“I can’t help but think this cancer is ruining my kids,” I cried to the lady standing in aisle 8 of the grocery store. I felt like a total failure as a mom. “My kids need a mom without cancer.”
I will never forget the words she said as I walked away from that intimate conversation. “You are being shaped as a mom through this process. God sees the ability within you to be the mom He’s perfectly designed to raise these two boys. With or without cancer.”
Her words helped me see this circumstance not in the way my heart was tempted to, but the way Jesus sees it.
You are equipped to be a good mother (2 Cor 9:8)
Having children is a blessing (Psalm 127: 3-5)
Children are a gift from God (James 1:17)
Motherhood gives you purpose (Deut 6:6-7)
Raising children is important (Luke 18:16)
I was thrown into a difficult circumstance but in no way was it meant to destroy me as a mother. It was meant to make me a better one. I went from defining myself as a failed mom to being a praying mom who can face hardships in a godly way, all while being an example my children need to see. The struggle is real, I get it, but Jesus is good, Faithful no matter what and He is growing you through it.
Here are a few things I took away from that sweet conversation.
Embrace the process
In motherhood with all of its ups and downs, God is calling you to embrace the mountains and the valleys of suffering. Don’t dwell on your circumstance. Direct your mind to what is true and beautiful and pure and lovely and praise worthy. ( Phil 4:8) Pray. Trust God’s plan. Enjoy the little moments with your babies. Dry your tears mama. You are not a failure. God’s got this. Everyday His mercies are new.
Learn from the process
Mom guilt is real, but don’t let it define you. Our suffering is meant to deepen our relationship with Christ. Learn to know Him better in prayer. Learn to cease the lies of failure with God’s Word. Learn to share and remember in His pain. Learn to depend on Him for your every need. This will help you through suffering, to keep loving your children like crazy. Pray for them faithfully. Talk to them frequently. Listen to them tenderly. Raise them in the ways of the Lord. Give them your loyalty. Defend their lives. Sacrifice for them. Value them as Jesus does. Share God’s Love with them. Point them to Jesus at every turn.
Disciple through the process
Use your suffering. Use your pain through motherhood, use whatever circumstance you are going through for your children’s sake. Our testimonies to the gospel in our suffering and our every day life are more valuable to them than we could ever imagine. If you tell them the gospel, but live to yourself, they will never believe it.
Today, begin to push past your circumstances and the urge to identify yourself with them. What you have left is exactly what you will need to finish this race called motherhood. That is, sweet Jesus.