Last week, Focus on the Family posted a graphic on their Instagram that read “You weren’t born to be a Mom. You weren’t born to be a Spouse. You weren’t born to be a Millionaire. You were born to bring glory to the God who created you.”
This sentiment was wildly popular with a lot of affirming “Amens!” But there were a few, like me, who found a slight rub. A mild irritant that made me take a brief pause before reactively hitting the like button (My usual reaction to their Instagram posts).
The problem with this instagram quote is NOT that it sums up our purpose into the catechismal statement: “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever”. In fact, I wholeheartedly affirm this line of the Westminster Catechism.
The problem is what it doesn’t recognize: our greatest purpose doesn’t eliminate others. It informs them.
God is a God who intended, not only the purpose of mankind as a whole, but the individual purpose for each and every life…. for every prince and every pauper. For every boy and girl. For every father. And every mother. For every child while still in its mother’s womb.
Yes, our God knew that you would one day be a mother. He created the days ordained for you while you were still in your mother’s womb and this child is in yours. This beautiful baby growing inside of you isn’t just the result of human choice or perfect family planning but a God-ordained soul created by God for such a time as this.
And He created you for this.
There will be nights when you doubt yourself. When you wonder if you’re cut out for this. There will be times when don’t think the tears will ever stop, when the rush of postpartum hormones may seem like too much to handle. So I’m here to tell you, expectant mothers, do not doubt your God ordained purpose.
You were created to be a mom.
We Don’t Know Our Future but God Does
Now to be fair, I believe the original Instagram post was geared toward single women who do not know if they will be a mother one day. Perhaps there was fear on the part of the author that we make too much of motherhood, that we idolize the role and find too much identity in it. So to protect oneself from misplaced hope, it’s best to believe we weren’t created for it.
But do you see what has happened? In order to not make too much of motherhood, we’ve made far too little of it. We’ve become a culture that postpones motherhood. That believes it can wait. We’ve become a convenience based motherhood. A wine-o’clock motherhood. An “I can’t wait to be an empty nester” motherhood….. “until the school year starts” motherhood. In our culture, motherhood has become optional. Only when it’s convenient. A hat we wear. A role we play. A carefully legislated choice. Anything other than a calling.
With our limited understanding, no one knows until it happens if they will be a mother or not. So we hold our breath, stifle our dreams, being careful not to disappoint ourselves. We are nearsighted creatures. But God knows. He stands in the future. He doesn’t wait for it to unfold. He wasn’t waiting for your next move like a cosmic game of chess. He wove your story like a tapestry. Behind, beneath, before you were born.
No matter what an Instagram post says, God knew you would be a mother. He has gone before you. And He’s prepared you for it. This is a high and holy calling. This is hard and holy work. Trust that He created you for it. He created you to be a mother, a mother that glorifies God.
HE CREATED YOU TO BE A MOTHER
The purpose of motherhood is to bring God glory, to provide shelter for this child’s becoming, to usher this child into existence, to participate with God in the life-giving work of creation in your womb, to shepherd this soul in the love of your home, to point them to the truths of God’s Word that have changed your life and invite them into the family of God.
Psalm 139:16-17. “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God, how vast is the sum of them.”
As you step into this God-ordained purpose, remember God has been preparing you for this very moment. As that child emerges from your womb on the approaching due date you will emerge a mother. You will not leave that hospital the same. In fact, one can say your journey with motherhood began with those two lines of symmetry on your pregnancy test, lines stretching into eternity. Motherhood is eternal work. Some say you only have eighteen years – eighteen years to raise them, to influence them. But a mother’s work is never over. The way we love our children impacts not only the eternal soul of the child but the generations to come here on this earth.
In our finite understanding, we don’t know entirely what that will look like. I know I don’t. When I held my one week old baby girl and a dear family member gleefully asked… “Oh! Don’t you just love being a mother?” I said… Well, I’m still learning what that means. I’d only been a mother for one week… or nine months if you include the time of gestation caring for the growing child in my womb. But God had been preparing me for motherhood, and He has been preparing you.
God has gone before you, everyday of your life to prepare you for what is to come. And there is one word I want to leave you with: FAITHFULNESS.
God is Faithful
Like I said, there will be days when you doubt yourself, when you feel unprepared. There will be days when God gives us more than we can handle. In my own life I’ve experienced the stress of being pregnant during Pandemic Lockdowns with my firstborn child and my second daughter struggled to stay alive in the ICU for over a week. I look back on that time, and what strikes me is not the stress of the situation (Although I should have been beside myself) but the faithfulness of God. In those moments God gave me everything I needed.
Sometimes we wonder if God will show up when we need Him the most. But let me tell you, dear momma. He will. You can look back on your life and see the faithfulness of God leading you, preparing you for motherhood. If He was faithful then. He will be faithful now.
It is my hope and prayer that your delivery and your child is healthy and complication free. But I want you to know, from one mother to another, that even if everything isn’t as perfect as you’ve pictured, God is sufficient for you.
He is already there. Waiting for you in the hospital delivery room. He is already there. When you first hold the crying baby in your arms. He is there, looking back at you, when you stare at the stranger in the mirror, at the weary body with new folds of skin that don’t quite look like yours. He’s there in the nursery when your sore breasts fill with that sweet milk to nourish your child and your eyes fill with salty tears from the raw emotion of the moment.
He is there with you. He has gone before you. And He has prepared you to be a mom. So you can enter confidently into this season, knowing He is faithful.
Deuteronomy 7:9 tells us, “Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands.”
May God bless you in this hard & holy calling. Don’t ever doubt it. You were born for this!
Pregnant During a Pandemic? Not What I’d Planned
With breaking news every hour, we can choose to be defined by this world’s uncontrollable circumstances, or we can choose to be intentional about the things we can control. Here are a few things I’ve identified for our little family…
Preparing Room for Jesus (Nursery Tour)
Anyone else guilty of going all Joanna Gaines when you have the opportunity to decorate??? Swap shiplap for seventies textiles and white interiors for the color yellow, and I am all there!
Dear Momma, there is wisdom in the wonder
I’ve always found Mary’s response to the shepherds sharing what the angels told them sweet, but now, as a new mom it holds new depth. Mary wasn’t just being sentimental, she was being wise.