Yesterday I rambled on and on about my conflicting feelings over my first mother’s day. Embracing this new role has come easy in some ways and has thrown me for a loop in others. It’s a work in progress.
But after much discussing, reflecting, praying and reading I’m finding some clarity…
Being a mother, after being a wife, was my hearts desire since I was a little girl. I never had those vast sweeping notions of being a doctor or lawyer or even have a career beyond the home. The only professions that came close as a little girl and then as an adult were a missionary or a teacher, both obviously very key pieces to mothering. When we got married, being a wife just seemed to fit. I love to serve Alex and keep our home. And as we awaited our next steps, I found joy in mothering other children.
But as we waited, I found my heart grappling with things I would hear throughout Christian circles and even within our own church (although rarely). The common phrase that motherhood “is a woman’s highest calling” and women are “saved through childbirth” began to weigh on my heart. And as we waited I worked though these…falling back on the fact that the Lord created us for His glory and our highest true calling is following after him. How could God withhold this “highest calling” from my life? Now I don’t believe these to be fully accurate.
And now that I’m on this side, I have tasted and seen what an incredible gift it is to be a mother. It’s a sanctifying, self-sacrificing, building up, molding, and discipling kind of work. And I love most every moment. My heart is full for the task the Lord has set before me and I’m ever grateful that I get to wake up and do what I’ve longed to do each and every day. Seriously. I pinch myself at times.
It’s a noble calling and one worth every ounce of energy. We have the joy of bringing up the next generation, using the wisdom and grace the Lord has given us to pour truth into another heart. It’s a good and wise profession to be a worker at home and to raise children. But I still do not think it is my highest calling. And as far as being saved through childbirth, I like this view from John MacArthur.
So yesterday, I fell into uncertainty as I faced a day I previously struggled through. In the past I focused on honoring mothers, our own and others, but the emptiness of my arms still stung. And now with heart and arms full this Mother’s Day I struggled through the fact that here I was, on the other side, embracing the gift of Elizabeth, the one who made me a mother. Why me?
Here I am, by the grace of the Lord, living a life I could only hope for. So undeserving. And still learning how to embrace this good, noble calling of motherhood when I still know the pain that comes in waiting and knowing so many who were struggling for joy yesterday. Knowing how to care for hurting hearts while holding the thing longed for is a delicate thing. And this expands beyond the walls of infertility.
God was good to give us Elizabeth. These past months have proved, only like few other times in my life, to be sanctifying months. We prayed when we waited for babies, not mainly for the task of parenting, but for the sanctification that parenting brings. And He’s answering that prayer ten-fold, for His glory and our good.
But by the end of the day yesterday, I found joy in accepting and embracing the gift of motherhood. God gave us Elizabeth, in His perfect wisdom, in His perfect timing and in doing so gave me the honor of being her mother. Why, I don’t know but I’m hoping maybe one day I’ll find out?
Sometimes accepting God’s good gifts can be staggeringly difficult.
And I’m learning there’s grace for that.