Rest in the Beautiful Chaos
Do you ever wish you could shed motherhood like taking off a heavy coat? Hang it on a hook just for a moment while you breathe a sigh of relief from the weight lifted from your shoulders?
When I was pregnant, I longed for a moment free of the literal weight of my belly causing my back to ache and my ankles to swell.
During the early months of a new baby, I ached for an entire night of blissful sleep.
The toddler years found me wanting to eat a hot meal without stopping to feed, change, soothe, chase, or rescue anyone.
Because God called us to homeschool our boys, I dreamed of a moment to myself without answering a question or, more likely, settling a fight during the elementary years.
Middle school was (and is) a time of triage, requiring all energy directed at helping an awkward inbetweener navigate the winding road of leaving childhood behind and embracing adolescence . . . all without falling victim to a war waged against his self-esteem. I cry out for one minute of freedom from this all hands on deck chaos.
No amount of books, sermons, or parenting workshops can prepare a woman for being a mother of a teenager. As my child survives the minefield of middle school, my job is to take this boy-man and raise him up to be a full-fledged adult. It’s as if the heavy coat of motherhood now has pockets filled with boulders as well.
In the midst of making major life decisions–Where should I go to college? What do I plan to do with my life? What kind of man will I become? Will I be able to take care of myself?–I crave relief from the weight of motherhood. I imagine laying down this burden for a long, deep breath.
During each of these moments of fatigue, God whispers Matthew 11:28-30 to my soul: “Then Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.'”
Motherhood is far and away the hardest thing I have ever done. In my weakness, God is my strength. In my weariness, God is my rest.
Would I take off the weight of motherhood if given the chance? Absolutely not.
I would miss the beauty in it all: first smiles, first words, first steps; scraped knees healed by kisses; dreams, fears, and prayers shared in the safety of a nighttime routine; heartaches and deep wounds laid bare that only God can make whole.
In all of that beautiful chaos, God offers rest. God gives us the burden of leading our children to Him every day of their lives, but we don’t carry that burden alone. God stands with arms open wide, calling, “Come to me.” As a mother of teenagers, I crawl into my Father’s lap for a moment of rest. When I come to Him, the burden lightens.
On this Mother’s Day 2018 I am so grateful for the burden God has placed upon me as a mother. Though the weight may feel heavy at times, I know when I come to Him, I can find rest. With God, my burden is light.