I was recently emailing with a friend who has been undergoing an incredibly difficult season… Her 2 children – one with special needs – were both very sick and have struggled with illnesses off and on for some time. Her husband was facing some job changes. The doors were closing on several dreams she and her husband had hoped to see come to fruition. There was disappointment and heartache.
As I typed a note to her, my heart could not help but be absolutely stunned by this precious woman and her ability to keep rising again each new day to love and to serve.
Even when her circumstances were unbelievably painful.
Do you know what I saw in my friend?
Yes, her rising every morning to pour out love and faithfulness on her beloveds is a picture of Jesus. I would imagine her flesh has cried out on occasion. I would imagine she has had to fight for joy. I bet she has taken a few mental vacations amidst doctor appointments and sleepless nights. I’m positive she has needed to seek out THIS KIND OF REST to be refreshed.
But over and over and over again, she obediently climbs out of bed, laying her will down in exchange for His.
In motherhood, there are times of beauty when we are playing that soccer game with our kid and the weather is perfect. There are times when everyone is laughing over homemade chocolate chip cookies and we get a small taste of the kingdom of heaven here on earth.
But what about all the moments in between the kingdom pockets?
The sacrifice, the sweat, the tears, the exhaustion – that is where we see messages of the cross pouring forth into the hearts of future generations.
Do you remember what Jesus did in the hours leading up to his death? He washed the disciple’s feet. He served them a meal. He prayed for them. He endured tremendous amounts of resistance from the people he came to rescue. He suffered physically. He brought life.
Can you relate?
To the mama who rises through the night to comfort the colicky baby,
To the mama who daily bends low to tie a shoe or wipe a spill or pick up the toys,
To the mama whose pants don’t quite fit the way they used to because of housing a little person for 9 months,
To the mama enduring chronic pain or sickness and still carrying on,
To the mama walking the road of a miscarriage or infertility,
To the mama who forgives instead of holds a grudge,
To the mama who has chosen to foster or adopt,
To the mama whose hands are working an endless stream of laundry,
To the mama who has accepted a child’s diagnosis with a heart of humility and faith,
To the mama standing by a child struggling with a mental illness,
To the mama patiently ministering to the strong-willed toddler,
To the mama who lovingly corrects, encourages and shepherds her child’s hearts to know Jesus – day in and day out…
These are not easy circumstances.
The stuff of motherhood is hard work.
The journey to the cross was the hardest work ever done.
But just as Jesus’ humble submission testified to the world of God’s great name (Philippians 2:6-11), our obedience as mamas to do the hard and good work of raising children brings glory to the Lord!
And it’s in the daily dying to myself that I find the greatest joy because I know He is making me more like Him.
That is what I saw in my sweet friend who so faithfully persevered in the face of great trial.
THAT is Easter.
May that be the heavenly vision of our hearts as we do the hard work of motherhood.
Let us all be mamas who open up our hands – spreading them as wide as the cross, giving our lives, our kids, our husbands, our comforts, our expectations, our disappointments, our hopes, and our dreams to Him, and –
“…He didn’t love in order to get something from us, but to give everything of Himself to us. Love like that.” Ephesians 5:1-2 (The Message)