(Holding my baby for the first time, November 2010)
I actually can't put my finger on a specific aspect of motherhood that one might consider 'the hardest.' That's probably because its different for all of us, and oftentimes not an actual event at all. Maybe its more of a bad daydream, actually. The fact that you can't have your eyes open at every second- you can't be watching, listening to breathing at all times. What is a Mom to do? When you've seen a baby so close to being injured or even taken from you, how can you get the thought that something could happen out of your head? You relive the moments in "should of," "would of" and "could of" terms. Yet none of it helps. This, the fear that's probably gripped all of us at some point, is the hardest. Such a perfect innocent baby, how could something ever happen to it?
I've seen friends who have experienced the worst, and I've seen and been the one who has almost been through the worst. The dreaded. The unthinkable... The times when your child actually isn't breathing. The hardest part of being a mother.
I can easily imagine how all of this worry could carry through the decades. Rather than babies, my kids could be thirty and I could still be making myself sick obsessively thinking about where they are and who they're with. Instead of worrying about if they rolled on their belly at night, I could be gripped with fear that their marriage is in trouble or their finances are unstable. I refuse to let my joy be taken. I refuse to let the quality of mine and my children's lives be compromised because of something that hasn't even happened.
And yet, I've watched and found that the answer is simple. The answer to all the fear and worry is in trusting. So easy to say and often so many chains to unwind to get there. My trust is based on one truth, and it's all I need: God loves me, my husband and my children. I can trust he will not leave us alone or abandon us. He has good things planned for us. There is hope for a good future! Though we'll face hard times and struggles in our lives, his love is always present. No matter what.
So maybe it feels like the hardest part of being a mother is carrying all these worries we have, the could-happens. To me, the real challenge lies in the letting go of my ability to control. Just to trust that no matter what tomorrow brings, we're loved. Our children are loved- and that's some thing that can never be taken from us.
One thing have I asked of the Lord, that I will seek after,
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to inquire in his temple.
For he will hide me in his shelterin the day of trouble;he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;he will lift me high upon a rock.
And now my head shall be lifted up
above my enemies all around me,
and I will offer in his tent
sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the Lord.Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud;be gracious to me and answer me!You have said, “Seek my face.”My heart says to you,“Your face, Lord, do I seek.”...I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lordin the land of the living!Wait for the Lord;be strong, and let your heart take courage;wait for the Lord!Psalm 27