Updated: Oct 16
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” John 10: 27 (NIV)
My shaky hands reached in desperation for the phone. Through big, bulbous tear droplets, I dialed my mom’s number, longing to pour out my heart into a safe space. I confessed to myself the agony pressing in on my soul: ”I can’t do this mom thing! I’m failing at every turn!”
It had been one of those days where you look in the mirror and hang your head in shame after losing your cool. These are the days that reveal areas of anger and frustration tucked into the back corners of your heart…the days that leave you empty, broken, tearful and doubting your very calling as a mom.
I can’t help but wonder if you can relate. Motherhood is full of fun and joyful moments where our hearts may burst with happiness. But it’s also peppered with days that overwhelm and plow over us. And when those days come, so do the shouting voices of condemnation, failure and fear.
So what can we do on the days that knock us down and wear us out?
Mama, when your child brings you to your knees, don’t get back up. Stay there, and call on Jesus in prayer. Stay there, and ask Him to speak to you—right there in the middle of the mess, the crushed cheerios and crushed spirits, the bad attitudes, tantrums, fear and mom doubt. The very best thing you and I can do is stay on our knees in prayer, listening expectantly for His voice, because if we’re going to survive or rather thrive in motherhood, we must learn to seek and wait on the voice of our Father.
As we mother our children, we have so many voices and so much noise clamoring for our attention—often, these voices even contradict one another! And, make no mistake, our enemy stands ready and eager to capitalize on the potent mix of confusion and discouragement that bubbles to the surface on the hard days. But, you and I can fight to discover and hold onto the truth. In John 10:27, Jesus said, "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” (NIV)
When a foreign voice calls, real sheep will not respond—they will simply ignore the call. Yet when called by their shepherd, they come running. It’s a beautiful depiction of how Jesus relates to us—how He longs for us to ignore all the other voices so that we might come running the moment He calls us with love and care.
This week, I want to challenge you to carefully examine the tone of all those thoughts rattling around in your brain, especially on the hard days. Are those thoughts tinged with fear? Guilt? Condemnation? Confusion? This is not your Heavenly Father’s voice! Instead, He comes with kindness, conviction, gentle direction, and gracious mercies. His Word tells us to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5) so that we might hear His voice and walk boldly in it.
The next time motherhood brings us to our knees, may we stay there in prayer and listen for the voice of our Savior Shepherd—the One who loves and sustains us through it all.
Your fellow Able Mom,
Jesus, thank You that You know us, love us, and stand ready to sustain us, even on the most challenging days of mothering. When confusion clouds our minds and hard days knock us down, may we stay there and call on Your name. Grant us the strength and wisdom to mother in love and grace today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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