I wish I would have known this was the truth three years ago. It’s a truth I realized as I was sweeping the floor in the entry way. I remember everyone talking about pregnancy and the birthing experience. Everyone has their own story as no two situations are the same. The big crescendo and the moment that’s been planned and waited for is what our brains are trained to think is the end of the hard part. It’s only the beginning.
I don’t mean to say that I was clueless in the thought that motherhood would be very easy, but there’s this thought in your mind that there will be a final push- the big crescendo moment. It’s what all the body stretching, late night bathroom trips, puking, and every other hard thing that pregnancy encompasses has led you to. It’s the moment of swift delivery (definitely no pun intended) that you probably waited and prayed for. Then it happens. It’s magic! There is the baby you’ve done it all for, and you feel a wave of relief because that season of hardship and “laboring” are over.
That’s what I thought, and I’VE NEVER BEEN MORE WRONG.
Laboring is never over once you’re a mommy. It’s spent and wrung out of you in ways you expected and ways you never could have. Everyday has it’s own waves of pain and moments of unbelievable, soaring joy that mirror those hours that your body was pushed beyond what you thought it could do as you pushed a life into the world. Everyday I become stronger than I was yesterday.
Each day requires this strength because it’s laboring. Working and toiling over diapers, lunches made, toys picked up, cleaning rooms, cleaning clothes, teething screams, and fits thrown (counting your own).
I think that if we realized while our feet were in the stirrups that this work would never end, it would feel bleak. It would feel hollow. It would feel overwhelming, and we would be scared in the moment if we could fully understand the weight of it all.
And then there’s Jesus.
In Luke 22 it’s discussed that Jesus looked into the cup of God’s wrath and asked for another way. God was silent. He did not answer. As we labor and toil, sometimes it feels like God is silent, but if we remember what Jesus said next we see great love and hope: “…not my will, but yours be done.” He saw what was coming, knew how hard it would be, and He went to the cross anyway. It’s not my will that my children would ever get ear infections or have teething pain, but in all things God is working to show me His sufficiency.
In the middle of my crying out a prayer, He is showing me that His hand is stretching out over the raging ocean that life can be, and He is showing me that I can’t calm my own storm – I CAN GO TO MY DADDY AND KNOW THAT HE OWNS THE WAVES.
Jesus has not stopped laboring for us. “The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” This verse (Zephaniah 3:17) tells the story of the work after the pain. Jesus drank it all in, and the hard part wasn’t over. He’s sitting in heaven right now interceding on my behalf (Romans 8:27).
I know that He must be working triple overtime with how much work I make for Him by myself.
I now realize how hard the laboring is, but on the other side it’s not bleak. It’s trying and it’s not easy for me – it’s also not about me. The fruit of my labor is not for me. It’s for the Kingdom, but it’s my blessing to enjoy it. I get to enjoy my husband, my beautiful babies, and my life that was purchased with the blood of Christ. I can choose to trust God and enjoy it, or I can choose to be swept up in the hard parts and myself.
Today was a day of crying out , and being swiftly struck with this reminder. The laboring will never be over, but the hardships in it will pass. In Lamentations 3:22-23 it reads, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” He is faithful, and through His faithfulness I can learn to be faithful to what I’ve been called to – laboring and laboring for great love and great joy!