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  • Emily Guyer

Christ: a mother’s only hope



A Mother’s Day Encouragement

 

ANN ARBOR – Mother’s Day is a complicated holiday. There is a lot of joy wrapped up into the gift of motherhood. However, Mother’s Day is also a painful reminder of unfulfilled or shattered dreams for many women. Even for those who celebrate Mother’s Day with arms full of children like I do, we can still carry an ache in our hearts, because we recognize that we are not the moms we hoped we would be. One deep ache that a mother feels is when her wings are not big enough to wrap safely around her children.  

 

We, mothers, feel most comfortable when we have our children held tightly under our wings– warm, safe, and happy. However, we more often feel like getting our children under our wings is as impossible as trying to wrap our arms around a cloud. 

 

We want to control environments. We want to meet their needs and tend to their cries. But, at some point, all mothers realize that we are limited, finite creatures, who simply cannot be there for our children at every moment of their lives. We also realize that despite our best efforts, we cannot get our children tightly under our wings.

 

I’ll never forget when I felt this so poignantly. I was six weeks postpartum with my fourth child. My three older children were tucked safely into bed when I began to have excruciating pain in my abdomen. I needed to go to the emergency room at the hospital. My newborn son began to cry in hunger. I wanted nothing more than to console and feed him. Instead, I had to place him in a neighbor’s arms. I barely told her where she could find a bottle. I did not have time to wake my other children to tell them what was happening. Instead, I was rushed quickly to the hospital for an emergency surgery and lengthy stay. 

 

I will never forget sobbing in the car. What would my other children think when they woke in the morning? Would they feel afraid or insecure because their safe worlds turned upside down overnight? I did not care about my excruciating abdominal pain, but instead I was devastated that I left my newborn son in such a vulnerable state. I felt as if I had abandoned my children.

 

Many mothers walk through significantly more challenging circumstances than I felt in that moment. However, we all realize that our children are out of our control. They go beyond our reach. Despite the fierce love we carry for them, we cannot protect them from hard circumstances.

 

What is a mother to do with this ache? With this gnawing feeling that she cannot be everything her children need her to be? Where is her hope?

 

Sister, this Mother’s Day, if you wrestle with the disconnect between (1) the mother you want to be and (2) the mother you are, find strength in the fact that Christ is your hope. Christ stands in the gap between us and our children, holding all things together (Col. 1:17).


  1. Christ loves our children and is their only hope.

  2. Christ calls us to trust him and ministers to us in our fear.

  3. Christ invites us to release our children to His loving care.

 

What good news! Christ, the surest foundation, is our only hope. 


1. Christ loves our children and is their only hope.


Satan tempts us to wallow in anxiety about our children when we cannot see them. Are they safe? Are they afraid? Are the influences around them pointing them towards, or away from, the Lord? 

 

As mothers, instead, we must believe that Christ is our child’s only hope. We must remind ourselves of the truth and not give into the fear meant to cripple us.

 

Christ goes with them when we cannot. Christ loves our children more than we ever could. They are ultimately not our own children. They are his. He knitted them together in our wombs. He knew their days (even the hard ones) before any of them came to pass. He is working in their lives. If they don’t know him as their Savior, he is pursuing them. He is providing opportunities for them to cry out to him to save them. If they are his followers, he is shepherding them. He will lead them. He will correct them. He will restore them. They are safer in His hands than in mine.


2. Christ calls us to trust him and ministers to us in our fear.


Not only do we believe that Christ loves our children and is their only hope, but we also know that He is our only hope too. 

 

When our children no longer tuck safely under our wings, God is calling us to trust him. We can lay our head on the pillow at the end of the day with a sense of needy confidence because we firmly believe that he sees us. We know that he will act according to his promises and character. 

 

Instead of tossing and turning, Christ invites us to pray fervently – to commune with him and beg God to act on behalf of our family. He gives us his Word. It is alive– ministering to us, guiding us, and providing truths for us to cling to. He has given us his church to walk alongside us through this mothering journey, bolstering and strengthening our faith in him. 

 

Charles Spurgeon famously said, “I kiss the wave that throws me onto the Rock of Ages.” 

 

Motherhood is a wave. It throws us daily back onto the Rock of Ages– who will never, ever move.


3. Christ invites us to release our children to His loving care.

 

We know that during our child’s first 18 years of life, they are slowly learning independence and being prepared for life outside of our nest. There are thousands of little moments that help them gain confidence and strength to enter the world. However, each of these thousands of little moments are invitations for us to release them into His loving care, so that He can use them for His glory. We want his plan to unfold in their lives. We want him to walk with them. We want them to know him. We want him to use them for his glory. 

 

When God calls us to open our hands to release our children to him, it is a good thing. He is trustworthy and kind. There is no better invitation.

 

As we release our children into his loving care, we are also modeling for our children what it looks like to follow him – open hands and a surrendered, dependent heart. We are empowering them not to live in fear but instead to firmly believe that God is good. We will watch from a distance as they probably fail, but we sit back with a lump in our throat knowing that those opportunities present an opportunity for Christ to restore. As we watch Christ tenderly carry our children, we will be given opportunities to see them grow and flourish. 

 

But what if the worst thing happens? What if that’s not our story? What if our children have hardened their hearts to Christ or are living in sin? What if our children are physically gone? What if we can never hold them in our arms again? 

 

Sister, my heart aches with you. I must gently say that even when (or, especially when) the unthinkable happens and our deepest fears become actualized, His hands are still the safest and best place – for us and our children.

 

If that is where you find yourself, here are some promises to which you can cling:


  • As your Good Shepherd, Christ will guide you through this dark valley (Ps. 23). 

  • As your sure and steady anchor, Christ will hold you firmly amidst the hurricane of life flying around you (Heb. 6:19-20). 

  • As the one who never slumbers nor sleeps, Christ will keep you through the hardest nights (Ps.121:4-5). 

  • As the one who weeps with you, He compassionately feels the brokenness of the world and is resolved to act (Jn. 11:25-44). 

  • He says he is making all things new. One day, there will be no more tears and no more night (Rev. 21:4-5). The wrong will be undone. Instead, we will be in his presence where there is fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore (Ps. 16:11).

 

On this Mother’s Day, I pray that we all acknowledge this ache and rejoice loudly that Christ truly is our (and our children’s) only hope. What good news! What a sure foundation to place our hope! Though it feels scary to surrender control, we know that we are in the safest place we could all be if we are all tenderly held by him.


 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Emily is married to Michael, lead pastor and planter of Treasuring Christ Church in Ann Arbor and is a mom to four kids: Amelia, John, Caroline, and Graham. She serves as Kids Ministry Director at Treasuring Christ Church and freelance graphic designer. She loves partnering with parents in discipling their children, serving the local church, and using her talents of graphic design and communication to put on display the all-surpassing worth of Christ. Emily is happiest when she is with her family, sitting in a trendy coffee shop, traveling, or when she has sand between her toes at Ocean Isle Beach, NC.




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