In the beginning, when new life is forming inside even unbeknownst to you, you too are being formed. And the moment you are made aware of that new little life you are forever changed. From nothing this little someone has come to be. How could you ever believe that was your own doing? It is an every day miracle – something that is common but oh so sacred. A true, tangible gift from God.
And when that baby is moving weightless inside you are struck with awe. How has this come to be? You are but a passive vessel that God has chosen for His creation. And you are changing whether you like it or not. Your body is stretching, making room for this new life, and your heart is cut open, exposing you to vulnerability like never before. Joy and sadness flood the rational senses and you would rather die than live in a world without this child. How has this come to be?
When the child is born you are struck again with awe. Praise and thanksgiving overwhelm your heart and your face is quite literally glowing. And then, you feel anxiety as never before. Your vulnerability is brought to your attention once more. And tears flow for no other reason than the intense intermixing of joy and sorrow. Your new job as a mother is to lead your child to God, but you will find that your child is really leading you.
They break through the barriers you have carefully built over the years. They open your eyes to your own weakness and sin. They bring you face to face with the light of Christ in a such a way that your darkness is overwhelming. And if you have not experienced this, I have probably scared you away, but this is the greatest gift.
As you rock this small, helpless child, overcome with exhaustion, your heart is slowly exposed. A mix of incomprehensible love and selfishness. They take so much from you – but mostly your vain and selfish ways. And you will fight it. Me, Me, Me! The flesh cries out in agony.
My how we fight it.
But in striving to love and serve these children with all your might God will lead you down the path of humility. He will show you your weakness, and then he will show you his mercy. He will not leave you alone in your own darkness but will gently shine a light that you may follow.
And you will emerge completely changed. But you should know the world tries to sell us on a luxurious motherhood, while God calls us to a sacrificial motherhood. On the other side of dying to yourself you will find true, everlasting joy. In the dark nights of motherhood cling steadfast to the mercy of God. Pray for humility and strength. Throw yourself in the abyss of God’s love. There is no other way to fulfill such a high calling.
To all you mothers who have joyfully sacrificed so much, who have led Christ-centered lives and taught your children to do the same, you are the heroes of this world! It is a high and worthy calling, one of great dignity, one of beautiful sanctification.
And in the darkness the child calls out, “Mother, mother” and by the grace of God, the mother rises and becomes more.
Oh my sweet baby how are you already one?! A year ago we welcomed you into the world. Another sign of God’s great love for us – your little life.
This year has been full and wonderful and hard and formative. You have grown in so many ways and it has been a joy to get to know your adventurous spirit.
Being your mother is a great gift that I often feel so unworthy of!
I adore your deep blue eyes, little blonde ponytail, and even more so your deep belly laugh, curiosity for all things a little dangerous, and your determination to keep up with your big brother. You bring our family such joy.
Happy first birthday Reagan Elyse Mary! You are so loved.