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The Bittersweet Role of Mothering

     Have you noticed how being a mother makes you incredibly vulnerable? You are given the amazing gift of new life within you, and from that moment on your thoughts are of your child. 

     You hope that all will go well, that your child will be loved by everyone and that he/she will grow up to accomplish the incredible!  Your heart is one with your child, and you do everything within your power to keep him/her safe and secure.

     Of course, as much as you try, you inevitably will fall short.  You experience everything with your children from scraped knees, hurtful words, strike outs, broken bones, hurt feelings, sickness, poor choices to disobedience.  If we could call the shots, we would not choose any of these life challenges for them.   

     Consider the bittersweet role that Mary, the mother of Jesus, played.  Yes, it was an incredible privilege to be the mother of the one and only Son of God, but the circumstances of her pregnancy must have been stressful for a young woman who was, in fact, a virgin.  But how sweet it must have been to have the joy of loving and cherishing a beautiful son who was perfect—really! The Bible says that no sin was found in Him.  Imagine a child with no talking back, no teasing his siblings, always doing his chores and honoring his mother and father at all times!  It must have been difficult for his siblings—I can hear them whining, “Jesus is your favorite—he never gets in trouble!”  I wonder if she tried to tell them who He was. 

     At age 30, Jesus’ ministry began when Mary told some servants to do whatever He said.  Knowing her son, she was confident that He could do the miraculous, and He did.  His first public miracle was turning the water into wine at a wedding celebration.  I’m sure Mary’s heart was bursting with pride and joy.  You know the feeling—that’s when it’s sweet to be a mom!  Soon Jesus was so popular that the crowds were likely interfering with her ability to be near Him.  Everywhere He went, people flocked to see Him, and the sick and lame were made well and whole.  She probably saw Him less, but what amazing things God was doing through Him!

     Unfortunately, the religious leaders of her day were jealous of Jesus and not at all pleased with His miracles.  Their sin of envy gripped them and their fear of losing authority with the people brought them to a place of hatred for Him.  How Mary must have struggled within her spirit.  The men who had spiritual authority over her people were rejecting and plotting to kill her son!     

     Mary’s deepest sorrow must have come as she witnessed her son’s torture on the cross. We get a glimpse of the tender love of Jesus as He looks to His friend John to take His place, saying, “Mother, behold your son, and son, behold your mother.”  In her bitterest moment, Jesus gives her a taste of His sweetness.  As Jesus fulfilled His mission from the Father to provide for humanity’s forgiveness from sin, He could not do it without causing pain to His mother.  So also our children must experience the life that God has ordained for them. We do all we can to protect them, but ultimately we must release them to God to accomplish His purpose for their lives.  Mary may not have understood the plan completely, but I believe her faith in God carried her through the bitter seasons.

     We, too, can choose to be poured out for our children.  Yes, there will be some bitter times.  There will be some pain.  There may be sorrow. But in those times, we can willingly lay down our thoughts and emotions and choose to embrace God’s plan.  Instead of allowing our pain to bring resentment or anger, we can be thankful and trust Him.  Today is a new day to dedicate our children and ourselves to God.  If we will draw near to Him, He will tenderly bring comfort and remind us that the investment is worth it!

Copyright © 2008-2015 Dawn Sheridan Kollar

Reader Comments...
2011-01-15 16:04:02
"Sometimes mothering isn't given through "amazing new life within you." Sometimes it comes from being blessed to adopt, or to temporarily minister to children who are without a mother, or simply choosing to love some as a daughter as you have done for me. I am so grateful for you.

Anyway it comes, motherhood comes is a gift from God."
        - Tara

2010-04-23 10:16:04
"I am so proud of you Dawn....you have mothered with excellence...your kids are absolutely amazing!!!"
        - Darla Joy

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