NEW SERIES ALERT!
One thing I love about having a blog is the opportunity to share the stories of others as well as my own. I learn a lot about God from witnessing or reading about another’s relationship with Him or how their experience of life differs from mine. Thus, Perspectives was born.
First up, Moms, God and a Pandemic. I posed this question:
What have you learned about God in this season of the pandemic?
“On April 3, 2020 Governor Kemp ordered Georgians to Shelter in Place. This was exactly 1 month since I had my second child. I knew bringing a second life into the world would have its obvious challenges… how would delivery go? How would my first son who was 19 months at the time handle becoming a big brother? Would there be enough of me to go around? Despite the questions, I knew at least I would be able to send my oldest to preschool a few times a week. This would give me time to regroup and focus on only one little boy at a time. By Monday after giving birth on a Tuesday, preschool was closed for a few weeks. As we know now, everything else followed indefinitely. Plenty of anxiety and questions ensued for several weeks and months for most people. I was listening to a podcast and heard Annie Downs say “maybe we were made exactly for this time.” It got me thinking… none of this is a surprise to the Lord. There is nothing that can happen to us, that he has not directed and known would happen. This gives a type of confidence I needed to be reminded of in this season, not only one of a pandemic but one of becoming a mother of two and a new stay-at-home mom. I am made for this. These boys were given to me to raise and point to Christ. I can waste my time being anxious about the state of the world, or step into this calling. Throw on your athleisure, wear scripture like a fanny pack and show the world you were made for this.” Mary Beth | Mom to 2 (2 years and 6 months)
“God has shown me He is bigger than me! Well of course he is, right? We all know him as omnipotent, omniscient and all the things. But really he showed up for me at the very perfect time! I was at a point in my life where I was looking to God for so many answers! I was running because I was so lost! I was seeking and seeking but not able to really slow down and Be Still to listen. Pandemic life was exactly what I needed. Everyone’s entire way of life changed drastically in just a few quick days! A working mom who had never been home with my daughter is now at home and working full time (and pregnant). Of course some days were hard but at the end of everyday I found myself so thankful for the slower life and really getting to know my child! I found myself leaning more into God and finding the time to be still and treasuring those moments. He has planted a new dream and a new fire in my life through this pandemic. He has shown me how to truly love my now 2 daughters! He has adjusted my view of what is important in this world and that is furthering His Kingdom everyday! I am marked with a purpose and I pray God continues to prune me and change me.” Annie C. | Mom to 2 (3 years and 3 months)
“If I had to sum up what I’ve learned about God during this season of pandemic, it would be: He is still good. And he’s been faithful in showing me that. In the beginning of the pandemic, I was driving to work as a healthcare worker filled with anxiety, and the song “Goodness of God” came on Spotify. It reminded me of when I need my toddler to listen to me so I put my hands on both sides of his face and say, “Look at me. Listen.” The Lord did that to me that morning. This season brings fear, anxiety, and hardship, but He is still good. The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust in Him (Nahum 1:7).” Macie M. | Mom to 1 (2.5 years)
“During the Pandemic, I have learned and experienced that God truly desires to transform me into His image. He has graciously shown me my inability to produce true, lasting good fruit on my own. But He has also demonstrated that when I confess this and admit that He is the only one who can change me, He is willing and able to do so completely. And for this I am grateful.” Audrey H | Mom to 3 (8, 5, and 2 years)
“There was so much that I learned from this well known and loved chapter of the Psalms (23) but what I’ve most carried with me since diving deeper into it in March is that because of Jesus, our shepherd, the one who came to give us life abundantly (John 10:10) I don’t have to WANT for anything! It sounds too good to be true. We are a people who are prone to discontentment, always wanting more. Phillip Keller says, “When sheep are thirsty, they become restless and set out in search of water. If not led to the good water supplies of clean, pure water, they will often end up drinking from the polluted pot holes where they pick up such internal parasites as nematodes, liver flukes, or other disease germs.” I’m a sheep and too easily settle for the dirty pot holes of life rather than seek out the one who is a spring of living water! He continues to teach me through this pandemic that many of the things I cherish in life are just cheap substitutes, dirty pot holes, broken cisterns. Having so much snatched out from under us when life was cancelled left me frustrated and feeling like I had no control. I was then, and daily still, faced with the choice to experience life abundantly- through Jesus- or to become resentful and angry. Jesus invites us, begs of us, sacrificed all for us, to enjoy abundant life- no matter the circumstances. We can choose to have abundant life in the midst of loss, suffering, and isolation. May God continue to change my perspective about what truly satisfies and lead me to the good, clean, pure water!” Mandy Brown | Mom to 3 (4, 6 and 8 years)
“There is much turmoil, uncertainty, and bad news turning to worse news right now. More and more I feel waves of panic as fresh despair hits the headlines. “But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: the steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to and end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:21-23). Yes, it is easy to lose heart, and seemingly hope, but what I’m discovering anew is that HOPE IS HERE. It is now. It’s today. This Hope is not contingent on ever-evolving circumstances, but anchored in an unchanging person – Jesus. The love of God is steadfast in and through the winds of change, and that’s where His people can find peace. That’s why we can look up and forward to Home instead of falling prey to fear in this world.” Lauren Papa | Mom to 5 (11, 9, 7, 5 and 3 years old)
“Maybe it was baby blues. Maybe it was hormones. Maybe it was post traumatic stress because of the painful, long journey endured to trying to become a mother. Whatever the reason, for me, becoming a mom wasn’t at all like the Huggies commercial made it out to be. There wasn’t instant connection. The overwhelming, “unlike anything you’ve ever felt before” love didn’t wash over me. There was major emotional disconnect between me and my new baby boy. I knew I loved him – but I did not delight in him and that reality nearly drowned me in guilt. The day I went back to work sweet friends texted me to check on my heart and I really didn’t know how to say “I’ve never been happier to be at work!” What was wrong with me?! I was loving the new routine of work, come home, be a mom for a few hours, go to bed, repeat. Then only a couple months into my new routine the world shut down and I was back at home-all day-every day. I’m not exactly sure when it happened, but somewhere in the months of quarantine, somewhere in the long days, somewhere in the daily, multiple walks as a family just to get out of the house, somewhere in the in between – I fell deeply in love with Garner. Then before I could process it all, I was sitting on the couch the night before going back to work praying with my husband, crying my eyes out, thanking God for the gift of quarantine and grieving its end. To say the Lord would allow COVID simply to strengthen my marriage and my journey through motherhood would be theologically unsound. But what I do know and will absolutely claim as true is that I serve a God who is always writing the most redemptive meta-narratives. The one who works all things together for my good. The one who completes the good work he starts. The God who heals the emotionally unhealthy in the midst of a global pandemic because he cares, and he sees us, and it matters. So even in the middle of a pretty confusing, frustrating, and yes- pretty scary world narrative, we can fix our eyes on Jesus. The author and perfecter of our faith, our motherhood stories, our marriages, and the story of our children, and their children, and their children. So during quarantine 2020 I learned to rest, because Jesus holds the pen. Jesus. Only Jesus.” Kellen S | Mom to 1 (1 year old)
“God is a Father that knows us intimately, loves us deeply, and will use whatever means to draw us closer to Himself – even a pandemic! For me, times like this where there is a lot of uncertainty, abnormality, and transition going on have been when the Lord has most revealed Himself and further sanctified me. During this season, I’ve committed to doing scripture memory regularly with a group of ladies from my church and have been further studying the attributes of God. I want to know God and the truth of who He is so that I have a right view of Him when more difficult circumstances arise, and so that I make a habit of praying to Him in light of who He is rather than in light of my feelings, circumstances, and (sometimes cloudy) perspective. God is a comforter, so I pray for His comfort to be present in my life and home. God is holy, so I pray for Him to make me holy. God is just and merciful, so I pray that God would help me to seek justice and love mercy. If there’s one central thing I’m thankful for during this time of pandemic, it’s that the Gospel never changes and God never changes who He is. When we can’t be certain about anything else, we can be certain of those two truths.” Brittany M. | Mom to 2 (3 years and 10 months)