I am less than a year into being a mom, and while I’ve written many posts about my experience, I hope my words are taken with the grainiest of grains of salt and to God for His wisdom for your mothering.
This weekend is Mother’s Day, and while it’s my first ‘official’ one, I’ve been thinking about every person as they process an entire range of heavy and happy circumstances.
Our daughter turns 9 months old in a few days, and I feel almost painfully thankful and humbled God gifted her to us. Not an hour after she took her first gulp of oxygen did a new fear begin to hum quietly through my heart: I’m afraid I’ll take a hit I won’t have the resources to handle.
Having Anna opened up a new depth of love that was joyfully overwhelming, and a new fight against anxiety that quickly became exhausting. The itch to overanalyze. The urge to live with a white-knuckling grip instead of openhanded trust. The temptation to believe lies over Truth. The wrestling against self-serving habits to yield to Christ’s lordship in my life.
This week I stood at the sink washing dishes as God reminded me that the future, with every one of its possibilities, is His territory, not mine.
Life is like daily walking through new territory, where we should make every effort to stay near God, who knows every path, mountain, valley and speck of dirt. To run ahead of Him or lag behind Him is foolish, and will inevitably produce an anxious or self-sufficient heart. I am responsible for what I do and who I am between my own two feet, as I abide with Christ in the moment.
Co-founder of Desiring God, Jon Bloom, writes that anxiety about tomorrow “distracts our attention away from God’s gracious provision for us today to an imagined fear in an unreal tomorrow. And it disorients us by turning us away from seeking the kingdom of God to seeking earthly protection from the future we fear.”
I don’t know where God will take us. Between now and my last breath there will be suffering and joy, loss and gain, work and rest. Without Christ, we would be crumbled beneath the burden of life’s outcomes. Thankfully, not only is Christ in us but we are in Him (Colossians 3:1-3). The gospel makes every difference. God promises to sustain us when life threatens to destroy us (2 Corinthians 4:7-12), and that which would ultimately crush us can’t because Christ was crushed for us (Romans 5:6-9).
Friend, I tell you what I’m telling myself: Make up your mind to put hope for peace, joy, rest and strength in Christ only (not in circumstances being perfectly peaceful). The sufficient grace He gives us today helps us give all that concerns us to Him and experience His presence with us for what is coming.
In relation to potentially anxiety-inducing situations, my husband John encourages me, ‘Beware of making mole hills mountains.’ I would add that even the greatest mountain of earthly suffering can appear as a mole hill compared to our God and eternity with Him. It’s unsettling in the best way.
Lord, help us (aka me).