When I was a child, I played on my bike. I threw tantrums. I made pottery out of clay and water from the creek. I played in the woods.
When I was an adolescent, I was still stubborn. I walked our dog, took photos, and had wild adventures with my childhood best friend. I met Jesus.
When I was a teenager, I was invincible. I was a fireball. I was gifted. I was flawed. God met me.
When I was a…wait, I’m still a teenager, going on 21. (2015)
So here a married teen’s perspective on motherhood:
Motherhood did not always seem heroic to me. In fact, it seemed rather restricting and boring. My idea of motherhood was so far removed from God, as I was learning to walk with Him at the time.
But then my life turned upside down. When it set back up, I started falling in love with the Father again, and it was then, I found the Mother in God.
He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge. Psalms 91:4
He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young. Isaiah 40:11
You deserted the Rock, who fathered you; you forgot the God who gave you birth. Deuteronomy 32:18
“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! Isaiah 49:15
There was that time in the ’90s when I fell down the steps and had to get stitches on my forehead. All I remember is feeling trapped in my screaming body as I was held down until the job was done.
What I don’t remember is the pain in my mom’s heart as she watched me suffer. The pain that wants to rescue and comfort. How could she explain? How could she make me understand that it won’t hurt if I hold still, that it will be over soon, that she isn’t behind the pain, that the stitches will make the wound heal well?
I wasn’t aware. All I remember is feeling utterly alone and misunderstood.
The pain of a mother is something I never really paid much attention to, much less valued.
After all, when you’re young, you tend to remember the gloomy bits of your childhood, all the while reaching for the exciting, independent adventures you dream of in the future. It took me nearly all my life to process a mother’s love.
Love is pain.
I’m not a negative person, so take that sentence with a grain of salt.
The yoke of His love is easy and light, but love risks losing everything. When I see Jesus dying for me, I realize love’s power is the death that brings life.
In the heart of a mother, love is the most earth shaking, death defying, fear dispelling, demon trampling, life birthing love on the planet.
Mothers preserve life and incubate growth until birth.
Love is surrender. Love is being misunderstood. Love is unselfishness. Love is full of mercy, even if the risk of rejection is real. Love is valiant sacrifice to the point of death.
When I see love, I see Christ, and when I see Christ, I see God the Father.
When I see the heart of the Father, I see the nurture of the Mother. The Father gave His life over for love, and the Mother nurtures life and growth after death comes to life. A mother’s love is a valuable gift that can’t be manufactured.
Beyond the pain of unconditional love is the physical weight and sacrifice of motherhood.
There is no contract of time required, no reliable numbers for how much a child will physically “cost.”
I’ve seen the frustration of not knowing how to make a child feel better, wondering if she’s qualified, wanting to be assured that she’s doing it well.
There are ear infections, unexpected bills, emergency’s, forgotten lunches, trouble at school, late nights praying that teens are kept safe on roads.
And oh, how could I forget. If there’s one thing, I have learned about motherhood by watching my own mom and two sisters closely, it is sleep. Oh, and when I say sleep, I mean LACK of it. 😀
I am aware, I’ll probably be forced to write off my ownership rights over sleep the minute I become a mom. The thought of divorcing my love of sleep every night is a selfish downfall.
I don’t know how mom’s do it. I consider my sleep ruined if I wake up once during the night. A perfect night is a deep, undisturbed sleep. I can’t imagine the weariness of starting a day with only a few hours scattered here and there.
I’ve watched my sisters adapt. They’ve gotten used to sleep interrupted by feedings, crying, sickness, and more. I admire their stamina and faithfulness.
Remember when I said I met Jesus in adolescence? In my teens, for a long time my world was upside down. I knew there was more, so I diligently searched. I wanted the benefits, the tangible reality I saw in the Bible, the intense fellowship of fire in Acts.
Thankfully, God’s heart honors our offering of faith, even if we haven’t shared intimacy with His heart yet. He always received me, and He never turned me away, and to Him I owe my life.
Living faith without being in love is exhausting and frightening. But then, the Father met me. Then those benefits, that understanding, that reality I longed for became a result of a journey of intimacy, instead of being the destination.
I realized that God wanted me to find faith; His faithfulness led me to love in the Father. When I met the mother of nations in God, and I began to see God in the mothers in the earth.
Mothers are givers of value and warriors of nurture.
I didn’t really want to know how valuable I was as a teen. It was all so cliche. It’s hard to believe a parent wants the best for you when your wishes always seem to contradict that best interest. So who cares about value? That ship already sailed. Give me adventure, purpose, and dreams beyond this little plot of ground to toil over.
I buckled under the weight of the world for far too long. I know many people gave me up as too far gone; how could someone as delusional as a fire strong teen ever rise up to call mothers blessed, much less live in the favor of God? I no longer receive that.
God’s love has changed my life, and He continues to protect and care for me like a mother lion.
(Since I’ve been married, I’ve actually had some mother tendencies manifest towards some people I love dearly. I’ve also started developing connections with some kiddos. Imagine that, coming from a red tinged ball of fire. :))
Motherhood is a 24/7 choice to give, give, give, without the expectation of return. There is no contract, only a lifetime of patience and doing one’s best to impact a valuable life towards success, not knowing how the fruit will pan out in the end, yet knowing God’s strength is manifested in our weakness.
Motherhood is 24/7 seed planting. Tiny, tiny seeds that can seem ordinary, cliche, or nonessential in days of schedules, to do lists, and goals. But they are the stuff that make adults of purpose.
When I laid this year’s first seeds to rest in the soil yesterday, I marveled over the miracle of death, life, and growth. How can something so small sprout into a plant or even a huge tree, and eventually bear fruit and shade? When I’m tempted to save space and crowd seeds or tiny plants, I force myself to remember how massive the plants became last year.
When I think of seed planting as a life parable, I realize that motherhood is not a gamble. We plant vital seeds for most of our lives, but God is the one who waters and brings it to full season. That really takes the pressure off.
It’s really a matter of good seeds and bad seeds. No one wants rotten fruit. Really, when I think about it, a huge part of motherhood’s success is managing the condition of the mother heart.
Motherhood is not perfect performance, but when vulnerability meets grace, the nature of God is released through the hands of the mother.
I see this played out in my mom’s life and in my sisters who are now moms too.
One reason I admire my mom is because of her lifestyle of continual vulnerability to grace, which births redemption. Beauty comes out of every ounce of pain we hand over to Christ, and her life continually manifests beauty.
Motherhood is a gift that keeps on giving for generations.
As a married teen, I see the struggle, the pain, the surrender, the vulnerability, the grace, the redemption, the beauty, and the heart of the Mother in God. Mothers are heroic givers and nurturers of life.
I honor Moms. You give birth to life in unexplained ways and nurture this planet with the heart of God.
Here’s a closing poem written by Christiana Moss:
I Am A Woman
“My willingness to carry life is a revenge, the antidote, the great rebuttal for every murder, every abortion, and every genocide.
“I sustain humanity. Deep inside of me life grows. I am death’s opposition.
“I have pushed back the hand of darkness today. I have caused there to be a weakening tremor among the ranks of those set on earth’s destruction. Today, a vibration that calls angels to attention echoed throughout time. Our laughter threatened hell today.
“I dined with the greats of God’s army: I made their meals, I tied their shoes. Today, I walked with greatness, and when they were tired, I carried them. I have poured myself out for the cause today.
“It’s finally quiet, but life stirs inside of me. Gaining strength the pulse of life sends a constant reminder to both good and evil that I have yielded myself to heaven, and now carry its dream. No angel has ever had such a privilege, nor any man. I am humbled by the honor. I am great with destiny.
“I birthed the freedom fighters in the Great War. I am the leader of the underground resistance. I smile at the disguise of my troops. Surrounded by a host of warriors, destiny swirling, invisible, yet tangible, and the anointing to alter history. Our footsteps make our land for conquest. We move undetected throughout the common places.
“Today I was a barrier between evil and innocence. I was the gatekeeper watching over the hope of mankind, and no intruder trespassed. There is not an hour of the day or night when I turn from my post.
“The fierceness of my love is unmatched on the earth. And because I smile instead of frown, the world will know the power of grace.
“Hope has feet. It will run to the corners of the earth because I stood up against destruction.
“I am a woman. I am a mother. I am the keeper and the sustainer of life here on earth. Heaven stands in honor of my mission. No one else can carry my call. I am the daughter of Eve, and Eve has been redeemed.
“I am the opposition of death. I am a woman.”