Hope for Mothers When Life Feels Hard
Some seasons of mothering are hard.
Sleep-deprivation, frustration, the realization of our own inadequacy, the harder-than-we-wanted-to-work hard work stretch us thin and can lead our bodies and souls react in ways we don’t always like. I didn’t expect to struggle with anxiety over getting three kids out the door on time. I didn’t expect exhaustion to be so hard. I didn’t expect to feel overwhelmed by unwanted emotions.
In motherhood, we no doubt will come to the end of ourselves at different times and in different ways, and there we must cling to something. We look to each other for hope, but too often, in those moments, we fail to preach the gospel or proclaim to character of God to ourselves or those in our lives.
A Mother’s Shifty and Unsure Hope
“It will get easier” or “This too shall pass,” we say.
There is an air of age-old wisdom when experienced-mothers encourage new-mothers with these words. Sometimes young moms just need to simmer down, exercise some patience and endurance, and let things play out before determining that their life is officially over.
I’ve benefited from hearing that at times.
However, can we just admit that we don’t know what the future will hold?
That difficult season? –that might just be the easiest you or that young mom in your life will have it during the rest of your (or her) time on this earth. And that’s okay.
Because God is still good. Because in Christ we have a firm hope, an anchor for our souls that transcends any trail or hardship or challenge within this present reality.
When we put our hope in the passage of the trial, we sell ourselves tremendously short of the glorious truth of the gospel of grace.
We choose a soft and yielding hope, when a firm and secure hope is available to us –The hope that God’s promises are true and that God’s grace is sufficient. The hope that God is at work in ways we can’t comprehend, but we can trust. The hope of eternity-soaked blessing.
“It could always be worse.”
Could it? The hope of comparison is empty indeed for the Christ-follower.
The deeper truth is that those who suffer and endure, who face trials and remain faithful, will be rewarded in eternity. This eternal glory will FAR exceed the troubles we are now facing. We need to encourage each other with that truth!
So is “worse,” in fact, better in some mysterious way? Perhaps. One things is sure,
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:16-17).
Rather than try to bolster our failing hearts with comparison, let’s make it our mission to faithfully walk out the life God has given us.
Let’s not disqualify ourselves from ministering to and discipling others (our own children and spouses included) because we didn’t sleep last night or things out of our control make life hard.
Instead, let’s look to Jesus for the grace needed to live for Him moment-by-moment. Let’s test the Solomon’s wisdom in Proverbs 11:25b which says, “whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.”
Perhaps comparison can provide some fresh perspective, but the hope it fosters is only as bright as the dimness of the other’s situation. This is undeniably wavering and unstable, since it all hinges on who we’re thinking about.
If we compare, let it be to open our eyes to our own apathy. Let it lead us to gratitude –not gratitude for our cushy lives –but gratitude for our firm hope in God’s unwavering promise for all those who trust Him.
This is the hope that is sure. This is the hope that will not disappoint us.
A Mother’s Firm and Secure Hope
However, gospel-hope offers something different entirely.
Gospel-hope says that God is still good, even in the midst of our hardest hour. It says that God’s grace is sufficient for us, right now. Gospel-hope says that these present sufferings will produce good fruit, fruit that cannot be borne in our lives otherwise.
It says that we will be rewarded in eternity for our faithfulness in the troubles and that these troubles themselves are producing “an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Corinthians 4:17).
If you know a mother who is struggling, rather than telling her “it’ll all work out” or “it could be worse,” preach the gospel to her weary heart.
These are the words soaked in life and truth. And God will move in.
Romans 5:3-5 says,“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”
Those very trails and sufferings, when lived out in trust and faithfulness, will develop in us the very thing we long for, the very thing we need most –hope! And that all because of God’s love poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit.
There is supernatural work at play in your mothering –and never more than in the suffering of it. Press into God and trust Him as you persevere and choose joy!