When Motherhood Hurts

By July 3, 2013General

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(Note from Kat: Today’s post is from my friend, and monthly contributor, Liz Griffin)

I took my kids to a farm the other day. It was a Norman Rockwell kind of morning complete with chasing chickens and plopping down at a picnic table for a refreshing glass of lemonade. The type of day I imagined when I found out I was pregnant with my first child. A happy kind of motherhood.

What I didn’t know when I was expecting my first child was the pain that comes along with motherhood. Sometimes it hurts to be a mom.

Some of my friends have suffered from years of infertility and miscarriages. Others have had to struggle through the diagnosis of autism for their children. Sadly, I have had several friends whose little ones died in their arms.

In comparison, my pain seems small. I lost a baby between my two kids and my youngest had a very challenging time learning to talk. He is caught up now, but it was gut-wrenching to watch him choke back tears when other kids couldn’t understand what he was trying to say.

Also, we have been in the process of international adoption for over three years now.

My heart aches for my two kids in Africa. I would give anything to hold them, kiss their noses and tuck them into bed. But I have to wait…and it hurts more than I would like to admit.

Can I go ahead and be honest here?

No one told me that motherhood could hurt so bad.

Most days are the happy chaos I always envisioned as a mom. However, there are some days where I struggle to be joyful in the pain. I’m guessing you do to.

You know what mamas? God knows that it can be hard. He not only watches over our little ones, but he tends to us moms too.

” He tends His flock like a shepherd; He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart; He gently leads those that have young.”

– Isaiah 40:11

God is in the midst of our painful days. The days we ache over the loss, the days we get the diagnosis we feared, the days we watch our kids struggle.

He gently leads us through our grief, fear and disappointment. Psalm 27 says that we will see the goodness of God in the land of the living.

This promise from God allows me to find joy in the pain.

So, take heart mamas!  God leads us through our pain and into His presence. Each time my adoption hits another snag, I remember what God has promised me. And He always keeps His promises.

Do you have a testimony of God walking you through a painful season of motherhood? How has God gotten you through it? Click here to join the conversation, encourage and be encouraged. How can we pray for you today?

20130218-193106.jpgElizabeth is a church planter, speaker, writer and naptime abolitionist. She lives in Texas with her husband & two little kids. Her other hobbies include wasting time on social media, trying to remember where she parked her car & browsing Pinterest for DIY projects she will never actually make. You can visit her over at Lark & Bloom or on twitter @larkandbloom.

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16 Comments

  • Avatar Elizabeth says:

    Love your bio, Liz.

    I remember being sleep deprived, unsuccessful at sleep training, while my newborn was colic and my first one had terrible two’s. I thought I was going to go mentally insane. After so many nights crying out to God to help me, I finally received deliverance after a church service.

    Now my first-born is 7 and it was painful to hear about her being snobbed off from a couple of girls at school. I tried not to react, encourage her, and we prayed together. She is a rough and tumble not so girly girl. She raises her own chickens in our suburban yard. I was so proud of her when she began her own play group of friends at school and said anyone could join, which several others did.

    Not sure how God wants to deliver us financially these days. Please pray for supernatural direction and increase in our finance and good servanthood of our use of time. His Abundant Blessings!

    • Avatar Elizabeth says:

      Hey Elizabeth! Just prayed for your family, that God would provide every financial breakthrough you need & for sweet friends for your 7 yr old.

      She sounds like an amazing & bold little girl!

      Liz

  • Avatar Haley says:

    I’m in the midst of that painful season for sure. Our middle little gift is in the process of being diagnosed with autism. And quite frankly it sucks. On good days, I can be thankful that we are in a good place for him to receive the services he needs, etc. But then there is lots of readjusting to what my dream for him looks like. I told a friend yesterday that we are mourning the loss of what we expected life (his and ours) to look like. It’s gut wrenching to watch him not play with other kids, to know he wasn’t invited to a birthday party, to hear his random nonsensical phrases to strangers. Yes, motherhood hurts more than I expected too.

    • Avatar Elizabeth says:

      Haley, thanks for being so vulnerable. Two of my close friends have autistic children and I have watched them struggle through similar things.

      My mama heart aches for what you are going through. It must be really hard. I’m so sorry.

      Praying and believing that God will give you and your family tremendous grace in journey!

      Liz

  • Avatar Danielle says:

    Praying for you in this season! It is sooooooo hard! He does keep his promises, and is good to his children, regardless of what out circumstances tell us! I also found it helpful to remember that he sees the whole picture, we only see what is right in front of us, the sadness, the pain, the hard stuff, the mundane and the everyday good and bad. But he sees the whole picture and is at work in ways we can not possibly comprehend. I saw how true that was once our adoption was final! Praying knowing that the prayers of other believers are a huge way he sustained me through that very same season!

    • Avatar Elizabeth says:

      Thank you so much for the encouragement Danielle! It is always good to hear some perspective from others who have been through this.

      Liz

  • Avatar Kelly says:

    I went through 12 years of infertility. The first 5 years were the toughest and in many ways the best. I say that now, looking back – but oh, not so then. My reliance on God grew deeply as I began to accept His will for my life. I literally prayed every single day, “May the desire of my heart be for Your will and plan for my life”. On the hard days, I prayed that more than once. During that first five 5 years, one precious child went home to be with Jesus. During the next 5 years God was directing our hearts to adopt through China. The process took 2 years. After 12 years of desiring to be a Mommy, my beautiful little girl, who was born in my heart, was placed in my arms. She is now about to be 7 years old. I have been a blessed Mommy now for just over six years. Since then 2 more precious children have gone home to be with Jesus. Then God blessed me with a precious son who is adored and loved by his sister, he is now 4. They are amazing children! And yet one more precious child went home to Jesus almost 3 years after the birth of my son.
    My heart is very sensitive to others who have struggled with infertility. Waiting is so hard. Wondering. Hoping. Disappointment again. Isn’t this what He wants for us? Sure it is. In His time and His way. His timing is amazing! As I look back now, I wouldn’t have changed anything except my response to each loss. With the first loss, there was devastation, and a lot of “why?”. His answer was comfort. He gave me hugs through scripture I had memorized over the years. Healing through time and encouragement. The second loss left me with such anger. I struggled and fought with Him. Wondering what I had done to deserve such pain. Through this loss I learned to speak my heart to Him. He met me right where I was. He listened to me as I cried over and over begging for understanding and He met me with His unconditional love and comfort to my soul. I could wait with grace and be encouraging to others, in fact it was during our first 5 years that my sweet husband and I came up with our “motto” – don’t wait to live, live while you are waiting. But I couldn’t understand the loss. But I don’t have to, do I? He knows what’s best, always. He knows what’s best in the extreme hard stuff. He see’s the big picture. He holds the big picture in His hands. His will and plan for our lives is so much more than we could even imagine. We have to trust Him – He has all the details covered, nothing is over looked, nothing, not even the pain. Jeremiah 29:11

    • Avatar Elizabeth says:

      Wow, Kelly. What a powerful testimony. I’m so challenged by the way that you found God in the pain. Sounds like you have such a sweet family.

  • Avatar lindley says:

    Gotta say this is spot on! Yes, yes, motherhood can be painful and yes, yes, He is with us on our painful days and painful seasons. I’m not there now, but definitely struggled in the beginning when we found out our 4th little had Down syndrome. What would that mean for him? What would that mean for us? What is the Lord’s plan in all of this? And while I’m not struggling now, and I know that our little one is such a blessing, there are different things that can set me off if I start to think too far into the future. So, I try to follow the Lord’s command and take each day for each day—not worrying about tomorrow! He’s already ahead of us–in our future too, so why worry? I definitely don’t succeed always, but it’s so important to remember! AND—I painted verses for my boys’ rooms and our 3rd little boy’s verse is Isaiah 40:11! So love it!

    • Avatar Elizabeth says:

      Hey there Lindley! I know you must have such an amazing perspective on this issue. I enjoy watching you navigate what others would find so challenging with such joy!

  • Avatar Janet Dubac says:

    God is indeed faithful to us–especially to mothers! During days I feel especially troubled, I recall this verse from the Bible, Psalm 56:6: “You know how troubled I am; you have kept a record of my tears.” And it reminds me that there is never a time that the Lord fails to see my suffering.

  • Avatar Cynthia says:

    What I didn’t realize about motherhood is the pain that can come after your children are legally “adults”. I struggled to do the right things so my children would be good people. We never had a minute of trouble out of any of our kids until they were adults. Now we are the parents of two (of our three) prodigal daughters. One daughter has returned to a place where she looks to be able to live the life we had planned for her. The other daughter is a struggle every day. In this time, it is hard to realize sometimes it doesn’t matter how much you do right. So hard.

    • Avatar Jackie Aguilar says:

      God, our Heavenly Father, was the perfect Father, living in the perfect place Eden, with the perfect circumstances (no drug, alcohol, or abandonment issues), knowing perfectly how His children thought and felt…and look how they turned out! He gave them a pattern to follow, words of wisdom, and unconditional love…and the freedom to choose! Don’t throw away the truth of God for a lie from Satan, you raise your children the best you can in a fallen world…they have to decide and work out their own salvation with fear and trembling. Satan wants you to be ineffective in your testimony to God’s Glory by making you fearful of your parenting skills and the outcome of their lives. God did not give you a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind. You do your part to the best of your ability with what you have, and then let Him loose to do what He does best.

    • Avatar Jackie Aguilar says:

      God, our Heavenly Father, was the perfect Father, living in the perfect place Eden, with the perfect circumstances (no drug, alcohol, or abandonment issues), knowing perfectly how His children thought and felt…and look how they turned out! He gave them a pattern to follow, words of wisdom, and unconditional love…and the freedom to choose! Don’t throw away the truth of God for a lie from Satan, you raise your children the best you can in a fallen world…they have to decide and work out their own salvation with fear and trembling. Satan wants you to be ineffective in your testimony to God’s Glory by making you fearful of your parenting skills and the outcome of their lives. God did not give you a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind. You do your part to the best of your ability with what you have, and then let Him loose to do what He does best.

      • Avatar Cynthia says:

        Thank you so much for those wise words. I know in my heart this is not our fault, but sometimes it is hard to live those words. We are raising our 4 year old grandchild, and I personally fear living this again down the road. FEAR – will not be a word in my life from this day forward! Thanks so much.