Becoming a mother was the most wonderful yet scary experience of my life. How could I be filled with such love, excitement and exhaustion, joy and trepidation, confidence and insecurity, all at the same time? I was a young missionary in Uganda and both my kids’ births were less than typical. When I was thirty-five weeks pregnant with my daughter, the political unrest forced us to evacuate to neighboring Kenya. The birth was difficult. In the resulting emergency surgery, I required blood and the hospital didn’t have a compatible type. As I lay on the operating table, my husband desperately insisted they test his blood, and surprisingly, he had the exact same A- blood type. God had it all covered! Literally, he was able to give me the two units of blood I needed.
During my dramatic introduction to motherhood, I was blessed to have my amazing mother nearby to reassure me and coo proudly over each new accomplishment of her grandchildren. Mother coaching mother – so good! Today, almost five decades later, I am still overwhelmed at the privilege of being a mother and grandmother! My heart swells with gratitude while my legacy unfolds through the next generations, as each of my children and grandchildren fulfill their God-ordained missions. Their success is my success!
I have also had the honor to love and “mother” many that I didn’t physically birth. I am persuaded that every woman is offered this privilege of nurturing and mothering those God puts in her path. The Apostle Paul beautifully describes in parental terms the role he and his team had in caring for the believers in Thessalonica. They ministered as gentle, nursing mothers; demonstrating humble, unselfish, and unconditional love with genuine integrity (1 Thessalonians 2:7-12). That’s a challenging job description for moms, and you are invited to join the ranks.
Contemplate with me the young and inexperienced teenager, Mary, who became the earthly mother of Jesus. The angel told her she was highly favored by God! Chosen for a unique, blessed purpose! I believe that every woman who accepts the role of motherhood, whether by physically giving birth, adopting a child, or embracing the role of spiritual parent, is unequivocally favored by God Almighty. Motherhood is a God-honored role with eternal reward. But this privilege you’ve embraced isn’t for wimps! Mary’s favor included a broken heart as she watched her son suffer unbearably.
What do I mean? Yes, there are amazing joys: pleasure in witnessing our children’s accomplishments, fulfillment in lessons we’ve successfully imparted, and meaningful coaching moments as our teenagers develop into mature, young adults. But motherhood can also encompass disappointment and pain, unexpected loss, grief that must be processed, frustrating changes, broken relationships, or financial struggles. Does that mean I’m not favored? Have I failed as a mom? Is my motherhood less valued by God? NO! NO!
The truth is that God sees you and your pain. Remember Hagar? At one point, she was pregnant and running away in fear; and later, she was watching her son struggling to live; she thought God had abandoned her. But on both occasions, God saw her and miraculously provided what she needed. Hagar said, “I’m going to call You the God of “Seeing” because in this place I have seen the One who watches over me” (Genesis 16:14).
The truth is: mothers face the challenges; they are strong and sacrificial. They never give up! Mothers forgive and move on. Mothers are the best cheerleaders. Mothers are resilient. A mother’s love is unconditional. Mothers’ prayers are persistent and receive answers. Mothers have faith that moves mountains.
Mothers – stand up and take a bow!