There’s so much we didn’t know, that mother and I

Categorized as 12/05/11 Goshen News column

I always wanted to be a mother.  As a girl, I played house with my dollies, taking them to church, shushing them when they cried, and kissing their plastic heads.

I didn’t know, playing house, how much joy mothers feel; joy so big that it makes up for the pain.  Just looking at those eyes and the curve of the cheek can make you so happy it hurts.  Watching them grow and find their talent andwin at something …all the money in the world can never buy that kind of happiness. I didn’t know how making babies and raising them, living through the first smile, the first tooth, the grade school concerts, and the driver’s license – sharing all of that, how it binds you to their father.  I didn’t know the intimacy you feel when your eyes meet above those tousled heads, and your smiles say, “Just look at what we’ve done.” That girl in the homemade dress, she didn’t know that letting go is one of the hardest things a grown-up mama will ever do.  Rocking those dollies in that small rocking chair, she didn’t really know that babies grow up and walk away and there goes your heart, out into the big, wide world.  No one told her that part. I had no idea how rewarding it is, being a mother.  How the happiness that comes from boy kisses and awkward hugs can’t be bought or sold.  How proud you feel when you see what they’re growing up to be and that all the planting and pruning and watering and feeding are finally making fruit. I didn’t know how much my babies would enrich my spiritual life or how they’d change the way I pray.  I didn’t realize they would lead me to a deeper dependence on the Heavenly Father or how I much I would need His wisdom to raise them aright. Today, in this Advent season, I’m thinking of another mother.  And I wonder. Did she know, that young girl living in another time, another place, what awaited her?  Did she grasp the nearly-incomprehensible truth that she was carrying divinity in her womb?  That the Saviour, the hope of all the earth, was growing just beneath her heart? She couldn’t have known, surely, how she would suffer.  Couldn’t have anticipated the nighttime flights; the anxiety of separation; the host of evil arrayed against her child that would one day kill him. But the joy.  She couldn’t have guessed that, either.  For faithful obedience, in spite of pain and suffering, brings great reward. We aren’t Mary, you and I, and it’s not Jesus we’re tucking in.  But we’re nurturing those  He loves. Just as the Father’s hand was over her, so it covers us as we walk in faithful obedience.  And just as she now knows “joy unspeakable and full of glory,” so we will know it, too, one day.  Keep walking, faithful mother.  Keep walking.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *