In the last few days, as I have taken pause in moments of parental challenges…I have wondered what it was like for her? For Mary. What was it like to be the mother of Jesus? Did he cry? Was he a fussy baby? A spirited toddler? An inquisitive child? Did he ever ask “why” more times that Mary had the human patience for? Did she ever lose her temper or raise her voice? As God incarnate we know that Jesus was a perfect and sinless human…but Mary was not. She was all human. Can you imagine the weight of being the mother of the Savior? Can you imagine feeling inadequate? Asking, “Why me? Why would God pick me to raise this baby? Love this child? Release this young man into the world?” I can only imagine that Mary felt ill-equipped more often than not.
I don’t know about you, but for me, being the mother of “mortal” boys can be a challenge. Frankly, being a mother in general can be a challenge. I concern myself every day with whether I am offering the right balance of guidance and independence. Am I teaching them about life while also letting them learn for themselves? Am I challenging them enough to grow, while still giving them space to be a kid? Are they getting enough? Are they getting too much? Are you with me ladies?
Then there are the days where I struggle to hold it together for myself, and my stress spills over into their lives unnecessarily. The days I am short-tempered, or grumpy, or raise my voice out of frustration. Then I know I am not up to par! Are you with me?!
I know that I have been given the gift of these two boys. Entrusted to care for them, protect them, love them, guide them, lead them, support them, and release them into the world. It is an incredible assignment. I can feel the weight of this great responsibility…it is tangible when I stop to consider it. The bible tells me in Luke 12:7 that the very hairs on my son’s heads are numbered. This tells me exactly how special those boys are to God. How intimately He knows them.
I have been entrusted with a great undertaking in leading these boys. I know raising these two young men unaided is beyond my skill-set.
This is the sweet spot. The place where I realize that I am not capable of these things on my own. The moment when I know I am not able to rise to the occasion without help. When I know that, if left to my own devices, I would fail. My husband reminded me once, “The moment that we admit that we don’t know is the best moment of all, because that is when we are truly available to know.” Mary could only take on this great responsibility and heavy burden if she sought God in all things. If she leaned into God, rested in Him, was led by Him, and received mercy from Him. This is how she would receive her daily bread of knowledge and guidance to raise the Son of the Most High.
As capable of a woman as can be, I need to remember that these “big assignments” that God has blessed me with are not meant to be faced alone. That I need to seek the guidance, strength, discernment, patience, and forgiveness from my Heavenly Father. I love that I have access to insight into raising my boys through advice from friends and mentorship from my own amazing parents. But I know that all of this is in vain if I do not seek God first and in all things. He is my “heavenly filter” for all of the earthly advice.
Every day I will do the best that I can with what I have on that day. I will seek God in the morning, to start my day in a God-centered manner. I will call to Him throughout the day as I meet uncertainty. I will come to Him with gratitude as the day closes, for the honor of raising these two boys. I know that I will struggle. I am all human. But I know that with God, and through God, all things can be fulfilled.
Photo credit: Gratisography