As Mother’s Day approaches and passes I often love looking at this role I have…..mother. I have a great mom whom I think I appreciated fairly well throughout my years with her but nothing prepared me for my most challenging role….. becoming a mother myself. It has been through this process that I have a new, greater understanding and honor towards my own mom. I now see and experience everything she went through and sacrifices she made for me.
Lately I’ve been questioning my role as an adequate mom as I’m sure every mom has at some point (or many points) on this motherhood journey. When I come to something especially difficult, I go to my mom, or other moms for advice, for help, or just for a sense of feeling “normal.”
I treasure these times because It redeems my trust and faith in my abilities to be a mom but it also gives me perspective. Sometimes the sleepless nights, countless messes, temper tantrums, and whiny voices are just too much to give me a “bigger picture.” I remember when my first child was a newborn, I felt like the days were eternally long and my life wasn’t my own…..it seemed like it would last forever. Now five years later, I have perspective, I know this time will fly by. And even though I went through it a second time, I found myself forgetting. So I’m always happy to offer perspective to newer moms in their sleepless days because I remember.
Perspective is a treasure, a breath of fresh air, and a weight lifted off your shoulders.
Around this Mothers Day I have been constantly thinking about the greatest Mother of the Bible, Mary mother of Jesus. Her journey and story teaches me so many things about being a mom.
She starts as a young lady learning from an angel that she will bear the son of God. She isn’t married, she is shunned, laughed at, and exiled because of it. She had to explain to her betrothed and hoped that he would stick around.
She then traveled to Bethlehem very pregnant, on a donkey….delivered the Son of God in a barn without any other woman there to help her. Soon after she had to flee because the King was killing all male babies…..
Then she raised a sinless child. He threw tantrums because he was angry, he cried real tears when he was sad, and he saw every one of her failures as she looked into the eyes of God.
Then at 33 years he traveled the land loving on everyone telling them the Good News. She worried as she heard the rumors of hatred, she filled with pride at the cheers, and cried at every stage of his journey.
She then had to endure the beating and suffering of the cross. Watching her son being crushed right before her eyes. The son she bore, she raised, she loved unconditionally.
She wasn’t superhuman. She was a mom, a normal loving, caring, want what’s best mom. And the thing that strikes me the most about her is she had no perspective. No other person could tell her it would be ok, no one else housed the Son of God. No one knew how to raise a family in which one of them never sinned, no one knew how vulnerable it was to live knowing the eyes of God were upon every decision, mistake, and misstep she made. No one could hand her a Bible and say, it’s OK…..He wins.
I wish I could hear her prayers throughout her life. Her cries out to God of her unworthiness. The doubts, the fears, the anger……the trust. You see, Mary taught me that when life offers no perspective, trusting in God is the only hope to hold on to.
Some days I have trust like the Mary did after the angel visited her telling her she was chosen to carry his son. Or when she laughed with him as a toddler and rejoiced in his first steps. Or on the days when she saw the miracles, and saw him love beyond politics, creed, or law. Or when she saw the empty tomb and His nailed scarred hands.
And some days when there is no perspective and what seems like no hope, I’m like the Mary when she was shunned by her own friends, birthed in a stable alone, ran for her son’s life in the wilderness, watched her son be ridiculed, torn, and broken. And during those long, dark, and hopeless 3 days when her son lay in a tomb, dead, like her, I’m just barely breathing out prayers of pleas, mercy, and grace.
I’m looking at her story and I realize that God used her to give me perspective. Because of her willingness, her sacrifice, her obedience…..I can open the Word and find peace, answers, and unconditional love. This love is from a God who gives me His love no matter where I am. I may have all the perspective in the world and trust Him so tightly and He loves me. Or, I might be full of anxiety and fear because of my lack of trust and perspective and He still loves me.
I’m grateful God decided to use a mom to bring his son into the world. She offers unconditional love, sacrifice, and would do anything for her child. She is a reflection of the heart of our Savior. His perfect plan involved the heart of a young woman who was willing, imperfect and who would be herself throughout the whole journey. She believed and never stopped. She showed me that not everything in this life needs to have an answer. Sometimes I will never have perspective. But I do have God. I believe He is the same yesterday as He is today. He is the same God to Mary as He is to me. That is truly astounding and comforting……I pray to never lose that perspective.