I saw her today in the checkout line, juggling a baby, one toddler and an elementary-aged firstborn. There was a smile on her face but exhaustion in her eyes as she reined in the toddler, quieted the baby and simultaneously unloaded items from the cart. I caught her eye and smiled in understanding as my own three tugged on my hands, begged for suckers and stood at the precipice of a meltdown.
Meanwhile in a home just across town a new mom hushes a wailing newborn. Maybe it’s you? Tears stream from your eyes as you try yet again to quiet the unrelenting cries with a clumsy attempt at breastfeeding. It’s natural; it’s supposed to be easy … or so they say. But textbooks and breastfeeding blogs are no match for the screams of a fresh-from-the-womb baby whose gas and reflux are combining to cause your own near-meltdown. Your eyes sting, you swallow a lump, and the tears spill.
Perhaps your years marked by tiny fingerprints are gone, replaced instead by a rebellious teenager who waxes eloquent on opinions and values in opposition to yours. The exhaustion remains, because there are sleepless nights spent waiting … waiting for that key to turn in the lock ensuring his safe arrival home. Or maybe the key never turns in the lock because she’s gone. A young adult with her own schedule and plans that don’t include a trip home.
I may not know your motherhood story, but I can read your battle scars: eyes that show the wear of sleep-deprived nights, arms that hang with the load of preschoolers, a never-to-be-whole-again heart after the pain of a miscarriage, a wayward child, an estranged relationship.
Maybe this is your story? Maybe not. Either way, if you’re a fellow mom in the trenches, I bet your heart could use some encouragement. Because there are voices—loud voices—that cast judgment on our apparent shortcomings and missteps. There are self-imposed expectations, Pinterest-perfect images, well-intentioned friends.
Do this. Be that. Teach this. Encourage that.
And sometimes motherhood feels more like a list of can’t-be-met expectations or a failing gauge of your worthiness. The baby doesn’t sleep through the night, the preschooler can’t read, the teenager renounces his faith, the young adult turns her back on your family. So you kick the Diet Coke machine and let the tears fall. And you wonder … Are you doing enough? Being enough? Teaching enough?
Because I have good news. By the grace of God, you are enough.
You are not perfect. You will not make all the right decisions. But if you are a mother, you are called to motherhood. And if you are called to motherhood, there is supernatural power for the task available to you by the God who ordained family.
The Bible details story after story of inadequate people being equipped by God to fulfill courageous callings. A stuttering murderer frees the Israelites, an unwed virgin births the son of God, scared-for-their life disciples hidden in an upper room take the gospel to the ends of the earth. None of these people performed such feats out of their own sheer will. Rather they were empowered by a God who equips those He calls.
So fellow mom-in-the-trenches, if you hear nothing else today, please hear this.
Not because of your own will or your own capabilities, but because the God who set the world into motion, He who knew you even before He created you in the womb will empower you to fulfill the calling of motherhood.
So turn away from the critic, silent the voices, tune out the mess of all those messages, and get quiet before The Lord. Still your heart, lay your fears and inadequacies before him and allow His truth to speak into those dark, parched recesses of your heart. And when you do … when you quiet your spirit before The Lord and listen for His voice, this is what you’ll hear:
Dear Mom, you are enough. Because I AM.
What about you? Do you ever struggle with feeling like you’re enough … enough of a wife, enough of a mom, enough fill in the blank?
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