As Mother’s Day approaches I find myself mixed with all sorts of emotions; Joy, pride, love… The hardest emotions I’ve found myself trying to manage is sadness and even grief. I will never forget the moment I became a mother, the joy was overflowing, but the fear was almost more than I could bear. Having been raised in a home with absolutely no positive examples of how to be a good mother, let alone a Godly mother, I was filled with fear of somehow “messing this motherhood thing up”! Early on, I recall pleading with God for wisdom daily, asking women in the church for advice, and listening to sermons, or utilizing any resource that might help me along the motherhood journey. Each day I tried my hardest to be the very best mother I could be.
I recall nights I went to bed proud of the skill set I utilized throughout the day, filled with peace, joy and pride. Unfortunately, I remember many a day when I failed miserably as a mother and would crawl into bed and cry myself to sleep. As a mother, I’ve made numerous mistakes over the years. Despite my many failures, there is one thing I always made sure of; If I sinned against my children, I would always humbly ask God and my children to forgive me. My children were always so forgiving, this has always been amazing to me!
Thankfully, my children have grown into the most full of life, happy, well-rounded, God-fearing, and joyful people. Each of them have their own unique personalities, gifts, struggles, talents, and wonderful qualities. There are times when I sit back and observe them enjoying life, full of confidence, love, and think to myself… “I must have done something right along this motherhood journey, to have kids this confident. There is no greater joy for a mother than observing your children enjoying their childhoods. “Thank you God for guiding me and giving me strength to raise these amazing children!”
Throughout the years, I have prayed for my children without ceasing! Throughout the years, the prayers lifted to God on behalf of my children have drastically changed in content. The theme of my prayers have altered from short term prayers, consisting of… God give me strength, wisdom, and patience to manage another day;
Into deeper and more longterm prayers…
Lord help me impress upon my children their desperate need for a Savior.
Lord help me to be a Godly example.
Lord, it is the cry of my heart that my children will know you intimately.
Lord, I pray you guide my children to your side and never let them go.
Lord give me wisdom to pay close attention to their inner struggles.
Lord help me to know how and what to say to get them through tough times.
Lord help to love deeply and without suffocating as they grown into adulthood, help me to pay attention, help me to cherish each day.
Most recently my prayers have sounded more like…
Lord help me to put aside my fears and appropriately and timely allow them freedom to begin soaring into adulthood.
Lord help me to transition into this new era of motherhood with grace, knowing that despite my overwhelming fears and emotions that you are in control and have wonderful plans for their lives.
To my amazement, I’ve become a seasoned mother; I’ve realized how quickly children grow up. I recall the warnings from other momma’s to savor every moment, I certainly tried! There are countless moments permanently ingrained in my mind. Sadly, there are entirely too many moments I allowed to pass me by, moments when I was distracted by unimportant aspects of life, and failed to pay attention.
I turned 40 this year and although I feel seasoned and knowledgeable about many areas of parenting, I continue to make mistakes and need the Lord for guidance and wisdom. The most surprising realization in my seasoned years of motherhood; Is how few have warned me about the overwhelming ache which is intermixed with the most astounding joy, as you watch your children move into adulthood. No-one told me how to handle your babies growing up, seeing the aging pictures of their tiny, helpless, and precious little bodies growing into mature, grown, and independent souls. This is not a skill I’ve acquired, perhaps it’s not a skill at all.. Perhaps it’s not something you can achieve. Perhaps it’s just something each mother must walk into unprepared. Perhaps it’s just one of those things in life that keeps you on your knees in prayer. Could it be, God never intended for us to have all the answers or even be able to acquire all the answers? Perhaps he knew this area of motherhood would send us running into His arms for understanding, guidance, and comfort.
How do I handle this overwhelming mixture of sorrow, pride, and joy? How does a momma manage the emotions that come from the unexpected grief of saying goodbye to this amazing, eventful, difficult, and wonderful era of raising babies into adults? This is one area in which I don’t feel knowledgeable and I certainly don’t feel wise! The smiles and tears I live with these days, almost seem to collide uncontrollably! Igniting within me an emotional war; Only God can keep calm and controlled.
I’m learning through the journey and hopefully one day I’ll have wisdom to depart to the younger generation of mothers. For now I say to seasoned mothers, soon to be mothers, and momma’s in the trenches of toddling children…
“Hold on for the ride! Cling to God! Seek wisdom from the Lord! Ask for forgiveness. And most importantly hold on! Cherish each and every moment!”
I give the advice knowing like me, you’ll listen and take my words to heart. While realizing that like me, you too will have to walk through the same journey! Knowing you’ll learn for yourself the emotional roller coaster that originates the moment you became a mother! There are few stead fast or absolute certainties along the motherhood journey… Except one…
“Motherhood is the most wonderful, overwhelming, and amazing journey you’ll experience on this Earth! Buckle up momma’s! Life is fully lived when your holding tiny little hands! Life is fully cherished as you watch them grow up and become adults right before your eyes!”