Motherhood, in Life and Ministry

motherhoodlifeministryThere were days when my boys were young that I was just tired and wanted to run away. I didn’t want to even hear the word “mommy”. I didn’t want to be a mother. In fact, I was one of those girls who grew up saying I’d never have children. I often wondered what God was thinking when He allowed me to be a mother. I would grow weary of doing for my children without appreciation or notice.

Then God, in His faithfulness and gentle ways would cause my heart to look upon those precious faces and my heart would remember truth. The truth that His did call me to be a mother. He placed these precious, loud, curious, rough and tumble boys into my arms with a heavenly purpose in mind. Yes God desires us mothers to raise them for Him, to teach them the word and show them the love of the Father but children also teach us.

They teach us to be a mother. They show us the Father and help us to understand His love, patience, mercy and grace. So often we, as mothers, get so caught up in trying to do and be what we think a good mother would do and be that we forget the lessons that God is trying to teach us through our raising children.

In those moments that I wanted to run, give up and give in I learned to run to God. I learned that it was in His strength I could go another day. It was because of Him and what He was doing in my heart that I would learn to keep on fighting for my children. After all if I wasn’t teaching them, loving them, holding them, praying with and for them who would? No one. I was the one God called. I would be the one who would lead them.

Over seven years ago when I led me into women’s ministry I found these same emotions arising. I would become weary of being a spiritual mother. I would become frustrated in the fighting for “children” who seemed to not care. Day after day I would fight battles within and outside that threatened to rendered me useless. My enemies, were my flesh, Satan, the world and the very ones I was trying to minister to. The lies, betrayals, gossip and criticism at times brought great bouts of  discouragement. I wanted to quit, run away and give up.

But God has called me, and so, just like when I felt this way raising my boys, I learned to once again run to Him. God, once again being faithful, reminded me that it’s not about me, or how I am feeling. It’s about them, what’s best for them, what they need. It’s about  who they need me to be – who God expects me to be. I was reminded that I have a God who empowers me to do that which He has called me to do. He called me to be a mother. This my dear friends is a blessing – a high calling. And I had learned that God will enable me to rise above my flesh and do what He has called me to do.

So today God continues to call me into “Mothering”. As I look back I can see how all the lessons beforehand led up to this role as a” mother”. The women God brings to me today are broken, many know nothing of God let alone what it means to be loved by a mother. God is calling me to mother His lost children. Children who do not know Him or know very little about Him. These women, these young girls need to see and experience what being a mother really is about. They need to hear the truth, not only about being a mother but about their heavenly Father. They need to know they are heard, seen and understood. They need mothers who have not only “been there” but who are real and honest about the struggles, and heartache of mothering.

This journey has only begun and I stand with great anticipation to see all that God will do. I am thrilled to serve God in this way. I am humbled that He has chosen me to help Him save these girls and their unborn babies. Working in a pregnancy center will bring new, hard challenges I know and I fully realize that there will be day that I will not  “feel” like fighting for them. I will grow weary and feel  like giving up.

And yet, I have learned who to run to and I will rise in confidence of who Christ says I am and believe the truth of what I KNOW – not what I feel or the lies that the enemy would have me believe – I will stand on the truth of who Christ is and the truth of what His word says.

I will think like a mother, sacrifice like a mother, love like a mother. I will fight like a mother! I will fight with God to help save a generation that does not know Him.

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of morguefile.com by greyerbaby

Advertisements

A Reminder For The “Older Women”

She sat across from me, tears streaming down her face as she shared her story with me. A story of brokenness and pain. She was a young Christian mom of two precious babies, married to a godly man and yet there was a deep sadness about her. Her sadness allowed me to see into her heart, a heart that loved God, desired to be the woman God created her to be.

WomenTalkingI did not know her before this day and yet her story was all too familiar. It was a story I had heard far too often. It was my story. You see she had gone to others for help, but the advice had all been pretty much the same. “You need to renew your mind.” “You are believing lies. You need to think on truth.”

Before she went any further I took her hand in mine, looked her in the eyes and said, “Oh sweet girl you are wondering what are the lies and what is truth.” With tears pouring down once again she choked out the word, “yes.” Squeezing her hand I let her know I understood. I too had been there. I can still be there at times.

I don’t know if I will ever see this young mom again but my advice to her is the advice I wish I would have received as a twenty something young mom and wife. It wasn’t until my forties that someone finally took the time and invested in my life in order to help me understand the lies I was believing. Lies that I had heard my whole life that sounded like truth. Destructive words that had gone so deep into my heart that they had taken root and grown strong. These are the kind of lies that need help to see. We need others to help us expose them, to destroy them and then to replace them with truth.

There are two things I shared with her that day. There are two things she needs to know and we, as older women, need to remember.

The first thing I shared is that she needs to be able recognize what lies she believes about God, about herself and about her circumstances. She needs those in her life that she can trust to tell her when her thoughts are based on lies. She needs  to be willing to open up and share her thoughts in a safe place.

The second thing I told her is that she must read and study the word of God. His word is truth and the only way to really know truth is to know it for yourself. It’s not a practice that you do occasionally or haphazardly but a discipline that we pursue and seek after. Truth comes when we know and understand the character of God.

But what does this look like in the everyday?

In my life I have a couple of friends I can trust enough that I can call them and say, “Hey this is what is going through my head right now. Am I believing a lie? If I am what is the truth?” These sisters consider it a privilege to walk along with me, there is no judgment. They don’t make me feel stupid, instead they just love me and speak truth. They will take me to the word of God. They have helped me replace lies with truth. They have walked with me through it enough times that today as my knowledge of truth grows it becomes easier to recognize the lies. Lies become easy to spot when we know truth.

I left this young lady with two devotional type Bible Studies to consider doing in her quiet time. Both are written by Kay Arthur called Lord, I Want to Know You and Lord, Heal My Hurts. The first one is a study on the character of God, the second is a study on Jehovah Rapha, our Healer God. Both studies help you dig into the Bible and learn truth for yourself.

A few reminders to those who are leaders, mentors, or the “older women”.

 Do not just assume that they know what lies they believe.  Sometimes it requires getting involved in the messy part of life in order to help see and know the lies they believe loving their husbands and children. We need to walk with them and help them to see the lies and then show them what truth is.

Be patient with the one who is trying to see the lies she believes. Some lies are so ingrained that she may forget and will need constant reminding until she believes truth. Give them the same grace and love that you have received from Christ.

Finally, please, please stop telling them that they just need to “renew their minds” or “take captive their thoughts.” Yes, this is truth. It is what they need to do. Most likely they have heard it over and over . But what they really need is someone to love them enough to show them. They need those women in their life that will walk with them in love and truth.

We, as older women, who pour our lives into the younger generation, need to remember that not everyone understands or sees the lies behind what they are thinking or feeling. How will they know they need to replace it with truth if they don’t even know it’s a lie? So let us love them enough to walk  and talk with them instead of just talking to them.

 

 

For further reading …