Motherhood isn’t always hard.
So much of the time it’s breathtakingly beautiful. It’s sweet, vulnerable and gentle. It’s often hilarious.
Motherhood is an out and out privilege. A precious gift from the Lord.
But I know there is more to be said here.
Motherhood is challenging.
It’s definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever done.
It is the most all consuming, time elipsing , fear inducing, sleep depriving thing I’ve ever come across.
I’ve never felt more anxious than for my children.
I’ve never felt more self-doubt about my ability to handle everything and anything that comes my way and in a manner which communicates that all is well with the world.
Motherhood involves a lot of choices, decisions and judgement calls. It can be nerve-wracking, wondering if your chosen path is the most suitable for your little one.
Why is motherhood so challenging?
For something so natural, shouldn’t it be easier?
Looking after someone we love so much, should it be always pure joy?
The purpose of motherhood
Part of the answer lies in the purpose of motherhood.
Motherhood is ministry. And all ministry is Cross-shaped.
Motherhood is ministry
Our vocation is one of service. Serving the Lord and His people – the little flock which He has entrusted to us.
It isn’t self-seeking or self-serving or focused on self-fulfilment.
And all ministry is Cross-shaped
We follow in the path of our Savior. He took up His Cross and laid down His life for His people.
“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.” 2 Corinthians 8:9
Ministry means laying my life down to serve another, and of course that can be difficult. Of course that can be challenging and tiring.
How does this help?
For me, this is about a shift in expectations.
If I approach my day expecting a day of ministry in the shape of the ministry of Jesus, then I am not disappointed when there are challenges. I am not so beaten down when the harder days come.
I am much more likely to pray for help at each and every turn. I am much more likely to see the Lord’s grace and His sustaining in the work.
When I recognise that motherhood is ministry, I look for the Lord to strengthen me – He has given me good works to walk in, and He’s promised to enable me to do them.
I do find it a challenge to battle the anxiety for my children, and self-doubt over my care of these precious bundles, but I know that answer lies in the Lord – in His Word, in His promises to me and my children.
Motherhood is ministry – a precious, costly, privilege of a ministry. And when I keep this purpose in mind, it makes so much more sense.