By Becky Beresford
I became a mama on the cusp of the New Year. We actually prayed our son would be the first baby born in 2011 because then we could score some major swag, including a year’s supply of diapers. It’s totally a thing.
But we learned right away that parenthood would never follow our premeditated plans. After twenty-five hours of labor and three hours of pushing, I was rushed to the OR for an emergency C-section. Baby’s vitals were dropping, as well as my own, and before I knew it, I was gazing into the eyes of this tiny human who made me a mommy.
I’m sure I cried. At least, I think I did. I was so physically drained and out of it, everything had become a blur. But through the drug-induced daze, I remember my husband bringing our son to my side. I couldn’t believe how perfect he was. As I leaned towards him in wonder, I whispered my first words as a new parent. “Hey there little boy…I’m your mama.” He turned towards my face and pressed his soft mouth against my cheek. It was our first kiss, and I knew, right then and there, it was worth it. It would all be worth it.
The next few days were spent making sure baby and I were recovering well. I kept waiting for the ‘new mom euphoria’ to kick in, for the fog to clear and the pain to subside. But all I felt was exhaustion. Becoming a mom was nothing like I expected. The movies were wrong. TV had lied to me. Nobody told me about the aftermath of birth or the raging hormones. Sweet Jesus, the hormones! All I knew was that I never felt more unqualified to do anything in my entire life. I didn’t know how to take care of a newborn. I didn’t know how to raise a child. I didn’t know if I was enough.
Discharge day arrived, and as they wheeled me to the hospital entrance, I was handed finely-tuned instructions in a perfect little bag. All papers and rules and schedules to follow. But I never received what my heart needed most: Grace in all its abundance. In those raw moments before heading home, I wish a fellow mama could have grabbed me by the hand. She would have smiled and told me it was going to be okay. Not because I’d learn how to keep it all together, but because my God would hold me tight when things fell far apart. Sweet friend, I can’t rewind the clock to the moment you became a mom. But I can offer you words from the One who was standing there:
No matter how many years we have roamed the halls of motherhood, we all need to be refreshed by the truth of His mercies. So, I made you a list. It should have been included in your newbie mom bag. But to be honest, its relevance rings true each and every single day.
Claim Your Mama Mercies for the New Year:
In your weakness, He is strong. The pressure is off, girl. You don’t have to fear weakness or failure because our good God has you covered. In every area, no matter how many times we fall, He will be there not only to pick us up, but to build us up! You can do this because HE can do this through you.
You are one righteous mother. For real. You may not feel like it sometimes (*or most of the time*), but the Bible is the inspired Word of God, which means everything in it is true. So, when God says He made Jesus, “who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him,” we can accept it as a divine fact! 2 Corinthians 5:21 NASB) We mess up. Hard. No mama will ever be perfect, but the moment we start to tear ourselves down, we need to remind ourselves to look up. We need to cast our gaze towards heaven and claim Christ’s righteousness as our own. We are in Him. We are clothed in white, completely holy and pure. When God sees us, He doesn’t see our mistakes. He sees our majesty. Remember that, mama.
You are chosen and you matter. Many days you may feel unappreciated and overlooked. The demands of motherhood may seem, at best, mundane. But in reality, you are doing sacred work. You are raising a generation of warriors and worshippers. You are fulfilling the greatest commandment and the great commission. You are loving unconditionally and giving unceasingly, all for the sake of building up God’s kingdom within the walls of your own home. There is no greater calling. There is no greater thing. Your family is your heartbeat and continually pointing your littles towards their Savior will inevitably change the world. You were chosen for this role. You were born to be their mom. And you’re doing a great job.
You are deeply loved. By God. By your families. And we hope you know you are loved by us… a sisterhood of women who are in the diaper-filled trenches, holding each other up, speaking life into the beautiful and hard places. No matter what we have or haven’t done, our worth remains the same in our Father’s eyes. We were fought for and forgiven at the cross, before we could do anything to try and earn God’s favor. It is finished, mama. He has already given us His heart, and now it is up to us to let His love into ours.
May His mercies cover you each morning. And fill all the moments in between.
Happy New Year, friends.