Nobody told me how brave I would have to be.
There were the two pink lines, and then the loss of a little life, and a grieving process for a baby we never knew. And then there was the waiting, and two more pink lines, and then nine months of holding my breath for fear of loss again. There was the fear of giving birth, and then the actual giving birth which was more terrible and wonderful than I could have imagined.
And then I thought I’d be able to relax. But the old fears were replaced by new ones. What about SIDS? Was she growing normally? Was that fever too high? Why wasn’t she crawling yet? With each new milestone reached and each old fear assuaged, a new dread filled its place.
I’m beginning to think the worry never ends. I thought my mom was overreacting when she cried as I boarded a plane bound for nine months in Africa when I was just seventeen years old. Now? My heart races at the thought of my own girl doing the same someday. I can envision the fear of letting her drive a car, go to college, get married. I wish I could hold onto her, keep her close, protect her from everything forever.
But the fact remains that I can’t.
When we think of bravery, we often consider heroes like military men and women, missionaries to far-off places, or law enforcement officers, but we seldom think of moms. Do we stop to consider the temerity required every day to get up and raise children in a world chock-full of frightening possibilities?
When I was growing up, I heard my peers say things like, “I don’t just want to be a mom someday. I want to do something exciting, something that really matters.” I might have even said something like that myself. But now I know the truth.
There is nothing more thrilling or terrifying than motherhood. And there are few vocations more important than raising up children for God’s kingdom.
Motherhood is not for the faint of heart.
Christian mothers must be brave. The rest of the world may choose to hang on tightly to their children, idolizing them and falling apart when anything goes wrong with them. But Christian mothers must love God more than their children. They must believe that He can be trusted with the little ones He made. They must have the courage to trust God through long nights of infant sickness, days of potty training and terrible twos, moments of childhood heartache, seasons of teenage rebellion, and the inevitable day when their little ones leave the nest. Christian mothers must have the courage to face these days knowing that whether the outcome is desired or not, God’s gracious and loving character remains the same.
The Christian mother says to her child, “I love you, but I love God more, and I trust Him with your life and my own.”
In the face of adversity, heartbreak, loss, and joy alike, the Christian mom bravely believes Isaiah 26:3, “You will keep in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you,” and she is not moved.