This is my first real post written to a target audience… and it is written to the friends of mine who are moms. Girls – I don’t know what happened to me – but upon the birth of my daughter, a love was born in my heart for moms. A compassion, a sisterhood, an empathy like none I had ever known. I talk to my wonderful friends, or read stories of hurting babies (like MckMama‘s amazing blog), or of adoption journeys (like Holly’s, Cindy’s, the Teabo tribe, or the amazing Palmer family), or just see the pics and updates of my sweet mom friends on Facebook – and I just fall more and more in love with these sweet moms. I don’t know what that is – but I am SO grateful for it.
Growing up, my emotions were always a little bit selfish – I didn’t cry in empathy too often, but my car would break down and I’d fall apart in crazy waterworks. All of that changed upon the birth of my first daughter. Suddenly, I would be overwhelmed with gratitude and in tears just seeing her toys on the floor. I wanted to be a mom since I was little (when my sweet sister was born) and to FINALLY have been given that gift is just a living daily reminder of the sweet love of my Father for me. And an amazing thing has happened since that day – my gratitude and emotion doesn’t just extend to my sweet girls, but to moms and to their young children around me. I really do worry and pray when one of my friends has to take their child to the doctor. I really do care about whether or not my friend’s babies are eating well, or whether my sweet mom friends are dealing with postpartum or sleep deprivation. There is no detail that bores me when my mom friends share with me their experiences. And not even just my friends – I cry over the blogs of moms I don’t even know. It is like we became a network upon the arrival of that sweet baby into our arms (whether from childbirth or adoption) and when we stand together, we are somehow stronger.
Being a mom, especially of infants or young children, can feel isolating and overwhelming. It can be terrifying – especially dealing with a sick child. But we are not alone. We are given a chance, through the incredible unconditional love we are given for our children, to understand a glimpse of the love of Christ for us. It is a great gift. Our challenge, as I have written about before, is to hold these sweet children loosely and to trust them to our Father. But it can be tiring.
I am reminded of something I read once – maybe from CS Lewis, that has always stuck with me. The image was of a woman at the end of her rope – literally, clawing and holding on with all her might terrified to fall into an abyss. But the author told us if we would just let go, quit clawing and reaching, we would fall only about a foot and land on the Rock of Ages. That because we believe in Christ – there is no abyss for us – there is only the Rock. And on that Rock we can stand, strong. We can find rest. We can find renewal when we feel like we are all tapped out. We don’t have to hold on. We don’t have to be terrified.
I’ve been tapped out this week – truly. Too much work. Too many crying children. Too little money to pay the bills. Too little sleep. Too much worry about our future. Too little faith. It’s been a difficult week. But I am encouraged by my mom friends who have been down this road and have survived, and have mentored me and ministered to me out of their journey – out of their exhaustion. I am not alone. I can do this. And I am reminded to let go of the rope. God never intended me to figure out our future, our finances, our life plan, and our parenting strategy all in one week. I need to let go of the rope and land steadfast on the Rock of Ages. I need to fill my mind with gratitude and dwell on that instead of on the unknowns and the struggles in our lives. I want to consider it all joy.
So, girls, I am trying to do that today. And I love all of you that laugh with me, walk with me, pray with me, and love me as we walk this road together. I seriously consider you guys, and your friendship, one of the greatest blessings the Lord has ever given me. Thank you for your example.