The day after Mother's Day. The twelfth Mother's Day since I held my first child in my arms. The 37th Mother's Day since I was first held in my mother's arms. If only those numbers could be the method we use to rate our motherhood. If years of experience alone could recommend us, then with each successive year we would be becoming living examples of mothering excellence.
Instead, as every living mother knows, we are simply flawed beings entrusted with the care of others. For many of us, it means constant mother guilt. Every decision we make becomes reason for second guessing. Some of it is deserved, for we know where we fail. I do not suppose that this guilt is new to the current generation. How must Eve have suffered with guilt that we can scarcely understand?
There is another guilt, however. One that comes from our own insecurities. Insecurities we have carried with us since we were the child.
And that is the world in which we live. Each of us that lays claim to the title of mother, lives somewhere between being a responsible, mature adult and being a scared little girl. Living between a rational understanding of life and an internal sense of what has been lost. Nothing is simple. Good days and bad days collide with alarming regularity.
At what point, do the good days, when we are the responsible mother figure, outnumber the bad days, when we are ruled by the insecurities of our youth? Is there an age or a number of years as a mother that will take me to a place where I claim my role whole-heartedly? When I am not surprised to look around me at children rapidly changing into young people with thoughts, ideas, talents and yes, insecurities of their own.
The two sides of me, secure and insecure, battle within. Can I really be a mother when I still feel like a little girl? My own daughter looks to me for answers to questions that I never found. How can I help her when there are days that I feel she may be the better adult, and I the child?
Fear can overwhelm a mother. The fact is, while we may not see ourselves as adequate, we have been given this mission by the One who best knows what we need. It is no accident that we are the ones in charge.
As for that little girl, the one that lives within me still, He knows her too. He has loved her and goes before her each step of the way. He created her for a purpose. I do believe that regardless of how I feel day to day, that my greatest purpose is to mother these children.
He desires that we claim our purpose and our mission.
The little girl.....is she simply a diversion; a weakness we carry with us? Certainly there are weaknesses there, but maybe....maybe..that is why He allows us to continue living with her. For if we were strong every day, if we were confident in each decision, if we were secure in ourselves, then we would never need the comfort and guiding of His mighty Hand.
It is the little girl that looks up into His face and says, "Lead me, for I am lost. Strengthen me, for I am weak. Hold me, so that I can then hold them."
Thank you, Father, for the little girl. Help me to be the woman, and the mother, you long for me to be.
"But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price." I Pet. 3:4
"...Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein." Luke 18:17