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When I first discovered I was pregnant, I didn’t know that I’d inadvertently signed up for a life-long, self-awareness and self-revealing Bootcamp. A never-ending season of growth.
I also didn’t know that in motherhood, I would be saved, lost, and then found again.
Motherhood: God’s Self-Awareness and Self-Revealing Bootcamp
Those of you who’ve read my freedom story know that I lost myself for a while as a young adult. I had reached the point where I hardly knew who I was or what I wanted, and I had certainly lost who I was in Christ.
But Jesus wooed me back.
Saved Through Motherhood
Not coincidentally, Jesus found me and brought me to my old home – to his heart – right around the same time that he delivered someone to their new home – my heart: My son. My firstborn.
In the face of pregnancy, I experienced a momentous shift in life priorities and personal desires. I suddenly no longer wanted to straddle the fence between dark and light.
My child was depending on me! Depending on me to show him the Light!
Becoming a mother returned me to who I’d left by the wayside, my former self – God’s child. I was lost, but He found me.
Losing Myself in Motherhood
Motherhood opened my horizons to new skills, new knowledge, new joys, and new love. My heart expanded. I was reborn into an entirely new role.
Aha! Now, this was who I was meant to be! I stepped – inexperienced and naive – into my new role, knowing deep down that I was made for motherhood. The path ahead seemed clear and promising.
But then I got lost again.
- Lost in the haze of sleepless nights and endless breastfeedings.
- Lost in piles of dirty diapers.
- Lost in the isolation of nap schedules and the monotony of a stay-at-home-mom life.
- Lost in research about which baby formula was best.
- Lost in fishy-cracker snacks and potty-training cleanups.
- Lost in the pressure to be a “good” mom.
Eventually, I wondered, Who on earth am I, anyway? Who’s Sara?
- Where did the pre-motherhood, spontaneous, energetic Sara go?
- Why didn’t I write anymore?
- Where did my social confidence go?
- Which me was the real me – the patient mom with her first baby, or the yell-y mom juggling both toddler and newborn?
Motherhood tested so much of what I thought I knew about myself. It revealed things I didn’t know were there. Things I didn’t want to know were there.
We’re Not the Only Moms Being Tested by Motherhood
I recently read Sarah Bragg’s article, “My Biggest Surprise When I Became a Mom,” (featured on Bible Gateway’s blog) and found myself identifying with her journey through motherhood – the losing and the finding of herself. Although, she calls it “raising herself.”
(You can learn more about Sarah’s journey and wisdom in her book, A Mother’s Guide to Raising Herself: What Parenting Taught Me About Life, Faith, and Myself (US LINK) Or click here for CDN LINK.)
I understand Sarah’s journey and how motherhood has changed her, grown her into the woman she is today.
Motherhood is more difficult than I thought it would be.
I was drawn in by baby-soft skin and sweet snuggles and the dream of someone little calling me “Mom.” But it’s been much more than that, of course.
Motherhood pushes me, molds me. It reveals who I am and who I’m meant to be.
I love how Sarah talks about being born and raised through motherhood, that it’s painful and beautiful at once.
And it’s still happening, this being raised by our own parenting! We moms are still growing, still exploring our roles as we continue this journey of both raising children and being transformed ourselves.
Found In the Trials of Motherhood
It’s not just the diapers and the feedings and the school supply shopping and the sleepless nights that make mothering difficult. It’s the life-long growing pains that we sign up for the moment we become moms that take so much courage to persevere through.
Yet the results are…
Well, they’re divine!
God changes us. For good. Our journey with God will follow his way, his timing, and be for his purpose and glory. He’s transforming us into the fullness of who he made us to be.
And so much of that journey is expedited through the challenges of motherhood:
- Motherhood forces me to face how nasty I can be on little sleep, and how I need the help of the Holy Spirit to cultivate healthy sleep habits and use my tongue for good, not evil.
- Motherhood draws out my creativity and the think-on-the-spot-skills I didn’t know I had.
- Motherhood teaches me of the softness and tenderness of God’s heart, how kindness and mercy are equally as important as boundaries and discipline in parenting.
- Motherhood brings me to my knees, revealing my dependence on God for wisdom, strength, and courage to go on.
- Motherhood reveals my own sin, the plank I need God to extract from my eye before I have a hope of picking the speck out of my child’s.
Motherhood brings out the best in me. And the worst.
Like Sarah Bragg admits in her article, motherhood also forces me to be honest about myself – who I was, who I am, and who God is shaping me into.
Mothers Encouraging Mothers
I was encouraged by Sarah’s story because it’s so much like my own.
There’s comfort in knowing we’re not alone in this mothering journey. I love that God has provided me with stories from other moms so I can learn alongside and be comforted by those who understand the journey of mothering.
This is exactly why I share my own stories about spiritual growth and motherhood here on Sara, Living Free!
Here are a few of those real-life mom stories for you to read and hopefully be encouraged by:
- A Mother’s Burden: Praying for Your Child While Distracted
- A Mother’s Challenge: Thanking God Amidst the Trials
- A Mother’s Love: Learning to Love As God Loves
- A Mother’s Reality: Accepting That There Will Be Hard Days
- A Mother’s Blessing: How Motherhood Forces Us to Grow Stronger