I wrestled through thoughts like these countless times over the years of raising our children, beginning when they were toddlers and through the teen years. I wish I could say that I never wrestled again after that, but I have. Why? I’ve let words or behavior that I regret hold me captive. Worry seeps in, as do thoughts of negative possibilities.
Honestly, I don’t think that these types of experiences blanket our days. Rather, if we take time to remember, simple precious moments over countless hours will flood our memory—precious smiles and giggles, watching a child play or experience something for the first time, bedtimes, their excitement as they share a story or accomplishment, hugging our child or being hugged by them, that look that lets us see their love or gratitude, our phone calls . . .
So, why is it that painful memories haunt us or flare up whenever something goes sideways regarding a child? And why do those questions and worries seem to crowd out the greater evidences of sweet times?
God yearns for you and me to grasp His view—of us, of how He wants us to live in relationship with Him, of our role as moms.
He appointed us to be moms, when he wrote our days in His book before we were born. (Psalm 139) Nothing we say or do is a surprise to Him. He knows our history, our current life, and the state of our heart. His view of our effort is tender, loving, and abounding in grace—not critical, disappointed, and questioning why He made us mothers. Do you wrestle with believing this? The strategy to end the wrestling is a growing intimacy with Jesus Christ. Learn, for yourself, the truth about His view of you. God sees you and me as the person He knows we will become, as we partner with Him to love and raise our children.
We are disciples of Christ, which means we are lifelong learners of how to follow Him. One way we learn is through being a mom, and some of our practice will be hard.
Invite God to help you learn all that He wants you to learn from it. If a memory concerns or burdens you, unload it to God. Jesus died for all our brokenness. Lay it at the foot of his cross. Seek, receive, and embrace His forgiveness. Invite Him to restore your heart, your child’s heart, and your relationship. He will.
“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavishes on us.” (Ephesians 1.7–8a)
Mark the many beautiful moments of being a mom. Mark your growth, your child’s growth, your relationship’s growth. Mark change. Mark redemption. And thank God.
On the larger canvas of life, each season blends into the next. Each brush stroke has purpose, for the child and for us. Memories of hard experiences slowly fade, even heal, as God’s love covers all. The image that God has been painting all along reveals breathtaking beauty.