By Alex Green
For just a moment, can we be honest with ourselves? As first-time moms we really don’t know everything. In fact, I believe it’s safe to say that transitioning into a season of new motherhood is one of the most difficult tasks a woman will walk into. Your sole purpose is to care for helpless little human beings (as cute and as precious as they are). It is mentally, physically, emotionally, and socially draining. I can’t remember a specific moment where I felt fully prepared to conquer this thing called motherhood. That was until one afternoon I got hit with a dose of the Holy Ghost (haha). There I was, sitting on my back porch covered in a defeated, exhausted mental state when the word persevere rang loudly in my ears. And that word changed my entire perception of what being a mother fully entails.
My husband was on a six-month long deployment when our 10-month-old daughter was hit hard with the flu. Yes, you read that right.
I was all alone.
Now if any of you have ever had the exhausting experience of caring for a sick child, you will know that you don’t sleep because they can’t sleep. My daughter was approaching the two-week mark of this on-going sickness. Charlotte was severely congested and extremely uncomfortable. All she did was cry.
All day, every hour. She was crying.
At first, like the good mom I was, I held her and soothed her aching body until she would fall asleep; then day 10 rolls around and I had nothing left to give. I was all tapped out from physical touch and comforting words to sooth my daughter. Emotionally withdrawn, I knew that I had to help myself before I could continue to help her. So, I laid my screaming child down in her crib, walked out of the room and onto my back porch, where I knew it would be quiet.
There’s three things Jesus taught me on the stillness of my back porch:
1. Pray. Pray even when you don’t feel like it. Praying elevates your perspective to God’s perspective. Even Jesus withdrew to a quiet place to pray. He left the busyness of his circumstances to receive a higher perspective of the situation. It’s difficult to receive breakthrough when we are so weighed down by exhaustion. I heard once that you can’t be poured into when you are already filled up with stress, anxiety, negativity, and worry. Praying allows you to spill it all out, gush it out, and then get back up.
I felt like a failure as a mother; leaving my sick child to scream relentlessly in her crib. But God reminded me through prayer that you’re only a failure if you give up. Just because you have failing moments as a mother doesn’t make you a failure, it makes you human. You are only a failure if you walk away from the assignment you’re called to do.
2. Jesus is in me, I am enough. Do we really have to go through motherhood alone? Because I don’t believe we do. If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, He is in you. Even when you feel that you don’t have anything else to give, He gives YOU just enough to keep going. Are you lacking rest? Matthew 11:28-30 declares, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Whatever it is that you may be lacking, Jesus is able to give abundantly more than we could ever hope and imagine (Ephesians 3:20).
3. Perservere. Jesus never promised that life would be easy. He did promise however, that with Him by our side we can conquer anything (John 16:33). The definition of persevere is, “To continue in a course of action even in the face of difficulty or with little or no prospect of success.” Persevering doesn’t guarantee us immediate results, but it gives us some thickening of the skin. Don’t we as mothers need that? We need some thick skin. In Romans 5:4 it declares that perseverance produces strength of character and character produces hope. As mothers, it’s vital we receive strong character and hope through the difficulties because that’s what we should be modeling to our children. We aren’t called to demonstrate how you give up, we are called to model perseverance.
Do you wanna know what I did next? I got up from my chair, walked back inside and into my daughter’s room and I persevered. I picked Charlotte up from her crib, I had tears streaming down my face and I made a perspective changing decision that day. I decided that I wasn’t going to focus on the circumstances I couldn’t control (as difficult as they were). I decided I was going to place my focus on the ONE who is in CONTROL.
You see, if I wouldn’t have taken a moment to myself and prayed, I would have missed a vital life lesson from God. Difficult circumstances in our lives don’t have to define us as mothers. We can choose to take those difficult moments and persevere through them. Being a mother is the greatest calling on Earth, but it requires some thickening of the skin. In order to walk in your calling, you have to understand the calling. Motherhood is about raising world changers who will impact their generation for the kingdom of God (Proverbs 22:6). So let’s make a decision right now together; we are going to be mothers who set an example to our children that when life gets tough, pray it out, remember WHO is in you, and persevere through it.
Alex is a wife to a marine and new mom to a 16-month old daughter. She is a stay at home mom, a mentor to military wives, and serves faithfully with the youth of Grace Church in North County San Diego. She is originally from Kansas City, MO but resides in Oceanside, CA. Check her out on Instagram and Facebook!