Dear Young Momma~
I know the first time you looked into those sweet olive eyes of his and rubbed that button nose, you wondered how you could ever ever love someone so much. This miracle, woven right inside your womb, just under your heart, all swaddled up safely in his muslin blanket and placed right in your arms.
Momma, there's a secret to motherhood that can never be understood until motherhood happens to you. This secret is sweet and bitter. The sweetness comes because it's a key that all mommas who love Jesus use regularly. The bitterness comes because it's the key to your own self, dying a thousands deaths, while you become more like Christ. Yes, the secret is bittersweet.
The secret~You'll have to surrender that boy over and over and over again.
Your heart will break a bit each time as you make the hard choice of surrender. Surrender is a moment-by-moment choice. Your heart will strengthen as it breaks. You likely won't notice the strengthening at the time. A heart being strengthened feels a lot like dying. It will be harder than it ever appeared from far off. It's easy to tell another Momma with her baby what to do and how to do it. But something happens when it's your baby, that one that was knit just under your heart, the one God gave you to you to love. Surrender is a lotta bit harder.
For the momma who loves Jesus, motherhood is a series
thousand surrenders and million sufferings.
If you've already watched him being swept off to the hospital's nursery, independent of you, you've felt it. When you strapped him into his car seat for the first time, that "I can hardly do this" feeling, that's called surrender, Momma. It's a definitive choice to let go of him and trust God with his life.
That first night he sleeps in his very own crib, in his very own room, wayyyy over there. All those what-if feelings that rise up, that's your moment to shine, Momma. Surrender those feelings to the one who made him. And when he cries for you, go to him, but go slowly. Let him know you're near, but don't once make him believe you're able to save him from suffering. Let him know you're willing to let him cry a little to make him stronger, Momma.
Let him know you're willing to suffer, as you surrender him to Jesus, the great sufferer. Your heart will strengthen as you strengthen him in Christ, Momma.
When he's running at break-neck speed away from you in his fury of rebellion, only to trip over the sidewalk and go down hard. I know, your brain will quickly forget he ever screamed at you, and every single cell in your body will want to run to him and scoop him up and tell him it's okay. Go to him, Momma, but go slowly. Let your heart break and remind your brain to stay engaged, as remind him you're willing to let him suffer, yes, even with a scraped knee, to learn the hard lesson that rebellion and running will never strengthen him. Your building a man, Momma.
Refuse to be the rescuer. Choose to be a builder.
Oh, that time he breaks that boundary that you were sure "your child would never!" (and he will), let him suffer. Let God do the hard work of holding his toes to the fire while you pray and even bawl your eyes out, if you must, but let him be refined in the refiner's fire.
Surrender and surrender and surrender him again.
Refuse to be a rescuer. Choose to be a builder.
Momma, that baby boy lying before you will one day be a man. He will, by God's grace, lead and protect his wife and family. Refuse to rescue, holding him back from becoming the man God is molding and refining and building in that little 20 pound body.
Surrendering that little boy will be the hardest thing you'll ever do over and over and over again. This-this strength in suffering-is the real "I can do all things through Christ strength". And know this, Momma, God, your Father, did not spare his own son, so that YOU could live. He allowed him to learn obedience through suffering. He allowed him to go to the cross. And there was even a broken Momma there, too. She looked on while her son was pierced right through, for you.
Surrender is weighty and costly. It will cost you your very life, the life you want for yourself, your child, your family. Discipleship is costly. But Jesus is worth it.
For His glory and Your joy and the good of others.