trial you are feeling as a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a co-worker, an employee, I pray that God reveals the light at the end of the darkness to you. I pray God shows you the joy in this trial; a joy and a peace that you can’t explain. You’ve got this, Mom!
What song has been speaking to you lately? Let me know in the comments. I would love to hear from you!