This week in honor of Mother’s Day I want to post some more thoughts about motherhood. The last blog post I wrote I think hit some kind of nerve. Here is one message I received after writing it:
Your blog post that you put up today was really good. I have to admit, that in my incredibly selfish mind….those very feelings are what make me afraid to have children. I feel like at my job I am needed, appreciated, valued, and productive. Even though I have never LOVED my job and have always known that I would stop eventually, I fear not having those motivators on a regular basis. Like..big time fear.
Almost to the point (and this is super embarrassing to admit) that I have made a list of things I want to do before I “lose my own life”! I have almost set myself up in my mind to feel like my life is over when I have kids. I know this all sounds very dramatic, and trust me….I pray that the Lord blesses us with kids and I know that I cannot possibly understand the joy of motherhood now, but I fear the thoughts you have expressed. So, all this to ask for you to be praying for me as we move closer to that time in life. AND know…..I will be calling you someday! Thanks for being real and open! I’m glad I’m not alone!
After giving this a lot of thought, this is what I wrote back to her:
I know exactly where you’re at because I was once there. It was as like I could hear a train in the distance and I knew it was coming for me! As it neared, I had many of the same thoughts you just expressed. My job made me feel productive and being productive made me feel like a valuable, significant human being. I feared what would happen if that was stripped away from me.
Ultimately, the train arrived (so to speak), I got pregnant, and I eventually quit my job so I could stay home to take care of my baby. I was stripped of many of the things I had been clinging to for significance and value: accomplishment, productivity, and people’s applause and appreciation.
In some ways and at some moments I was a train wreck. I came to realize that it’s dangerous to look to ANYTHING besides Christ for significance. Those things can quickly become idols and…in my experience, God will frustrate our idols in order to purify our worship of Him.
The book Search for Significance has really helped me with my “significance issues” as it explores different things we depend on to give us worth. Anyway, I WILL be praying for you in this area…and just so you know, I have in no way arrived. It’s a daily struggle to rely on who I am in Christ for my sense of purpose in life. So, I guess we’ll be on this road together and can encourage each other to look to Jesus alone for everything and nothing else!