Motherhood can be a lonely profession at times, can’t it? I was surprised when my first baby was very little how lonely the days became. Sure, it was rewarding and delightful to care for her and interact with her all day. But she napped a lot and doing laundry and changing diapers over and over and over again became monotonous. When we did go out into public, she was the center of attention. People fussed and oohed and aahed over her. When daddy came home from work, he couldn’t wait to bounce her on his knee or fly her around the room. Sometimes Mommy can feel a little alone and dare I said it, forgotten, can’t she?
In Genesis 40, we read about a “forgotten” person. Joseph was thrown into prison for a crime that he did not commit. But the Lord was with him. It says that the Lord “shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.” And “that which he did, the LORD made it to prosper.” Still, after accurately interpreting the butler’s dream, the butler promptly forgot about Joseph when he was restored to his place. Imagine how lonely and unnoticed Joseph must have felt in that horrible place!
David is another person in the Bible who, no doubt, battled feelings of loneliness. Always on the run from Saul, maintaining his integrity in the midst of intensely trying circumstances, his faith didn’t waver. What did he do rather than give way to his discouragement? I Samuel 30:6 says, “but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.”
Even during the middle of the longest night when the baby won’t sleep, and it seems that all of the members of the family will never be well again at the same time, when Mommy has run countless loads of laundry, swept up innumerable Cheerios from the kitchen floor, wiped the toddler’s runny nose at least 300 times in one morning alone, we can remember that God “will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” God is always there, noticing everything you do, caring for your soul. Even when motherhood seems like a thankless, non-glorious job, God cares! Like David we can take comfort and encourage ourselves in the Scriptures. Luke 12:6,7 says, “Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.” God has His eyes on you, dear Mother! He’s watching you in the middle of the night. He cares about you as you rock your sweet baby! You are doing a good work, for Him!
There is a saying about child-rearing that goes like this, “The days are long, but the years are short.” How true is that?! Those early days, especially, seem endlessly long. But how quickly another birthday rolls around for your sweet little one and you can hardly believe that they are getting so big!
The other day I had a surreal experience. My son brought me a book, climbed up into my lap and read it to me from beginning to end. This really isn’t extraordinary in and of itself. But this book was different. He found, hidden in the depths of his bookshelf, a very special book. A book that he adoredfor the first few years of his life. One that I read over and over and over again. It was just a cheap paperback book about eighteen-wheelers. When he was little, I read that book so many times it drove me to tears. After a few years, when he moved on to other books, I slyly hid the eighteen-wheeler book in the bowels of his bookshelf so I wouldn’t be forced to read it for a long time. But even after all of this time, I found that I still could recite from memory every word of it. And there he was, sitting on my lap, reading THAT book to ME! And the Lord gently reminded me, “that this too shall pass.” The season of monotony and battling feelings of loneliness ends quicker than we realize.
Take heart, dear Mother! God is watching you, He knows just how you are feeling and what you are doing. He loves you immeasurably more than anyone else can! Your season of sleepless nights and sick babies and the same book over and over again will come to an end one day.
“Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant. Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
— Hebrews 13:20,21