God gave us moms the best and the worst job on the planet. Think about that statement. What comes to mind?
I’m a mother of a boy and a girl; I had no idea what life was going to be like for the next 20 years, but God did. I wasn’t a Christian when they were both born; I became one about 8 years later. So, for those first years, I had no one to lean into, except my mother and my thoughts on what being a mother meant. When you’re a Christ follower, it doesn’t make parenting any easier, but you have someone you can lean into at any time of the day. When things are going well, and when they aren’t.
From the time our children are born we wonder who they will look like; will they take after us or our husband. Will they make true friends or be part of a not so good crowd. Some of these things we have a little control over, but a lot of them are in God’s hands. He knows exactly who our kids will grow up to be. Our job is to be there, lead and guide them, speak God’s truth to them, love them, and most of all lean into God.
At our church, we have a new exercise for parents bringing their child to be dedicated: Think forward to what/where you want your child to be at age 18. We can have lots of thoughts and ideas, but for many parents it all comes down to one thing–that our children love God with their whole hearts. If they do, then He is there for them during the ups and downs of growing into a young adult. He is their guiding light in the darkness.
Both of my kids had pregnancy issues, issues that broke their hearts, and mine. We prayed about whether God wanted my daughter to conceive, and whether they’d have to make a difficult decision to save the baby or save my son’s wife’s life. As I would pray, I would sometimes be in agony over the situation. For our daughter, it was a question of whether God wanted her to have a child of her own, to adopt, or perhaps not have children. We prayed and leaned into God regarding this.
I knew it was hard for her, and at times she would give up. As a mother the thing that I could do best was to always be there for her in prayer, talking and listening to God. When things got to the darkest point for my son and his wife, we all knew we needed to lean hard into God. He was there to hold us up when we had nothing left.
I knew that God was there. He gave me and my children hope. Today my daughter has twin 3-year olds, a boy and a girl. More than a mother could ask for! The little child previously in my daughter-in-law’s womb is a bright and talkative 4-year-old boy!
God doesn’t always answer our prayers the way we want, but He does hear and respond. Sometimes it may be a while before we know the reason He answers the way He does. He just asks that we put our full trust in Him and lean into Him with our whole heart.
Shelley Brooks is the Early Childhood Director at a large church in Omaha, NE. She has been on staff for 10 years, starting out where her passion was, in Elementary. She recently moved from that position to the Early Childhood position, to take on the challenges of kids ages 0-kindergarten. She has been working with her team to set goals in each area of this ministry so we, and parents, will know what we are ‘teaching’ toward in each age level. She is also a Licensed Ministry Worker with the Christian & Missionary Alliance. When not working, she loves to be a Grandma to her 5 grandchildren, cater BBQ from their home, and read.
If you’re a parent of children of any age, we encourage you to check out our additional mother-daughter resources:
The Beautiful-Mess Mother-Daughter Workshop:
The mother-daughter relationship can be one of the most beautiful, confusing, stressful, and precious connections we experience. Moms and daughters of all ages long to heal and/or deepen their bonds with one another and to love one another well. Wholly Loved Ministries wants to help!
Through personal anecdotes, biblical truths, and thought-provoking discussion questions, our Beautiful Mess video content and discussion questions provides moms and daughters with the tools to cultivate the depth of relationship their hearts crave. The relationship God Himself wants them to experience.
Find out more HERE.
Our More Beauty Less Mess Mother Daughter Bible reading plan:
The mother-daughter relationship can be one of the most precious and beautiful connections women experience. At times, it can also be confusing and a bit messy. As we grow closer to Christ, He will help us create more beauty than mess. Edited by Karen Greer.
Access it for free HERE.