I love being a mother even though I sometimes want to temporarily resign as one!
Someone once said that once you have a child it is like wearing your heart outside of your body all the time. It will get hurt, dirty, bruised. It is exposed and vulnerable. I don’t think you necessarily have to have a child of your own to experience the pain and hurt of children growing up in the world today. I think that statement applies to anyone who fosters, adopts or just cares about children.
I love my children with every fiber of my being and carry their pain, disappointment and hurts around in my heart and sometimes the burden feels overwhelming. I feel their pain when someone ignores them, or deliberately hurts them by being rude or nasty or when they feel that they just don’t fit in or feel left out. I carry their pain when they feel that they are unattractive and believe no-one will ever love them and nothing I can say or do will make them believe how beautiful they actually are. I worry when they make the wrong decisions and won’t listen to advice. The Irish have a saying “you can’t put an old head on a young shoulder” and it is so true. They live in the present and cannot see the consequences that some of their actions may have in the future, whereas I have the knowledge of hindsight and age. I worry about their physical safety when I am not with them.
I long to take their pain and their tears away and would willingly carry their burdens if I could.
This afternoon I went for a long walk and then found a park bench to sit on, and have a serious conversation with God about how I was feeling. I poured out my heart to Him about wanting to take my children’s pain away. I felt debilitated with worry over their physical safety and their emotional well-being.
God replied “Noel, maybe you should start spending far more time reading the Bible and far less time worrying! Go read Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
A yoke is something that joins things or people together. Fr. Orland Sapuay explains that verse as follows: Jesus, the great comforter, is the one who opens his arms in welcome to those beaten down by their experiences, those who find themselves ostracized and rejected, overburdened and crushed.
Jesus tells us to take His yoke upon us because it is an easy yoke and His burden is light. Being yoked together with Jesus means that He is carrying our burdens and our worries. We no longer have to carry anything alone for He is there to share the load with us.
Galatians 5:1 says “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery”.
Slavery to worry, depression, anxiety, fear etc.
I need to bear in mind that God’s plans for my children’s lives are ‘for good and not for evil. Plans to give them hope and a future’.
I don’t need to carry their pain or their hurt. I need to hand my fear and worries over to God in prayer and I need to continue to trust that He loves them far more than I ever could, that He has already taken their burdens and hurts and pain upon Himself when He died on the cross and that in Him there is fullness of life and freedom for them.
They are in His hands and He cares for them.
So, I can say at the end of the day that I LOVE BEING A MOTHER!