There have been so many amazing women throughout history who have been courageous, faithful and stood strong in the faith through severe trials and suffering. I’ve admired them and prayed that I could someday become like them.
Then God made me a mom.
I thought having children would hold much reward and gratification, and I was right. But what I didn’t realize was how much God would use motherhood to help me become a stronger woman of faith.
I’ve experienced the depths of sorrow as I lost 5 babies to miscarriage. I felt the height of joy and thankfulness as each of our eight children was born. I felt the grip of overwhelming grief while walking alongside our oldest daughter as she gave birth to her firstborn and buried him a week later. I felt helpless and out of control as our young newborn recovered from major open heart surgery, spending 2 months in the hospital with his life hanging in the balance.
God grew me during these trials, but He also used them to show me how He had already greatly increased my faith in the simplest of ways through motherhood. As I daily mothered our children, He used those daily struggles – the ones hidden from everyone else’s eyes, the ones He and I walked through together – to lay a firm foundation of faith that would uphold me and glorify Him when I walked through the fire.
God is in the big things, but He is also very much in the small, seemingly insignificant things.
Being a mom brings us to our knees for so many reasons: sleep deprivation, wayward children, struggling marriages, physical challenges, being “on” 24/7, physical, mental and emotional exhaustion and so much more. The one thing we all have in common, though, is that we love our kids to the moon and back. We want only the best for them, but we realize about three seconds after they are born that we really don’t know exactly what that is. And so we run to our Father over and over and over again. He continues to lead us, one day and one decision at a time.
Our prayers are often simple, desperate pleas for mercy, for wisdom, for grace. They really are more childlike than “adult.” Why is that? Because our hearts are raw when it comes to our children. There is something so instinctive about crying out on our children’s behalf that we no longer care about fancy words or pretense. We are desperate and needy, and that’s exactly where God wants us.
In Matthew 11:25, Jesus said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.”
It’s in these vulnerable moments, when we come in childlike faith, that God reveals Himself to us. As that happens several times a day, for weeks, months and years, our crying out and God’s subsequent revealing become a way of life for us. In that process we become familiar with what Jesus meant when he said later in the same passage,
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Mt. 11:28,29)
It’s in this place that we become strong. The world tells us that we have to be strong, but God says that in our weakness He becomes strong. His mighty power surges through us when we are submitted to Him at our weakest point.
So relax, Mom. You don’t have to make yourself strong. You don’t have to be everything. You simply need take on His easy yoke and His light burden. Let God use your weakness to help you become a strong woman of faith.