I asked a young mother from our church to explain to you where she gets the strength to cope with all the stresses of her life. Here is her reply:
I’ve always wondered how moms manage to do it all. Even now, as a mom to two, I’m left bewildered at how parents like my husband and me can make it through some of the tough days and nights and everything they hold, only to repeat it all again, on a seemingly endless loop.
Since welcoming my second child a few months ago, a mantra in the form of a Bible verse has helped to guide my days and nights: “The Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:8. Although we don’t go many different places in the age of COVID-19, knowing I have this support has helped me manage dilemmas and make decisions I never anticipated.
For me, 2020 was bookended by the passing of my beloved grandmother and the birth of my beautiful daughter. These events, among others, tested and transformed my faith in so many ways. And in the midst of the new normal brought on by COVID-19, I have often found myself wishing there were books or blog posts about methods for parenting during a pandemic. The only thing I know I have for sure is the support from God as a friend, counselor, and Heavenly Father, making each step through every day easier.
My faith compels me to live a more godly life every day and try to be a reflection of his generosity, joy, and self-control. I know I can be better, do better, and do more; I also know I need to give myself, my babies, and others some grace. God tells me it’s important to take a step back and breathe once in a while. It’s possible to not do all the things and still be a good parent, friend, and child of God.
As a parent, I often have difficulty comprehending when my toddler can’t or won’t listen, but I often fail to realize I do the same exact thing when it comes to my faith. I am constantly seeking God’s guidance to become a better listener in a couple different ways.
First, I listen for God’s will before making plans, jumping to conclusions, or digging myself into any sort of despair, Whether in the form of prayer, meditation, or something else, if I take the time to remember that God is my holy father and wait to hear his plans for me, I can find better solutions to whatever situation I find myself in. I have a clean conscience and a more peaceful heart by acting on God’s will instead of my own.
Young parents like me should listen to our spouses, partners, and other teammates in raising our children to make sure we are putting our children first, and my faith to helps me do this. As the saying goes, it does “take a village” to bring up children, and often that village is found not only in loved ones, but also in the community.
By seeking God and putting Jesus at the center of my relationships, I find myself feeling happier and more whole. Believing that God will reward my efforts in turn helps me do more with what I have been given in life. As the pandemic lingers, many of our local churches and libraries offer virtual support and activities to keep us engaged and involved in safe ways. Listening to the trained people at these places will only help me do better and become better.
I need to likewise listen inwardly and get to know myself better as an ambassador of God. By reminding myself that I, too, am a human with feelings, and can cast my worries upon God and achieve happier, healthier days. In acknowledging my imperfection and professing my Christian faith, I know I am already living a life true to myself and to God. I could have a better car, bigger house, or nicer vacations, but instead I focus on the reward of everlasting life which God has promised.
Whether in a small, quiet moment, like feeding my newborn at 3 am, or a large, loud one, like bartering with my toddler to sit down to get buckled into his car seat, I remember God is with me and I try to listen, have patience, and look for the moments I can shine as an example of God’s love. At the end of the day, motherhood is comprised of so many distinct moments, and I don’t want to neglect acknowledging God is with me every step of the way.
A friend of mine made a social media post that summed up my faith exactly: “God didn’t promise it would be easy, but he promised he would be there.”