Strong Mom. Monday, October 16th, 2017
I imagine you sitting on your couch – a baby crawling on the floor or in your lap… maybe an older brother or sister playing nearby.
You’re going to have to think about their next meal or snack or diaper soon or maybe you’ll need to go get bigger kids from school soon – which means you’ll have to get up. And you’re exhausted. You’re so tired as a matter of fact, that you feel like just holding your eyes open takes effort.
You also know that every second that you sit means more mess and a bigger mess means more work at the end of your never-ending day. And after going day and night and night and day, you feel like a shell.
A shell of what you want to be.
A shell of who you used to be.
Like a pitcher constantly tipped, you always feel empty.
And there’s this overwhelming guilt. You’ve poured out every last bit of your life (sometimes in milk form) for your kid(s). You have given it all, and yet somehow you still think of all of the things you wished you could do. You replay all the ways you could be more or do more or accomplish more.
You have sacrificed for your family. You have used all of your strength… and you feel guilty for having used all your strength. You feel guilty that you’re this tired. You feel guilty that it’s not easier. Surely all of this is easier for someone? You think.
But do you know what?
Do you know what you really are?
You don’t feel strong. I get it. It’s hard to think of yourself as strong when you feel so… weak.
You feel like you’re a thread that’s twisting as though it could snap any second. All of these frayed edges spinning as though you’re about to break.
But do you know what I see? I see a woman who feels like she’s hanging on by a thread, but who just keeps hanging on. I see a woman who continues to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders – often without sleep and adequate nutrition… all while feeling really alone some days.
But you don’t stop.
You sit. You pause. You work to breathe when it’s necessary.
But you keep going.
And that’s the strongest kind of woman there is.
Like a woman at the end of her race, you work to take one step and then another – until you collapse into your bed.
Strong. Remarkable. Champion. Victor. Resilient. Tough. Incredible.
You are not weak. Not broken. Not at fault because it’s hard.
You are persistent because you keep going even though it’s hard.
If I could, I’d come and sit with you in your living room. I’d watch your kids and you could nap. You’d gain a little strength, but most of it wouldn’t come from the sleep. It would come from knowing that you’re not alone.
So, even though I can’t be there… I can tell you this. You’re not alone. You’re running your race, pressing on toward the goal… and Jesus is running right beside you. So proud of you. (You pictured Him running in tunic didn’t you?)
Listen to me. You’re doing everything you can, and you feel like you have no strength left, but all of heaven is shouting like a stadium full of people, cheering as you take one impossible step and then another. Can you hear them?
SHE’S DOING IT! SHE’S MAKING IT! SHE’S SO AMAZING!
There’s a story in Scripture found in Exodus 17. Moses lead the Israelites out from under the rule of the oppressive Egyptians. In the wilderness, they came against a group of people called the Amalekites. Moses took the staff that God had given him and climbed to the top of the mountain. So long as he held up the staff, the Israelites would advance. When he lowered his staff, the Amalekites advanced.
When Moses couldn’t hold up his arms anymore (and victory depended on it) his brother and a friend held up his arms for him.
Most of the time when this story is told, we are asked to look around our lives for people who can come alongside us and help hold us up too.
Do you know what I want you to look around and see today?
I want you to see Jesus who held his arms outstretched on a cross, so HE would be able to hold up your arms today.
I want you to think about your God who loves you so much that He’d die and conquer death… just so that you wouldn’t be alone on your couch in your living room right now.
Do we need community? Yes.
But if you find yourself in a season where you have none, hear me say this:
Today you don’t need anyone but Jesus. You don’t need anyone but the Holy Spirit to come alongside you and hold you up when you feel like you can’t take one more step.
Because that kind of strength is a promise. That’s the promise of our eternal life that begins the moment we confess that Jesus is Lord. It’s not just eternal life that begins the moment we die.
Sister, eternal life is life that doesn’t run out, and it begins the moment we say, “Jesus, I need you.”
Another self-help book, or another fifteen minutes of sleep, or another glass of wine tonight isn’t going to provide the strength or bring the peace that Jesus can bring into the room with you right now.
Because no one said it wouldn’t be hard, but God does promise that we won’t have to do any of it alone.
And His strength? Well, His strength never runs out.
So here’s our hymn. Are you ready?
We are STRONG moms.
We are raising STRONG kids.
So we need a STRONG God.
Good thing we have one.
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