“Truly, truly, I say to you, that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; you will grieve, but your grief will be turned into joy. Whenever a woman is in labor she has pain, because her hour has come; but when she gives birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy that a child has been born into the world.” John 16:20-21
In talking with a ‘mom of many’, who is in her last weeks of pregnancy, complete with the many discomforts and hormonal mood swings, I listened as she excused the tears that welled so quickly. She explained that hers was not the pain of long-term illness, nor of something that would see no end, so how could she complain? Her ‘end’ was that of a sweet baby to cuddle and care for.
This caused me ponder what I had seen and heard…..
It’s been almost ten years since I was in her shoes, awaiting the last of my ten children, my precious son. In that span of time, I’ve been able to see beyond the weight gain, the backaches, and the other unpleasant physical accompaniments of pregnancy.
Our daughter-in-law is expecting her baby any minute. And as we wait for their phone call, my husband and I remember those expectant and anxious days of waiting and wondering when our little ones would enter the world. The prayers lifted up for safe deliveries and healthy babes. Those are amazing times of humility, patience, and vulnerability – isn’t this right where God wants us!
I’ve gained new perspective as I watch others in the same place where I spent many years. And it is from this place in time that I encourage you expectant moms!
It’s so easy to think that we moms have to grin and bear our load of suffering simply because we’re ‘just’ moms! That our pain, or our frustrations, or our inadequacies for the job are somehow not as qualified as other’s. Even though you get a reward at the end of your pain, it doesn’t mean the pain is any less. You really are tired and hurting, and it’s okay to be feeling it.
We mothers were given the immense job of bearing and raising the next generation for God’s glory. We offer those “sweet babies” a warm, safe place to develop while our bodies stretch well beyond our comfort zone, losing lots of sleep in the process, and putting on pounds that have to be worked off in the coming months (well, years is more like it!). Then, in the next 18+ years, there comes the awesome, full-time occupation of – giving sustenance, comfort, and security – instruction in the how’s of living – training in righteousness – along with huge amounts of unconditional love thrown in on a 24 hours basis! This is no small task!
But what an honor! What a privilege to watch these little people – these little souls – grow and mature! To watch them turn from:
– sweet, innocent babes,
– to toddling bundles of curiosity,
– to independent troublemakers discovering the limits,
– to young adults ready for their venture into the world,
– and then finally and prayerfully, to competent and skilled adults who now become our friends!
I can’t imagine a more tiring, more stressful, more awesome, more honorable, more amazing job in the entire world than that of being Momma to my children. I pray you feel the same.
So I encourage you to take thought of these days of raising your children – these days of discomfort, questions, joys and confusion – these days of toil – and give them to God. Let God reveal His blessings as you watch the return for your work. It is work. It is hard work.
Now I’m not implying that we should complain and mope :o) – but do give yourself a break! Just because this time and discomfort and exhaustion shall pass, doesn’t make it any less of a trial.
So go ahead –
– Wince a bit when you roll out of bed for the 6th time tonight for that ‘potty break’!
– Let your hubby bring you tea.
– Don’t feel you have to hide the circles under your eyes.
– Let your children bring you breakfast in bed, or better yet, just do school in bed. Shocking!
For now, you’re a laborer in the vast workforce of co-laborers, who are raising up a mighty generation for our Lord!
“Can a woman forget her nursing child, and have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you. Isaiah 49:15
Thank you so much, Terry!
This encouraged me…I’m two weeks from my due date, very tired, and in a lot of pain. (I’m 45…not a spring chicken anymore : ) ) Your blog is lovely and very peaceful! It’s been fun to look around a bit!
Natalie, Pregnancy is hard enough when we’re young. Watching my daughters have babies makes me realize why God ends our childbearing in our 40s! I’ll keep you in my prayers. Thanks for your words of encouragement!
From yet another encouraged older, expecting mama (just turned 44). Thanks for the encouragement!! Looking forward to perusing your blog in the future.
Thanks for your encouragement in return! I’ll pray for a safe and easy delivery for you. Oh, I do miss my babies!
Laura Cuthbertson says
Thank you for this! I’m 34 weeks with my 7th baby, our kids range from 12 to 2 and today was just awful. I could feel my emotions swinging from one end to the other, I wasn’t kind and I beat myself up for the failure. I’m hurting, tired and ready to be at the finish line.