My plans during college included a lot of things. Motherhood was not one of them. Three and a half years into marriage my husband was a new nurse, and I was trying to figure out how to get to grad school. Oh, and I had a baby.
The second I held my firstborn, the list of hopes and dreams and someday achievements vanished. I cared for no other earthly titles apart from wife, mother, and child of God. Ditto with the arrivals of children two, three, and four. Whatever I thought I wanted seemed trivial in comparison to having something so precious to love and nurture.
Being a mom changed everything. The reckless, go-out-in-any-weather, go-as-fast-as-you-can-without-getting-caught 20-something suddenly drove the speed limit and scowled at crazy drivers. I cleared my shelves of the highly acclaimed secular literature on my shelves. I started taking the Bible seriously and praying continually for my children.
Nothing in the world compares to a mother’s love. In fact, when God needed an image to describe his vast love for us, that’s the image he chose.
“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!” (Isaiah 49:15).
I am now on the other end of the parenting spectrum. In five years I may be down to one child at home. Not long ago one of my children asked what I would do once all my children left home to start their own lives. I laughed and said, “Don’t worry about me. I’ve got a list!” But when I had reason to flip through one of my children’s scrapbooks later that week to pull pictures for graduation, I knew that if any of my children called at any time, I would drop everything and go to the ends of the earth to help him or her if I could.
And that’s how deeply God loves us. It’s why Jesus left heaven, submitted himself to cruel oppression, and hung on a cross. Because he would do anything for us.
And God wants you to remember that even if your mother has failed you or she is gone or age has stolen her memory and her love seems suddenly vacant, his love remains. And it is as strong as ever.
Amber Albee Swenson is a writer, speaker, and blogger. Her husband and four children keep life exciting and give her lots to write and pray about. Mother, wife, and author are treasured positions, but child of God is her identity.
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