I was sitting in the carline, waiting to pick my girls up from school, when I noticed another mom, also waiting, put her minivan in park, pull down her visor, and put on lipstick. At that moment, I thought, “I see you.” Not in a weird peeping-Tom sort of way, but as one soul looking into another soul sort of way. It’s the same way I see the mom down the street managing four different remote learning schedules for her kids. Or the mom-to-be across the road who is pregnant with twins. I see into their hearts as we each plod along, silently, a sisterhood of moms doing our very best by our children.
Raising kids is a high calling. The toughest, perhaps. It’s always been filled with moments of doubt and wonder, regret and gratitude, tears of sadness and tears of joy. Because our kids affect us like no one else can. It’s why we’re willing to spend an hour waiting in carlines at school, or manage remote schedules, or entrust them to the care of others while we diligently work to make ends meet as we fight our way through a global pandemic. We do whatever it takes. We’ll do anything for our kids.
It’s not a mistake that it works this way. Our children are vulnerable, innocent, and ignorant of what grown-up life demands. They need a protector, a mentor, a champion to fight for them and a role model to teach them right from wrong. This is our job. It is what we’re made for. Not because we’re women but because we’re mothers, and when we brought our children into the world it’s what we signed up for.
The grief of infertility filled my heart for a long, heavy season. That experience will always be a part of me, influencing the way I view pregnancy and motherhood. I hurt whenever I hear of another woman facing the same struggles. I rejoice a thousand times when that woman becomes a mom. Because I have felt every single one of those intense emotions. My silent pain became a wall around my heart. But God, the One I could not hide my pain from, the One who caught every tear I cried, the One who sustained me through all the hopeless moments, stayed with me. The love of the Father stayed with me.
I know that I am not the only mother whose path of grief has been replaced with immense gratitude. And I have come to realize that no matter the details of your story – how it started and what has happened since – we are all united in our fierce love for our children. Let us not forget this.
The love a parent has for their child is unique and there’s a special word to describe it. It’s storge. Storge, in Greek, is defined as familial love. It’s what you feel for your children and they feel for you. It’s why you race to a bedside when a relative is sick. It’s why you spend hours each week taking care of your elderly parents. It’s why you pace the floor night after night, soothing a sick child.
Family relationships on earth are imperfect but they’re beautiful. And, when God is at the center, they paint a beautiful picture of what it means to belong to His family. Someday we’ll get to gather there, with our family and friends – with everyone who has accepted God’s gift of salvation through Jesus Christ – with those we are connected to by this fiercely intense storge love – and rest in the love and belonging we have with the Father.
Without the Father, the expression of our love to our family falls short. With the Father, it is perfected.
Abundantly More – Knowing God and Making God Known.
“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4 NLT
““Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.” Psalm 127:3