I have been doing some serious reflecting in the last few months as many people have. Our world is continually moving and changing at a rate sometimes hard to keep up with. In times like these, I tend to focus on the things that matter the most. For me, God and family are at the very top. Thankfully, God never changes. His faithfulness is new every morning. He is my anchor and strength when I am weak. He is my guide and I know that I can count on Him even in times of trouble.
My family has been the center of my life for the past 25 years. First, when I married my farmer and then, by the arrival of children and the establishment of what would be my whole life for many years. the other night during a swim meet for my youngest child (who is really no longer a child) I had an epiphany of sorts as I revisited memories in my mind of all the times gone by. With 4 competitive swimmers over the last 12 years, coming to the pool always stirs things up for me. It is a reminder of great times. However, there have also been times of grief for me lately, mourning the things of yesterday that I so desperately want to hold on to because I am terrified of what is coming next.
I took my role as “mamma” so very much to heart. I love being a mother. It is by far my greatest endeavor. If asked 22 years ago when I became a mother, what I would consider to be most important to me, my answer would most assuredly have been centered around personal goals. I had no idea what motherhood would entail and how much I would fall in love with my children. More importantly, as they grew, God would reveal to me how much what I was doing mattered and as a result I began to walk in a higher level of obedience and commitment to the call of raising children . I could see the need to be steadfast in my discipline, kind in my correction and I learned to love with forgiveness and joy. I accepted my call, reluctantly at times, exhausted all the time, but joyful in all things, because my purpose was clear. I was given the gift of stewarding children for the future.
All but one of my children are grown and have left the house to begin lives of their own. My oldest son was married just 6 months ago, my precious daughter will be married in May of this year, my next son has spread his wings, attending college 18 hours from home. And the bonus baby is about to start high school! Even he is becoming a fine young man. I have gained a daughter, will gain another son and they are all serving the Lord. Who could ask for more…
That has been my struggle. What is next, how to I know and when do I get there? And yet I am beginning to see what is next for me. My life of duty to my God and my family is changing. In the past year I have struggled deeply with this. My heart has ached for times past with so many unanswered questions flooding my mind. What happens to me??? Why do I feel so alone and left out?? What do I do now? I am not sure why it has taken me so much time to understand where God was taking me or why I have grieved my life of the past. However, that night, as I watched my youngest boy swim and communicated with my oldest boy about it, I realized something. I am still a mother! But now I have the honor to be a mother of men and women! And even as they have grown into adulthood, they still look to me for strength, reassurance and love.
Things are different. But my children have become all that I hoped for. I have the privilege of walking alongside them in the the goals and dreams God has now set before them. Stepping into this new chapter is a gift and a blessing! I find myself enthusiastically awaiting what comes next for me and eternally thankful for the patience given me by my family. The next chapter of motherhood looks to be full of adventure and I am ready to turn the page.