Struggling with Life and Faith in Motherhood

When you feel you’ve given up so much for the kids, but it’s not going anywhere

By Whole Life
11 May, 2017

Did you know that women have between 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts a day, and a whopping 80% of those thoughts are negative? No wonder many mums are bombarded with immense feelings of self-doubt, guilt and anxiety.

The working mum worries that she is judged for not giving it all up for the kids. The stay-at-home mum feels worked to the bone at home managing the children and fighting the onslaught of housework, her resentment mixed with a good dash of guilt. The one who works part-time feels anxiety over not being fully present for the children, yet worrying if her work would be better had she continued working full-time. Many mothers lament the loss of their individuality—life now revolves around the children and their activities. The list of worries are endless and feelings of hopelessness can be overwhelming.

It’s difficult to stop comparing; the truth is that there will always be another mother who can cook better, has a neater home, cleaner kids, more well-behaved kids, a more successful career, a better body, etc.

As mothers who believe in Jesus Christ, we know we shouldn’t be consumed by spiraling thoughts that rob us of our peace in Him; yet some days can be so difficult and such thoughts threaten our peace. Motherhood really compels us to grasp our identity in Him, allowing us to reflect on what our Abba Father says about us and who we are.

Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 10:5 to “destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ”. How exactly do we do this then? The Bible is filled with God’s promises for those of us who identify with Him through Christ; these are some of His promises for us mothers to draw upon every time a negative thought invades our minds and threatens to prevent us from truly living out His purposes for us as mothers and as His children.

Motherhood really forces us to think through our identity in Him, allowing us to reflect on what our Abba Father says about us and who we are.

God loves us so much that He gave His beloved Son to die in our place, so that we may have eternal life with Him. (John 3:16)

How comforting to know that we are so deeply loved that He would send His Son to die for us while we were yet sinners. If our God is such a loving God, why would any of the negative thoughts be from Him? He would never speak to us in a bullying voice and we don’t need to entertain these thoughts that tear us down. The Holy Spirit is here to fill us with hope and peace, just as Romans 15:13 promises, "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope."

We belong to our Abba Father and are well-looked after for eternity.

God has “put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee”. (2 Corinthians 1:22) The Father has empowered us through the Holy Spirit to be pleasing to Him, and will give us what we need in our journey as mothers, and as women of God. He has promised to give us wisdom generously and without reproach, when we seek Him for it (James 1:5)—this is the privilege we have as His children.

So do not worry if we are losing ourselves to motherhood, feeling like we’re less than the best mums to our children or short-circuiting our careers by taking time off to care for our children—He promises us wisdom to navigate all of this! Fixing our eyes on the Lord instead of people will enhance our relationships, also modelling for our children what it means to be a Christian parent. We should lean on His wisdom daily and trust that what we are going through is part of His sovereign nature. “We know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

We are His children and that is all that matters.

John exclaims in 1 John 3:1, “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.”

We need not be defined by anyone but our Lord God. Our self-esteem shouldn’t be based on other people’s opinions of our abilities, nor on our self-imposed standards when we lose our focus on Him.

We need not be defined by anyone but our Lord God.

Whatever the vocation that the Lord has placed in your heart, it is part of His will for you and your family. How your children mature, coupled with your journey as their mother, is something beautiful that our Abba Father has designed for the family as you learn to lean on Him each step of the way.

Our goal is to be Christ-like and God-pleasing.

God desires for us to rest in the Holy Spirit and live out His instructions in Proverbs 3:5-6. There are so many things beyond our control; but taking each day at a time, leaning on Him for guidance in all we do and entrusting all outcomes into His hands—that kind of faith fully identifies with Christ and gives us lives that please Him.

Each time we are choked up at night, contemplating if we are shortchanging the kids, worrying if we have sabotaged our careers by being home with the children, or losing our individual identities as the world defines it, may we stop indulging these thoughts and take them to the Lord in prayer instead. Let us mediate on what He means to us and gain an eternal perspective on things that should matter, and how He has placed us in the right place at the right time for the people who need us.

To borrow the lines from an oft’ sung hymn, as women of God, we should “turn our eyes upon Jesus and look full in His wonderful face; and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.”

©2017 Whole Life. All rights reserved.

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