I remember the days before I became a mom. The days where my thoughts on children revolved more around how I would decorate their nursery and what cute outfits would adorn their pink, plump, little bodies than the day in and day out duties of motherhood. We dream of snuggles, sweet lullabies, and love unimaginable. And then we are gifted our precious child and we realize, while motherhood ushers in glorious light there are also dark days.
We come to understand that everyday isn’t filled with sunshine. Even from those first moments of holding our baby, we can be filled with anxiety, doubt, fear, and worry. We love our children and celebrate the joy they bring, but the day to day work as mothers brings many obstacles, heartaches, disappointments and yes, darkness.
Degrees of Darkness
The darkness of motherhood can take on varying shades. Sometimes we can’t see the light because of serious depression. Other times our own sin and guilt shrouds our hearts in darkness. A tragic accident or death may cause the clouds of pain to roll in and hover, never knowing if they will ever lift. Sickness may creep in and with it bring desolation. Even a child’s given disposition or certain physical or emotional disabilities can cast shadows over our souls. Our children’s sin can sink our hope and swallow us up in grief.
Or perhaps more practically speaking, the every day moments can wear on us. We struggle with how to handle temper tantrums. We walk through the day sleep deprived and exhausted. Our house is always in need of constant attention- laundry, dishes, spills. Homework time is a nightmare and makes us want to pull our hair out. The kids never seem to stop fighting no matter how much we discipline. And the list could go on. There are a myriad of reasons for why mothers go through dark days.
I don’t know your story. But I know if you’re a mom you’ve probably had some dark days. Maybe you’re in some dark days right now. And if they haven’t come, it is most likely they will. But there is good news… light can overcome the darkness. The question is, will we have the eyes to see it?
Darkness & Despair
Darkness is another descriptive we often use for despair. We have lost hope. We can’t seem to see answers for our problem and feel lost. We go about all the ways we can think to eradicate a situation but still come up empty. Or we realize that we are not in control and feel completely helpless. The light is dimmed by our limited vision. It is still there we just can’t see it.
With the passing moments of motherhood, our eyes can lose their sight from time to time. We wear despair like a blindfold and can’t seem to remember that we have not been left to ourselves. We only see our circumstances and our desperation. We see our sin toward our children but fail to see His forgiveness and grace. When our child is sick and we are unable to really help them, our hearts are tempted to grow dim. We’ve done all we can to teach our children God’s word and guide them to walk in it, yet they rebel and we feel the dark walls of despair close in all around. We’ve been up all night with a colicky baby and we have lost sight of His strength that can overcome our hardship. And the specific circumstances could go on and on. It’s no secret that being a mother is hard. But there is hope.
The Hope Giver
Another way to describe despair would be unbelief. We fail to believe that we serve a God who is good and sovereign and who has promised to never forsake us. We struggle to remember who He is and what He is able to do. We forget that He has promised us His strength, wisdom, and grace. Our vision is focused in on our circumstances rather than the One, who not only allowed our situation, but also has a purpose in it. The darkness of despair consumes our hearts because we have failed to set our hope in the One who gives us light. It’s as if we live like we are walking through the pitch black forest, stumbling over brush and thicket, all the while failing to shift our focus upward toward the brightly lit starry sky. When we reorient ourselves towards a posture of looking upward toward God we are able to clearly see, that despite the darkness we traverse, He is there ready to usher in the hope of His light. And darkness, while painful and difficult, does have its purposes.
Finding A Purpose In The Dark
Perhaps we are given dark days because it is in the dark times that He is able to shine brightest. We gain a better understanding of His sovereign reign when we see Him working through the gloom for His glory and our good. When we go through difficulties as mothers, whatever they may be, we better know His strength. When we can’t find our own way through the blackness, we begin to see that His wisdom can lead us through. When we are weary and tired, we look to Him who is our rest and peace.
God has not left us to ourselves. Rather, the darkness draws us toward the light. It proves that we cannot mother on our own. When we discover our shortcomings and reach the point of desperation it is then that we see He is with us, shining His light into the darkness, beckoning us to to look up to Him so that the paths we walk can be illuminated and full of hope. Only then can our eyes be filled with the light of His truth- rightly believing who He is and trusting that He is working for our good.
An Everlasting Light
The truth is, all the hope we have in this world is because of Jesus. We cannot escape the darkness because we live in a fallen world, whose painful and trying effects are present because of sin. Yet, we are not without a guiding light. John 1:4-5 reads, “In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” Jesus came into this darkness to offer us hope through Him. An eternal hope that brings life and one that can never be consumed by our dark days. And what’s more, the light we see here is but a flicker of the light to come and the darkness is but a momentary affliction that will one day be swallowed up by an everlasting light. Ultimately, this world will look so utterly dim compared to our eternal home, whose light is made bright by the very presence of Christ Himself.
Dear Mamas, no matter the darkness that threatens to consume you, hope in Jesus. Let His love and grace pierce through the darkness so that you may be given the eyes to see His light as you mother for His glory.