Small translucent bumps covered my son’s chest like a bad case of acne. Naively, I thought they would just go away until I noticed the same bumps on his arm.
Anxiously, I typed his symptoms into the Google search field on my phone. Immediately, several results populated on the screen. It seemed like my youngest child had Molluscom Contagiosum; a mild chronic disease of the skin caused by a poxvirus. As I continued reading, I discovered these highly contagious lesions could last anywhere from 6 months to 4 years.
Fear, panic and dread ensued.
I entertained every possible negative outcome. What if he has this for 4 years? How will it impact sports? Church? Friends? Life? How will I keep my other son from getting it? Or me? What about other children?
Slowly, my once carefree countenance exchanged places with frantic and unceasing worry that only increased as I watched those tiny bumps spread. Daily they gained ground, moving from the chest to both arms, both legs, and eventually his entire body.
Life was a struggle, to say the least. Like hanging onto the side of Mount Everest for dear life I did my best to sanitize the house, clean the laundry, educate my kids (as a new home schooling mama), and get some type of food on the table three times a day.
My best felt like failure. Everywhere I turned, I was reminded of how I simply did not measure up as a mom; my best efforts just weren’t good enough.
Have you ever been there?
Nothing strips you of your pride like motherhood.
You come into this prestigious sorority of women with your head held high. After all, you’ve just managed to incubate and birth a small human from your body.
But once we get them here, our lofty mommydom goals are often on a continual collision course with reality. We aspire to be the Pinterest perfect mama: daily creating tasty organic meals while keeping a tidy house, but motherhood is anything but perfect.
Raising kids is unpredictable. We never know who will break a bone or a vase, stick something up their nose, or make a really costly decision. And it's our motherly instinct that wants to swoop down on eagles wings and solve every problem, but we can’t.
I realized all of this during our 4-month battle with a virus. Thankfully, the door closed on that season, but I know another one will come. The life of a mother is filled with bouts of uncertainty we cannot control.
I imagine you are either in one or headed to it. Maybe you find yourself struggling to balance work and home. Maybe you are finding it tough to discipline a terrific two-year-old. You may even find yourself dealing with some far weightier woes.
A terminal Illness
A rebellious child
If you feel powerless as a mom, I’d like to offer you 3 things to remember when you are spending time in the trenches.
“In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly.” 1 Samuel 1:10 (NIV)
Hannah began her powerless season of motherhood with infertility. Before she ever knew the challenges that come with being a mother, she questioned if she’d ever become one. And she had nothing else to rely on but God.
There was no in vitro or herbal teas. All she had was direct access to the sovereign God. She poured her heart out to Him and He answered.
And it wasn’t immediate, because Scripture tells us that Hannah had been childless for years (vs. 7). She endured a lengthy season of hopelessness while shouldering the taunts of her rival Peninnah. Day after day, she had no knowledge of when or if her pain would end.
We like Hannah must pursue God when we feel powerless. God is no respecter of persons; He will hear our prayer too. In His own time and way, He will answer.
“...and the Lord had closed her womb.” 1 Samuel 1:5b (NIV)
Hannah knew God had the power to open her womb but didn’t. And yet in her despair she continued to trust in Him. Though she could have turned away she chose to move towards God in prayer.
When we feel powerless we must trust in God who has all power. He has a plan for our painful circumstances; He always does. What He allows in our life is calculated and pregnant with purpose.
If you are in a difficult motherhood season know that God sees you. Every tear, unspoken worry, and sleepless night has not gone unnoticed by Him. Believe against all doubt “. . .That in all things God is working for your (ultimate) good.” Romans 8: 28 (NIV)
“But to Hannah he gave a double portion because he loved her,” 1 Samuel 1:5a (NIV)
Even in Hannah’s suffering she was favored. God gave her a loving husband who expressed His care for her through words of affirmation and gifts. And although she had what her rival lacked, it wasn’t enough to lift her spirits.
Pain often makes it difficult to see the good in our lives, but in every season it is there. When we purpose to see it we will discover just how much goodness persist in the midst of our pain.
We, unlike Hannah, cannot allow ourselves to be blinded by grief. God’s blessings are abundant, whether we recognize them or not. If you feel powerless as a mom, know that God’s love and care is lavishly poured out on our behalf when we need it most.
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12: 9 (NIV)
Main Image Credit: Thinkstock.com/Sasiistock
Kia Stephens is a wife and homeschooling mama of two who is passionate about helping women know God as Father. For this reason, she created The Father Swap Blog to be a source of encouragement, healing, and practical wisdom for women dealing with the effects of a physically or emotionally absent father. Each week through practical and biblically sound teaching she encourages women to exchange father wounds for the love of God the Father.