(5 min read)
“Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 1:7 ESV.
My name is B and I’m here to share a quick story in celebration of Mother’s Day! The verse I mentioned above is repeated 17 different times throughout the New Testament. This greeting is frequently overlooked when it comes to studying scripture and yet it is packed with powerful blessings. Along with the multitude of tasks we pack into our daily lives, the details of motherhood are also easily overlooked.
Let’s start with asking a question. What is motherhood? Webster defines it in three ways: (a) a female parent; (b) a woman in authority; and (c) an old or elderly woman. While I am not as infamous as Webster, my personal experience of motherhood has been anything but Webster’s definition.
Before my walk with Christ began, and before I had even heard of HopeNet, I had a substantial number of trials on my plate. In February of 2016 when I was pregnant with my now six-year-old, I was smack in the middle of the most trying season thus far in my life. Not only was I dealing with a heart-wrenching descend from extremely poor lifestyle choices, but I was also about to face what it was going to take for me to claim my life back.
When I finally decided to follow through with the decision to leave the poisonous environment I was living in, I didn’t realize what that would require. I didn’t think about the fact that I was seven months pregnant. The burden of being homeless, and the heaviness that it brings, had not formed a thought in my mind. I had only one thing stamped on my frontal lobe as I entered the walls of the shelter. My eyes immediately landed on an old dusty couch on the far end of the room. I half-stumbled towards it with trembling legs from my recent commitment. When I turned around to sit, I saw the doors leading outside. As I melted into the seat cushion, I smiled at the doors I had just entered. I breathed a breath I will never forget the feeling of. I was finally safe.
After a few months of moving at least four times, throughout three different towns, the heaviness had settled into my heart. I was still without Christ but searching for him. It was now June of 2016. I had a three-month-old, and, in spite my efforts, we were still homeless, and I was still jobless. I did not have my own parents or friends to turn to. All my possessions had been left behind. I did not even have a vehicle or a driver’s license. My trust in other human beings had vanished. This did not leave my family many positive resources.
I had to force myself to push through the first two years. When my youngster was eleven months old, in April of 2017, I accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior of my sins and was baptized on Easter Sunday! However, accepting Christ does not solve all problems or make life any easier. I still had a lot of work ahead of me. I had to continue to walk and carry everything everywhere. My days blurred together, and I couldn’t separate what day it was or which appointment I was hiking towards during my daily 8-mile round trips across town.
Have you ever felt this way? Stranded? Hopeless? Abandoned? Lost? Am I the only one who has struggled like this? It is so easy to pitch a tent and snuggle up with these emotions. That’s what the Israelites were wanting to do during their time in the desert. They complained: “At least we had food in Egypt!” But God equipped them with everything they needed in order to get through their 40 years of homelessness. Does that sound familiar?
Take another breath, because here’s the best news of all: You are not stuck here. The hardships you are dealing with right now will have an end. You are not alone. Hope looks different for everyone. Do not feel guilty if you have the need to take a break. Do not hesitate to voice your need for prayer. Do not feel ashamed if you need to leave everything behind from a dangerous situation. It is possible to celebrate and have joy during the storms. Utilize your resources and your support system. There are people who are willing to help. Do not give up!
The aftershocks from the earthquakes left me a bit shaky. As I was finding my footing and failing at my own attempts to calm my chaotic thinking, from several years of frantic pandemonium, I realized I could not do it on my own. Fortunately, I found HopeNet in 2019 through another resource and they have been an amazing blessing to my family! They have unquestioningly helped me grow in my faith in Christ. HopeNet has also educated me on how to refine my skills and tools in order to process and maintain positivity in a healthy way. They have guided me in realizing I can have confidence without shame. They have nurtured the early stages of my positive ascend, towards what life is like, after making the greatest decision of my life. And, they have encouraged me to unbury my hope and trust in people.
Now the real work can begin.
“Sometimes, you’ve got to stir up the waters.” -The Chosen
Healing from wounds is never simple. However, in the past two years, I feel like I have crossed a few monumental milestones on the journey towards the life God has planned for myself and my family. Learning to put trust in God is not an easy task. Learning to make time for him requires a discipline of time management I previously knew nothing about. Scripture has taught me of what it means to be truly joyful in times of tyranny. And finally, understanding the depth of what Christ has done for me has showed me how much I am loved, who I am, and what my purpose is.
Fast forward two more years. I obtained a job in 2018 and have held my current employment for four years. During these past four years, I have learned to manage my finances better in order to become a new homeowner! The hurt is still there but the aftershocks have lessened with each day. This side of my life still presents its own challenges, but my coping skills have dramatically changed about how I think and respond to most situations. Even though I still have a few treacherous mountains to climb, I am enthusiastic about what the next chapters hold.
What does my story have to do with Mother’s Day? To share my struggles and give you a testimony of what it sometimes takes to be a mother. Life is tough and motherhood is so much more than being a “female parent”. The love you possess for your own children is more powerful than anything this life can put you through. You are so amazing, simply by continuing to choose your family. You bless so many people around you with your dedication to birthday surprises, play dates, school functions, church events, and even while mopping up the same spill, seven times, in the last five minutes, while you read this article. The hard work and positive attitude you put into your every choice will only act as a springboard that your children will cling to during their own times of struggle.
Motherhood is compassionate, interconnectedness, sympathetic, and abounding with joy. One of the greatest gifts God has equipped humanity with is the ability to learn and grow. The unpredictability of life is what makes it exciting. Use that excitement and turn it into an adventure!
This story, my story, is ultimately Christ’s story of what he has done in my life, and what he can promisingly do in yours. Keep being that brave mama bear. Remember, even though most of what you do is behind the scenes, you are making a difference in all the lives around you. Thank you so much for the privilege of sharing with you today. It has provided me with a genuine and joyful blessing.
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, for you are so loved, dear reader.
This is B. She is a HopeNet client who had her life changed through our services and the power of Jesus. We hope her story inspires you on Mother’s Day. To continue supporting women and others like B, we encourage you to donate today using the link below. Your contributions help HopeNet transform lives just like B’s.