We take the best of what we’ve seen of the others around us and roll it all into one amalgamated standard of motherhood.
She greeted me at the door, took my coat and introduced herself as if she was twenty (not twelve). This wee thing looked me in the eye and called me ma’am. She was fixing me water before I crossed their home’s threshold.
They stood shoulder-to-shoulder, seamlessly reciting words too big for their small frames in poetry form, all pomp and pizzazz in this little performance. These sisters didn’t squabble, they banded together — beauty on display. They shined, jewels on their mommy’s crown that day.
He was among a group of high school buddies, all making an object out of a young woman with their words and their eyes when he stood up and said: ‘You know what, guys, my eyes are for my future wife, alone. I won’t dishonor this woman, this way.’ What a son. What a story.
My daughter sinks down in her chair and I lose her behind her eyes and my words bounce off her heart like rain on pavement. I pace the floor underneath where she sleeps, pleading with God: awaken her heart. We pray together. I coach and counsel and talk her through that hard moment that she’s resisting, only to have her stumble all over again. She’s mad and trapped in her flesh and my strategies are floundering.
What’s a mama to do when love is hard and the fruit isn’t hanging, low?
It’s the story no one tells but all of us mamas have a chance to live.
The child who doesn’t budge, whose heart appears hard. The life that takes years, not months, to mold in a new direction. The one who introduces us to 3am again as we wake in the night to the twinge of pain, reminding us we have a broken one down the hall. The enigma in the family tree at any given time.
These aches of motherhood, these conundrums, they are our invitations.
She buckles and my reserves dry up for this one (who’s not bringing me any accolades right now) and it’s there, in the dark, that I find the Eyes that fuel me. They’re on me, not marking what I haven’t done but responding to my emptiness as an opportunity to fill.
I reach and grapple for normal — for successful — and He says, I’m here, too, in your thwarted mommy moments.
I crave what I can measure and see and He says I’m making a woman out of you in the dark.
My daughter stumbled and I reached in and held her heart, bleeding … and He saw me. She pressed hard against love — her former-orphanhood speaking louder than the years since we came for her — and when I went to her again … He was the witness. My 3am prayers for her were golden, to Him.
We make a standard for ourselves out of the outward “bests” but overlook that the underground stories — the ones that happen when no one is looking — move the heart of God.
I want her to grow up and over this season — I want to it be her story of the past — and yet He says, now: let me see your eyes, let me hear your voice. When you look at Me while you wait on her, I’m moved.
He’s forming His own amalgamation of my motherhood — and this list includes the minutes no one else but He sees.
For Your Continued Pursuit: Psalm 81:10 | Song of Solomon 2:14 | Matthew 8:5-13 | Psalm 34:5
Blessings, Sara Hagerty
Photos compliments of Mandie Joy.