The Gospel and Risen Motherhood
I felt trapped and humbled by motherhood. My husband was off starting his own business and doing well professionally. I had a brain and could lead teams and projects and be complimented and in control. And now…
Now I had a busy toddler, and a new baby. Life did not feel good. Our year was filled with death, family tensions, depression, panic attacks, loneliness, financial strain, unplanned pregnancy and I felt like a lost and lonely little girl. Where was God? He can hear me crying out - is he ignoring me?
I really considered throwing in the towel. Is this really the good life? Is being a christian worth it? Should I just go and find happiness here and now?
I had just gotten a computer and saw the purple podcast icon. I’d never listened to a podcast before, so I typed in 'christian mum' and Risen Motherhood popped up. The first podcast I ever listened to!
Their show was like honey for my soul and it was so refreshing to hear women thinking through the mundane of my life and that the gospel was there - I could see God in these seemingly trivial and insignificant things.
The joyful chatter of Emily Jensen and Laura Wifler filled me with hope, and answers.
There is a reason this is hard, theres a reason we go through pain and we suffer.
We live in a broken and fallen world. Of course motherhood is not going to fulfil me like I thought it would.
I wanted glory. I wanted to rule, be praised, be in control. Motherhood is not what I imagined. It’s the role of a servant, self sacrificing for your little ones and strips you of any control you think you have.
Emily and Laura’s framework of gospel thinking saved me. I learnt to look at my problems and challenges through the lens of the gospel.
Is this how God created it to be? What did he create it to look like? What could this look like if it wasn’t marred by sin?
How is sin affecting this? How is this relationship severed, or issue heightened, because of sin? Am I being sinful in my reaction? In what way?
Why did Jesus need to fix this? What did Jesus do to fix this? What did Jesus call me to do? How am I to live now that I am under Jesus?
What can I hope for in the future? How does this matter in light of eternity? How can I live now with eternity in mind?
Armed with the gospel now rote in my thinking, I was better equipped at facing my problems and responding as one who was faithfully trying to seek Jesus. Even in the most simple and mundane things, like folding laundry (the worst household task imaginable).
“God originally created me to work, but that work has become hard and unproductive because of the fall. I don’t want this lowly task of wiping toddler food from under the highchair, especially when I know I will do it again in a few hours. I want the glory job, like my husband who’s off running a business and being productive and looks successful. I feel better than this task. Jesus came to restore all things. He says that I need to model him, a servant. He says that I am running a race with eternal significance, that the way I live now matters. He promises a reward in heaven. I want to shift my attitude. I want to be thankful that I have this opportunity to serve my family. Thank you God for my family, please help me be servant hearted like Jesus. Please take away my pride and glory stealing. Please humble me, and give yourself the glory”.
Most of us are shocked by motherhood. I think it's the shock of something incredibly idolised and glorified is in fact, the most humbling and unglorified role. From that first bout of nausea, until, well, I assume until we die, we are being brought low. More like our saviour than anything I've experienced.
I am thankful that God has shown me, and continues to show me, that he is in it all. He has not left me or abandoned me like I once speculated. When I look closely, he is all in the details. More often than not, I'm obstructed by my own sin and frustrated by that.
By God's grace, he has worked in me, is working in me and will continue to work in me. Moulding me into the Jesus shaped version of Laura. I can trust that his promises are true. He began a good work in me and will see it through until completion.