Shame

New Mama Mercies for the New Year

By Becky Beresford

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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:

The faithful love of the Lord never ends!  His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning.
— Lamentations 3:22-23 (NLT)

 

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.


Fearing Failure

By Brittany Rust

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For a long time, I was afraid to be a mom. Terrified that I'd pass on my baggage or project my past struggles onto a little human being. That my insecurity, anger, and selfishness would make me a bad parent. Honestly, I didn't believe I deserved the honor of being a mom. 

I'm so thankful God brought me through and past that fear because being a mom is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. But it hasn't always been easy and I certainly have so much to learn.

I still feel like a hot mess most days. Feel like I'm dropping the ball somewhere or that I'm not a good enough mom. Shame often creeps in and whispers how I've failed my son. Oh boy, does that cut to the deepest parts of my soul.

Maybe you've been there or facing it right now?

Shame is ugly. Heartbreak is real. The ups and downs of motherhood are both wonderful and exhausting. Times flies by when you're having fun and yet seems to creep along in the hardship. It's why, as a mom, you have to rely on Jesus instead of yourself or your husband or even your kids. Nothing will make you whole, sustain you, and make up the difference in your weakness like Christ will.

The verse that has carried me through my darker moments is 2 Corinthians 12:9:

But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Weakness is part of the human nature. And thank goodness it is or we wouldn't feel the need for Christ. It seems this is more apparent in motherhood than in any other role or season in life. Our weaknesses and failures are never more evident than here. It's also where fear can thrive if not careful.

Fear of failing your family.

Fear will happen but it's not meant to stick around. God wants you to turn to Him in those frail moments and find solace in Him. He wants you to come with your weaknesses so that He can show up with His strength. Your areas of failure and lack of sureness create opportunities for God to move and be glorified.

It's why Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians that he would boast in his weaknesses. He knew that where he failed God flourished. And he would rather God flourish than for him to feel competent.

Mama, I know this journey is emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually exhausting. I know there are moments when you question your identity and worth; when you wonder if you can do it. That you experience lonely moments of shame and guilt.

We've all been there--struggled in our calling as a mom. Not because we don't love our kid(s) with all our heart because we do fiercely. But because we're human and none of us have it all figured out or are the perfect mom. We're not meant to be. Only Jesus is perfect and only he can lift you up to be the best mom to your kiddos that you can be.

Don't parent alone, friend. Lean into the Father, embrace His presence, and tap into His strength. In fact, welcome those moments of weakness as opportunities for Christ to shine brightly to those kiddos entrusted to you by Him!


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