I'm hand moping 1,200 square feet of hardwood floors in a new, unfamiliar house, scrubbing away the dirt, grime and I don't know what it is from the family before us. My knees are red and tender and my right arm is sore, so I switch the rag to my left hand for some relief.
I blink back the tears that pool at the front of my eyes. It has been such a long and hard few months. The arrival of my second baby brought joy, yes, but with her came change, uncertainty, pain, loneliness and grief. The hits keep coming one after another, it feels like each time I get up God sends another wrecking ball swinging.
But now I know intimately what it means for motherhood to be hard. In between the explosive love, sweet words of adoration, sleepy snuggles, and gummy smiles that make your world stop spinning with beautiful, unforgettable moments, motherhood is also one of the most grimy, cruel and unforgiving things I've ever been apart of.
There's this part of motherhood, this hard to define, impossibly unexpected part of it that you can't be prepared for. Everyone says they weren't ready for the love, the-explosive, out-of-this-world, crazy-for-you, I-can't-understand-it-or-describe-it love that comes when you see your baby for the first time. And comes again, each day as sure as the sunrise, as you get to know them, and they you.
But I would guess that most mothers are even more unprepared for the sudden unrelenting pressure on their chest, the wave of fear, doubt and defeat that crashes again and again, the constant struggle against the expectations, desires, hopes and dreams and the reality of motherhood. Most mothers are unprepared for the process of learning what is important and what is unimportant. What is worthwhile and what is worthless. What is true, right and lovely.
Most mothers are unprepared for the difficult, painful path to maturity.
I know I am not alone in this. It make take some time, like it did for me, but motherhood has a 100 percent track record of knocking women to their knees and humbling us all right on our crumb-filled kitchen floors.
Motherhood shows no favorites.
If there's one thing we can be sure of, it is this: motherhood will break you.
I believe, but I don't. I trust, but I don't.
And so where do we go in this? What do we say or do in these difficult parts of motherhood that leave us bruised, broken, bleeding and limping through the long days and nights?
We remember that God honors the fight.
I believe, help my unbelief.
It's choosing to believe, yet admitting we need more faith. It's asking for help, it's begging for more, it's knocking on the door. It's fighting when the battle seems lost. It's recognizing the struggle that it is to hope against hope, trust in the unseen, and be secure in the uncertain.
It's waking up each morning and asking, "Are you here? Do you love me? Do you care?" and remembering truth and replying, "I know you're here. I know you love me. I know you care."
It's fighting to remember he is who he says he is.
God honors the fight.
As sure as our toddlers will throw tantrums, we can count on facing doubt in motherhood. It creeps into the small spaces, before the mac and cheese, around the play dates and after bedtime - doubt will never wait long, it demands results, answers and tangible evidence.
But faith begs to be waited upon, it must be chosen before it arrives, it must be pursued, sought out and fought for.
God honors the fight.
As I rinse my rag in the dirty bucket again, I push away the self-pity of a Mother's Day that was anything but picture-perfect, and I remind myself. This is what motherhood is: a fight. Motherhood doesn't quit or quiet. It demands to be done each and every day. It demands a fight.
So persevere momma. God is able to and will do as he has promised. He loves you. He remembers you. He cares for you. Call on faith to quiet the shouting of doubt. Motherhood is hard, there has never been a promise that it would be easy. The tug of doubt vs. faith is real, and as much as it seems it shouldn't be, it's okay to live with both. Have faith, then ask for more. Believe, then ask for more.
God honors the fight.
He remembers you. He loves you. He sees you fighting, and he will honor it.
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