By: Amber Smith
Mothering, the word brings to mind visions of fleshy newborn babes, gauzy blankets, with impossibly tiny noses peeking out—sleepy newborn yawns, outstretched hands, tiny and delicately detailed. At the same time, like my son, feeling much less adorable, in those early morning hours twenty years ago, I, too, was born. In-between joyful tears and searing pain, I was delivered as abruptly into this new life as a Mother.
I have always mothered in my capacity as an older sister, neighborhood babysitter, Sunday School teacher. Yet, in all of those years, I was a midwife to the Mothers of the children I loved. As they handed me, my son, I felt the weight of his future and my own, fall squarely into my labor wearied arms. Playing mother was no longer enough.
I could feel the dappled patterns of my family’s past cast shadows over my future. As a child of divorced parents, raised in a cycle of fear, loss, and approval seeking, I wanted more for this child. Being a mother was to be reborn with a new future and the desire to seek a way to outpace the dark corners of my past.
Every birth story includes pain. My past was full of wounds, failings, and losses. These were my rubble to pick over and choose what was going to be true about me. How was I going to overcome it? By choosing to grow in my spiritual walk, I decided to be honest with myself about my fears and seek healing from the past. I chose to be brutally, honestly, and humbly open to what I believed about who I was.
Like my baby, I have learned to trust and depend on God to teach me about who He says I am.
If I was going to grow in my role as the mother God intended for my family, I was going to stand on an infallible foundation. Not the wreckage of my past. When I am afraid, I have learned to seek God, and His Word has led me in truth.
In Isaiah 43:16-19, says,
“This is what the Lord says—he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, who drew out the chariots and horses, the army and reinforcements together and they lay there, never to rise again, extinguished, snuffed out like a wick: Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” (NIV)
If God could take a people who did not choose Him, lay waste to their enemies, and make a way for them in the wilderness, I knew he would make a way for me to raise a family in a way that brings Him glory.
Being a Mom means following the lead of the One who knows the way, even when I do not perceive it. Over the years, God has led me through the deep waters of healing and kept His promises to create streams in the desert. You are not bound to your past. He is doing a new thing by giving us a rewritten future if we choose to seek it.