Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Lingering Question

The most lingering, difficult, pervasive question that lies in my heart each moment of each day is this: "Should I even be a mom?" The reason that this is such a difficult question for me is because I already know the answer. Yet, I continue to ask myself this question because the answer is not altogether easy to accept. The answer, I believe, is that: no, I probably should not be a mom (at least according to my own expectations and standards). And, the second part of the answer is: with God, I am more than able to be a wonderful mom and therefore, yes, I should be a mom. Seems contradictory!

I was reading today about one of the founders of the Proverbs 31 ministry. Lysa Terkeurst's story was about how God called her into the ministry even though she believed she was a very unlikely candidate. This was both powerful and personal for me to read....not that I'm called into ministry. But, where I can relate is the calling, in general. I believe I was called to be a mom, even from a very young age. Really, it's the only thing I ever knew without a doubt that I wanted to do...and be. I was always drawn to babies, children, and all things mothering. I didn't rush necessarily to make this all happen; I was 28 when I had my first child. But, I had finally arrived! And, it really wasn't too long after my second child was born that the daily, lingering question began, "Should I even be a mom?"

I ask this question consciously and subconsciously all day long. It has been quite a personal struggle. Of course, it didn't stop me from having two more children after the first two were born--I love being a mom. It is the joy of my life! But, in the quiet of my own heart and soul the question stems from knowing that I fail continually. I fail my children, I fail myself, and I am sure I fail my culture's expectations of mothering. And why shouldn't I? I'm human! However, the feeling of failing as a mom in what I believe I should do; in how I should respond; in the initiatives I should take--this can be overwhelming!

Lysa Terkeurst's story was emotionally freeing to read because she also described a similar quandary of not feeling qualified to lead a ministry, yet being called by God anyhow. She said so perfectly "Often God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies those that He calls." And, as I read those words today I realized that that's the answer, in a nutshell, to my lingering, difficult, pervasive question. No, I may not be truly qualified to be a mom to four amazing children. But, God is continually dedicated to qualifying me for this amazing job each and every moment of each and every day! I can't explain it any better than this. I've often confided in my husband that it is so discouraging to me that the one thing I feel called to do is the one thing I struggle to feel capable of doing successfully. Well, in and of myself, I will most likely never be capable of doing this job of mothering successfully. But, I am never alone! God is my ever present help; only a whisper away. Only a heart's cry away. He longs to help me in this journey.

When I keep this hope and this reality close to my heart, I am able to feel more-than-able to be a wonderful mom. Yes, I should be a mom! And, more specifically, I should be a stay-at-home mom to Jaden, Luke, Ella, and Tessa....because that is exactly what I am doing. I am not doing this on my own, thankfully. I have a Helper who loves these children more than I do. And, He is using every situation, every struggle, every success, every prayer, every bath, every diaper change, and every trip to the store with 4 lively children as a means to qualify me for this most important job. I'm humbled. I'm grateful. And most importantly...I have an answer to my question.

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