I remember the first time the weight of motherhood settled on me.
Growing up, there was one thing I was sure of: I was going to do everything differently than the way it had been done in my house. Must be part of the wiring of an intuitive, introverted, feeling, judging person, the watching and evaluating, the tossing aside of things that obviously don't work.
But I loved children, and I knew I wanted a houseful. We welcomed the helpless, squirming newborn with open arms and happy eyes, and I drank in the wonder of him, the wonder of the chance to get it all right.
I'd read every book I could get my hands on, sure of my approach, anxious to do it my way. Changing diapers was easy and he was a calm baby, rarely crying, big, blue eyes steadily taking everything in.
A few hours after he was born, we buckled his seat into the car to head home. And that, friends, is the moment the weight settled. All of a sudden, my bliss turned to mild panic as the midwives smiled and waved goodbye. My husband turned to smile back at the two of us from the front seat, and I said, "They're really letting us leave here?! Don't they know WE HAVE NO IDEA WHAT WE'RE DOING?"
We made it home and through the first day and the second and the long nights and croup and the first fever and rice cereal and hundreds of pictures and a million kisses. We figured it out together, he and I.
The weight of a child, though, it never really goes away.
I thought it would get easier as they got older, this parenting thing. Thought the messes would subside and the noise would abate, they'd become more independent and self-sufficient and my burden would lessen in response, somehow. It doesn't work quite that way, I've found.
The people get bigger ... and so do the issues they're facing. The consequences of wrong choices are more dire and far-reaching, every decision more complicated, my influence less. What I wouldn't give to decide between swaddling and a loose blanket, these days, as my oldest tries to decide which job to take, which house to move into, and now--who will deliver my first grandchild.
No, the weight of a child doesn't ever lessen. But know, too: it is a weight worthy of its burden.
So what will we do as we carry these precious ones? What will we do with our worry and the thing we finally know--no matter how much we've studied and how hard we've worked--there is no getting it all right, after all?
Amy Carmichael wrote this: " ...to anyone who is under trial, give Him time to steep the soul in His eternal truth. Go into the open air, look up into the depths of the sky, or out upon the wideness of the sea, or on the strength of the hills that is His also; or, if bound in the body, go forth in the spirit; spirit is not bound. Give Him time and, as surely as dawn follows night, there will break upon the heart a sense of certainty that cannot be shaken." --Amy Carmichael
Wise words. Steeping our souls in eternal truth is the only way we can come to the logical conclusion that God is the only One who can truly carry the burden of a human soul. He is the only One capable of seeing the future from our dim right-now. He is the only One who can carry both our children, and us.
If you're burdened today, can I just encourage you to get outside and breathe deep, to walk far, to find a mountain or an ocean or a forest or the wide open sky to look upon, and consider the truth that all you see was made by His hand, and remind yourself that that very hand also holds you?
"The Lord will perfect that which concerns me" Psalm 138:8.
" ... I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day" 2 Timothy 1:12.
The weight of your children--that which concerns you--will be perfected by the Lord. And if you entrust them to Him, He is able to guard them. The weight belongs to Him.
May grace, and mercy, and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today and always.