Monday, May 31, 2010

A Mother's Faith

I had never attended a baby shower with a speaker until last month, at mine, and I thought it was a fantastic idea.

I also never thought I’d be raising two kids in [location edited]. And I certainly never thought I’d have two BOYS. I thought, that, like [name edited], I would most certainly have girls.

And so when I thought of what I wanted to say today, I realized that so much of what I experience is boy-oriented. I have so little to say about girls. And so I thought that even though we’re parenting children of different sexes, there’s still a lot of commonality in just being a mother.

After my son was born in March—and I mean almost right after—I had a vague memory of a Bible verse about childbirth. It took me about two months, but I finally looked it up. It’s John 16:21 and it says:

John 16:21 21 When a woman is in labor, she has pain, because her hour has come. But when her child is born, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy of having brought a human being into the world.

And as much pain as I had with an unexpectedly non-working completely epidural, I really don’t think the short timeframe of it compares with months of bed rest that [name edited] faced during her pregnancy. But our outcomes were the same—babies that we love and want to do our best to raise. And while we have that joy that the verse speaks of, with it comes a lot of other emotions surrounding the raising of children: uncertainty, questions, and fear, to name a few.
But one thing that I have learned about[name edited] since I met her is that she has a very strong, deep faith, and I think that it is that faith that is going to be the most important part of her as a mother.

I’ve heard it said that when we have children, our hearts walk around outside of our bodies. We love them more than we ever thought it was possible, and we can’t always be with them, especially as they grow older. We can’t foresee the life choices that they will make and we cannot make their choices for them—no matter how much we may want to!—and we cannot live their lives for them.

But we can train them, teach them, encourage them, love them, in the right way, and that will guide them throughout their lives. (Proverbs 22:6 Train children in the right way, and when old, they will not stray).

I recently discussed chapter 11 of Hebrews in a Bible Study—that’s the “faith” chapter, where the author guides us through many Biblical people who had faith in God and His promises despite not receiving those promises.

That faith, the way it is described, as “being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (11:1), is something we can use to help us parent our children.

I recently read an article in which it said that even if mothers don’t have time to sit down and read the Bible or pray each day, they spend most of the day in faith anyway.
We have faith, that, at the end of the day, our children will have been provided what they need, are safe, are happy, and are loved. Even when they are out of our sight and our protection, we have that faith.

I’m just glad that I don’t have to be like Sarah, who may have thought she was seeing her son Isaac for the last time when Abraham led him away on a “trip” when God told him to sacrifice Isaac.

I’m glad that I don’t have to be like Mary, watching her son die a criminal’s death.
But in those instances, those women had faith that everything would somehow turn out for the best. They were not in control of their children or those situations, but had to hope that yes, God was somehow working behind the scenes and was involved in their lives even if they didn’t understand what was happening.

And so that’s what I’d like to leave us with today. We can mother our children to the best of our abilities—and probably at times we don’t even make it to even that high of a standard—but at the end of the day, we have to trust that whatever happens to our children, good and bad, that God will be there helping us and guiding us as mothers.