Seeing our children make decisions that can bring about pain is hard for any parent. But remembering those sweet moments of motherhood can help ease that pain.
by Gail Kittleson
The biblical Elizabeth, Zachariah’s wife, reminds us how precious a child is. Having waited decades to bear a child, Elizabeth had no choice but to give up.
She did her best to keep honoring God. But then, the miracle—Gabriel appeared to Zachariah, who failed to believe and lost his voice until the birth.
But not Elizabeth. She went off and spent five months “relishing her pregnancy.” Her overflowing praise song encouraged Mary, Jesus’ mother, in her early pregnancy.
We can only imagine Elizabeth’s overwhelming joy at birthing a baby boy. Long past the age of mothering, she cherished every moment.
I wonder if her joints ached, and if she cried tears of relief when little Johnny finally went to sleep at night? And yet, even then that original joy laced her exhaustion.
But John’s headstrong nature led him down uncommon paths—some would say bizarre. When he butted heads with the Pharisees, did Elizabeth reflect on those early, malleable days of her good little boy?
Parenting can become a pain, yet the potential of growing right along with our offspring beckons us. Growing often hurts, but as we allow our children to walk—even if they stumble—life’s up and down road, we’re guided back to our own road. Still plenty of challenges waiting for us . . . always room to grow in character.
Like every mother, Elizabeth wanted the best for her son, but did she live to observe him become John the Baptist, the Messiah’s forerunner? If so, she suffered great pain, for his was no easy road. His ignominious death would break any mother’s heart.
Sometimes, focusing on our memories of that first unique moment of motherhood is the best we can do.
Pearl Harbor attacked! The United States is at war.
But Addie fights her own battles on the Iowa home front. Her controlling husband Harold vents his rage on her when his father’s stoke prevents him from joining the military. He degrades Addie, ridicules her productive victory garden, and even labels her childlessness as God’s punishment.
When he manipulates his way into a military unit bound for Normandy, Addie learns that her best friend Kate’s pilot husband has died on a mission, leaving her stranded in London in desperate straits.
Will Addie be able to help Kate, and find courage to trust God with her future?
Find In Times Like These on Amazon.
Gail lives in northern Iowa with her husband of thirty-eight years. They enjoy family and the Arizona Ponderosa pine forest in winter. Gail’s all about words—she loves to read, write, edit for other authors, and facilitate writing workshops.
In her latest release, In Times Like These, a young World War II farm wife longs to become a parent, but her husband blames her for their childlessness. Readers resonate to Addie’s home front made-do attitude and cheer her on to find her voice while the war ignites battles all over the world.
Find Gail on her web site, Facebook, and Amazon.
Let’s talk about this. When our children our young, our primary aim is to raise them to be fully devoted Christ followers, or at least, it should be. But what happens when those children who were raised to seek after Christ and His will begin to put feet to their faith? How would you respond if your child said they wanted to serve Christ in the Middle East? Or Northern Korea? Or in another dangerous and difficult way? Our daughter has shared some potential God-nudges with us, and as I listened, there were times the Mama Bear in me rose up, and I longed to redirect her. To protect her–from all the unknowns she might face. But I realized doing so would encourage her to live a partial faith and would send the message: “I want you to obey God fully–when it’s easy, safe, and convenient.” And I couldn’t do that. I hope my resolve to continually point her to surrender lasts when it comes time for her to step out in whatever direction God leads, even if He leads her in a way I find unsettling. Because I know, deep in my protective Mama’s heart, true joy and fulfillment come from full surrender.
When has God nudged your children in a direction that felt uncomfortable for you, and how did you respond? Did God use anything–a verse, song, maybe note from a friend, to encourage you during that time? Share your thoughts here in the comments below or on Facebook, because we can all learn from each other.
Before I go, to those who prayed for my trip to Des Moines, thank you! God showed up in such a mighty way. I should maybe write a blog post about it, so you can celebrate His awesome mercy with me. Stay tuned! 🙂
Jen, I’m glad to be a part of your discussion today. My parenting perspective has certainly developed and changed through the years!
Thanks for sharing your heart with us!