A friend (hey J Penn!) recently shared an honest post about how she is struggling with resentment toward her new son because of the change he has imposed on her marriage. I love when women have the courage to speak truth because you can guarantee someone else is, or has felt, the same way. It reminded me of a concept I’ve been wrestling through over the last few months in regards to mourning and waiting in motherhood and I wanted to share.
I had never thought about it much because I figured it was a terrible thing to do. Of course I love my girls. Of course I love being a mother. But sharing that we miss what life looked like when we had more freedom, that seems just wrong. But it’s real. It doesn’t diminish our love for parenthood, but those years when we could sleep till 9, go to dinner without crayons being thrown everywhere, or hang out with friends spontaneously are gone (for now). But of course there will be a day where the children are out of the house, and we can do all these things again and we will mourn our current season. Life is funny that way.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted - Jesus tells us in Matthew. Mothers, we are blessed. It is possible for us to both love our children, and mourn our days of freedom. In our mourning, Jesus promises that we will be comforted. And I really believe it’s important for moms to be honest and transparent with these struggles because God uses community to encourage and strengthen us.
There are countless verses in the Bible about waiting and patience, which is truly not my strong suit. When I think back on my life before Brighton I wonder what on Earth I did with my time and why I didn’t use it better because now I can think of so many things I would be doing. I have always been someone who has felt passionate about many things, but one thing for certain is reading and writer. I know God has called me to be a writer, even if I may not know how those details will play out. But right now, my first calling is as a mother. And so, I wait. I wait for the appointed time. In just a few years, the girls will be in school and my days will be freed up to write to my hearts desire, but for now I wait and I focus on my current task at hand, which is hopefully giving me a lot of content and wisdom to write about later.
A devotional I read by Sharon Hodde Miller in a study of Joshua put it so perfectly and I wanted to just share the direct quote because I couldn’t have written it better:
“Between school and marriage and parenting, my attention was pulled in a lot of directions, and it wasn’t long before writing got put on the back burner. All the while, I watched as my writing friends achieved their own goals. One by one, they grew their ministries and published books, while I was lucky to steal an hour tow rite. My friends had reached the promised land, while I remained just outside it.
Waiting is always hard, but it is made especially difficult by comparison. When your friends or colleagues attain the thing you want, it’s tough to hold on to contentment. The ache is somehow heightened by the sight of another’s success.
Joshua waited a lot, and I wonder how the story might have been different had he been guided by impatience. I wonder how his leadership might have been compromised had his spirit been discontent. Thankfully, Joshua succumbed to neither. He was man who waited well. Rather than pine for the life he wanted, Joshua made himself available to the will of God. His waiting was both active and fruitful.”
God always comes through. By trusting God’s timing, we accomplish a lot in the waiting.
Like Sharon, I’m lucky if I can find an hour to write. And I mourn the days where I could read at coffee shops and write to my hearts desire. But I know that God isn’t wasting the time I have now. Maybe you are waiting for a date night. Maybe you are waiting for new inspiration and vision. Maybe you are waiting for your toddler to quit being a cussword or for more than 3 hours of sleep again. Don’t waste your waiting and don’t ignore your mourning. Call out to God and be honest with your frustration because He meets us where we are at and reminds us that He is good and He is faithful to fulfill His promises. When He places vision in our hearts, He will guide us to our promised land in the right time and he will comfort us through it all.