I got myself a gift this Mother’s Day: A Tattoo. If you’d asked me a few years ago if I’d ever get a tattoo, I’d tell you not in a million years. I just didn’t view myself as “the type”, whatever that means.
Things changed. I changed.
I’ve been deep in the trenches for as long as I can remember; fighting battles, one after another, that threatened to steal the life right out of me. I’d survived a broken childhood, followed by relationships that left me completely shattered. What was dark only seemed to become darker, but God didn’t give up on me. Over and over again, He led me back out into the light. Several painful years went by and, finally, the dust began to settle. I graduated from college, married an amazing man…for the first time, “normal” came into view. Just when I thought that I was in the clear, hope in hand, starting a family of my own…my children came with one diagnosis after another.
On the journey of motherhood, I can’t count the number of times I’ve found myself hiding in the bathroom sobbing or leaning over the kitchen counter just trying to breathe, asking God what He was thinking. How could He possibly let this happen? How could He give these children, with all their unique needs and challenges, to someone as ill-equipped as me? The voices of my past assured me that there was no way I’d ever measure up. I couldn’t be the mother they needed me to be.
I don’t deserve to be their Mama…but I am.
I knew deep down that God doesn’t make mistakes. So, why am I here? I needed to know what to do, who to be, in the role I’d found myself in. I desperately needed renewed hope. I knew the only place I’d find answers like that was in God’s word, where He speaks to us; where He breathes life into hearts gone cold. I knew, from past experience, that His word could not disappoint…and it didn’t:
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10
“Before you were born I set you apart.” Jeremiah 1:5
“I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength to do His work. He considered me trustworthy and appointed me to serve Him.” 1 Timothy 1:12
“…there is a remnant chosen by grace. And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.” Romans 11:5
Set apart. Chosen. At this time. In this place. For these children. This mission, this calling, is no accident. It was determined for me before I was born. I’ve been appointed to serve Him through my role as their mama and the impact our family’s journey can have on the world around us will ripple into eternity. I am a part of His grand design to draw His children in; to reach their hearts. Me. Just as I am. I am chosen by grace. Scars and all. Not because of anything I’ve done, but simply because He loves me. His love for me remains, on the days I’m a great mom and on the days that I fail. Through Him…I can be all that my children need me to be.
I wanted a permanent physical reminder. A reminder in the midst of this battle. Evidence of a truth God’s revealed to my heart that, though I’m fighting against a deep feeling of inadequacy, by His grace…I was chosen for this.
Motherhood, no matter the needs of your children, can bring you to the end of yourself. Remember that, even in the moments when you feel like you just can’t do it anymore, by His grace, you can. On the days when you’ve given your all and it just doesn’t feel like enough; if you begin to question why God would give your babies to a mama like you…hold tight to the truth that you were chosen for this…and rest in the unconditional love of The One who chose you.