When my son was born, I didn’t know motherhood can be a woman’s greatest glory and her worst nightmare. The fact that he came out screaming should have been a clue about the nightmare part!
When the nurse put that squirming, squalling bundle in my arms on the delivery table, I started singing “Jesus Loves Me.” Andres quieted down instantly, and my heart nearly burst for the glory of it because I’d sung that song every day during my pregnancy. But as soon as I finished my song, he went right back to crying.
The next day I walked out of the hospital holding my brand-new baby, with no clue about what awaited me. I didn’t know about pacing the halls with a baby at 2:00 a.m., but I survived the first weeks, and by the time my baby was 4 months old, I felt almost human again.
Most days the joy swallowed up the nightmare part. When my Camilla came into the world, she stole my heart and her dad’s, too.
I loved motherhood, but I needed to learn one important thing.
Although being a mom made me happy, there was plenty not to like about it. After all, I hadn’t signed up for ear infections that kept me up all night or kids vomiting in the car. I certainly didn’t sign up for the teenage roller coaster and late nights waiting for them to come home.
I’m learning motherhood is not all about me. Maybe my desire to be a mom initially centered around me. I wanted happiness and fulfillment. I didn’t realize God had a bigger plan to use my kids to shape me.
God uses motherhood both to bless and mold us.
Motherhood blesses and refines us. It enlarges our hearts. We learn love. We learn sacrifice as we get by on less sleep and stretch our money further. We learn to give as we sit down to one more superhero movie. It’s all part of God’s polishing process.
God uses us to shape our kids, but He also uses them to shape us, and that is part of the glory:
We can resist God’s molding or we can embrace it.
We hinder God’s work in us when we yearn for the past. On the taxi-driving, homework-helping days, part of us might yearn for the time when we could have coffee with a friend whenever we wanted.
We miss what God wants to do in us today when we long for the future. On the dog-tired, laundry-piling-up days, our focus leaps to the future. We dream of finally getting enough sleep or actually going to Target alone.
What if we embrace God’s plan for today?
Your stage may be different than mine, but I want to keep my eyes open to the wonder of watching two young adults grow into the people God created them to be. Whether we’re belting out “Like a Rolling Stone” in the kitchen or walking in the park, I want to show my kids more of what Jesus looks like. What wonders are you looking at today, friend? What would Jesus be doing if He were hanging out with your kids today?
Let’s let God have His way in us.
What if we lean into God’s purpose and plan as He shapes us? On the glory days, we give thanks. On the days when motherhood wears us down, we lean into God’s power. When we fail, we trust Him to complete His good work in us. We won’t get everything right, but we can show our kids a little bit of Jesus today as we let God mold us.
Now it’s your turn: What’s one way God is using motherhood to mold you?
Note: This is a re-edit from my archives.
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