The further along I get into the mothering of young children, the more I hear similar stories and struggles from other preschool moms. There is something about raising children in the early years of life that seems to create in a young mom a sense of insecurity. Something takes place in these mothering years that causes us mommas to question who we are and what we are doing on this planet. There seem to be two struggles that surface time and time again for me. The first is, I am not good enough to do that which I have been called to do. The second is, is this all that I have been called to do? Perhaps it is all wrapped up around our culture. We walk out our privileged lives in a country that speaks little of the importance of our job as moms. Oh there are some that hold a politically correct microphone in their hand and speak of the value of mothering a child; but I dare say there are but a few secular communities that wave a banner of support to the stay at home mom.
But there are moments along the way when God reveals a bit of His plan, and it comforts a weary heart like mine. Caroline prays every night for "poor people". I can't remember when or why this ritual began, but it has become part of her prayers every evening. Last night her prayers for the poor grew in specifics. She asked God to "give all the poor people cell phones so they could call their mommies". If I was smiling, then I am certain beyond certainty that God was roaring with laughter and joy. I will not at all be surprised if one day I hear of a cell phone provider that felt randomly prompted to give away free cell phones and service to the homeless; for God loves to honor the humble requests of His children. Aside from the focus on providing cell phones to the poor, did you notice who Caroline wanted them to be able to call? Their mommies. Do you see the significance? Do you see how one statement can reveal the heart of a five year old little girl? Who does she view as necessary and important? Who would she want to be able to call in her time of need? Do you see the banner of importance that your heavenly Father is waving above your head?
Have you struggled with the feeling of importance in your daily attempt to keep your head above a pile of dirty diapers? Do you ever wonder if there is any significance to spending a quarter of your waking hours in carpool? Do you ever wish you could spend at least one trip to the bathroom alone, not having to also entertain a 1 year old that is sitting at your feet (or in your lap)? Do you ever think to yourself "if I have to have one more imaginary tea party I might be forced to start spiking the pretend tea"? I get that. I understand that struggle. I also understand the guilt that accompanies the struggle. How dare I feel anything but grateful joy at the privilege I have to raise these precious kids! It is the kind of guilt that suffocates a mother and then breeds more guilt.
Friend, hear me for a minute. When God was writing out His story for all of time, He looked among the masses, pointed His finger directly in your direction, and said "I chose you" to raise that child. He chose you to care for and teach and raise your child. He didn't choose your next door neighbor who is all perfect, with her perfect hair and her perfect orderly schedule and her perfect Christian background and her perfect life and her perfectly behaved children (she's fictitious by the way)...He chose you. Not by accident, not by chance, but intentionally so. You were chosen for that child. He didn't do so to prove to you that you are not enough; He did so to prove to you that He is enough. He chose you for a mighty role so that you would know that you have intentional purpose in His kingdom. Your role was not an afterthought. He didn't pass out all the important career cards and then say, "give the rest of them mommy cards, that's all they're good for".
I have so many times felt unimportant and unworthy as a mother. And if that is where you are too, then consider this perspective. God has given you a child to raise and care for. A child that He values enough to send His Son to die for. Flawed, inadequate you, has been called to a role of amazing importance. To care for someone that your heavenly Father thought of while He hung on a cross. He has given you someone that He values enough to die for! And it wasn't just that child He died for, but also the momma holding that baby. His desire is to accomplish in you the work that He has called you to. He comes full circle in this mothering walk, graciously meeting all of our needs. He doesn't choose the capable to accomplish His work, He chooses the broken. He chose you just like He chose the orphan Esther to save His people, just like He chose the fugitive Moses to lead His people, just like He chose 12 vagabond disciples to spread His message. He chooses the weak, and then makes them strong.
Know with great certainty that you have been called to the highest of privileges. No one but you can be a mother to your children, and God knew who you were when He chose you.