To all the Mothers and Nurturers out there,
I was a nurturer before I was a mother. I was an auntie and an educator. Though I wasn’t married and had no kids of my own, I poured out my heart and soul upon the children and young people in my care. I thought about them, prayed for them, begged for wisdom as I guided them throughout the day. Each and every one of my students impacted me, changed me, became a part of my life and experiences, shaped my heart and my character. I wept at the end of every school year because I knew I must let those precious ones go.
And then I became a mother. I experienced the stirrings of new life within me, felt my body change and grow with theirs. The miracle of it astounds me. How is it that my body was able to provide everything this most vulnerable human needed? Our spirits became intertwined. I sensed their character, became familiar with their patterns of sleeping and waking. I gave of myself to provide for their needs. And then came the torment of letting them go. We each have our own labor experiences and chances are, they involve some degree of pain. Though there may be tears, there is also great joy. Before we only felt them, but now we also see them; we hold them in our arms with strength and love. Our spirit bonds ever greater with theirs.
To all the mothers and nurturers, single or married, who care for their children or for those of other’s: God has given us a tremendous gift – the ability to love and shape little lives. Just as our bodies are able to bring forth physical life through His design, so also are our spirits able to cultivate spiritual life through His spirit that flows through us. Our bodies tire, our emotions become raw and strained, but still He pours His life into us and enables us to then, in turn, pour it out upon others.
Nurturing spiritual life isn’t any easier than bringing forth physical life. It’s exhausting, it’s agonizing. Sometimes we fail. We say things we don’t mean and do things we regret. We wonder and worry about how our children will turn out. Will our mistakes screw up their lives? Will they survive our imperfections?
And then God reaches down and wraps us in a warm embrace. “They were my children before they were yours,” He says. “I knew them before you were ever aware of their existence. Though I have given them into your care for a time, I am still with them, and with you. I will give you the strength, wisdom, grace, and love when you feel like you have nothing left. I will hold you both when you sob over a harshly spoken word or an uncontrolled action. Come to me in your worry, your fear, your shame, and I will give you rest. You, like your children, are in the process of growing. You, like them, will make mistakes. But if you come to Me, I will help you learn and grow stronger. I will help you pour greater and greater life into those whom you love and care so deeply about. Though you are tired and weary, I am with you. You are mine just as they are mine and are now yours. My love for you is greater than the depths of the sea, higher than the stars in the heavens. This love I have given to you so that you may in turn pour it out upon others.”
To all the nurturers out there who pour themselves out for other people’s children, you are loved and so vitally important to our lives. We need a community who loves us and our children and is willing to help us nurture these most precious of gems. Thank you for giving of yourself to bring life and health to our children.
To the mothers out there struggling to raise and bring life to their children in the midst of a time filled with so much fear and death, you are not alone. You are loved. You are wanted. You are needed. You are appreciated. Thank you for pouring yourself out for your children, for being there for them day after day and night after night.
To the mothers who raised us and the nurturers who impacted our lives, thank you for your love and commitment, for setting the example of what it looks like to show up for us time and again, even when we failed, even when you felt like you failed. You taught us, cared for us, helped shape us into the people we are today.
May God continue to strengthen us, hold us, teach us, and guide us as we continue on in this immeasurably valuable, vitally important journey He has set before us.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9, NASB).
“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.
“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:14-21).
With all my Love,