Motherhood. Did you ever think you would be telling God’s Story through your life as a mother?
The gospel–the good news–is that Jesus Christ willingly chose to die so that we may have life, and have it to the full (Romans 5). And you, dear sisters, have followed in His footsteps–choosing death so that another may have life (1 Peter 4:1-2). Since choosing to carry life in your womb or to welcome life into your arms and home, you have had to die to yourself. All for the sake of life.
This death started at the time of conception when you chose to let another take your body and use it for sustenance, nourishment, and survival. Nausea, headaches, food aversions, weight gain, and any other unwelcome side-effect–in these things you experienced a dying of self every. single. day. And all for the sake of life.
Then, you went to a delivery room and chose the possibility of death so that another might live. You underwent excruciating pain and pushed your body to the limits. You may have even allowed your body to be pierced, cut, so that life could come forth. You chose the possibility of your actual death for life. On this day, you experienced a dying of self. All for the sake of life.
You chose sleepless nights, an interrupted schedule, isolation from others during illnesses, a change in your diet so your breastmilk wouldn’t upset your child’s stomach or hours of research to source the best formula for them, pacing and bouncing and drives at midnight in the car…so that your precious newborn could live (and sleep) and live fully. You died to self every. single. day. All for the sake of life.
Your mothering journey may have begun in the prayers that went before your child. Your first moments with them may have begun when another woman conceived; a woman whose child you would one day call your own. Maybe you answered “yes” when a phone call came that a child needed a mother, or you persevered through a time of asking God to allow you to welcome a child into your family and the answer you hoped for wouldn’t come. You prayed…and waited. You tested…and waited. You worried…and waited. You filled out paperwork…and waited. You did home studies…and waited. You gave up having control over when or how you would meet your child. You died to self every. single. day. And all for the sake of life.
Then you finally held your child. Maybe he had colic. Maybe she shied away from you. Maybe he refused to call you mama. This child whom you had prayed for. This child whom you had hoped for. You stayed up late into the night with a bottle. You cried unexpected, exhausted tears–it was all so different than you imagined. You died to self every. Single. day. All for the sake of life.
Days passed. And then months. And then years. And every step along the way has been a death; a death to your own wants and needs so that another may live.
Mothers, you die every. single. day. All for the sake of life.
Death. A daily dying to self.
And while you have been dying over and over again, you have also been living. You have been continuously refined and sanctified. You have been imaging our Savior, King Jesus.
As you have died to self, you have ultimately been brought into a truer life as you have nurtured and cultivated the life you brought forth (Colossians 2:6-15).
On this Mother’s Day, we thank you for imaging our King. We thank you for all the little deaths you have endured. All so that another could have life.
This is the gospel.