Five years into the game, I can tell you that faith is no doubt a HUGE part of my motherhood journey. It’s faith in God, myself, my husband, the boys’ teachers, our doctors, and many more. For me, faith is having unwavering confidence and trust in God, even when life is saying “Nah, man.”
Growing up, I watched my mother navigate a variety of life challenges with grace, smiles and a lot of faith. She left her small town and moved to Chicago for love. In the process, she navigated multiple sclerosis, a divorce, and financial challenges to raise two amazing young women. She passed away before I turned 25 and before we could really get into the nitty gritty of facing life.
Even in our short time together, she was able to impart deep lessons in faith into my life. Here are four lessons that I reflect on constantly as I continue evolving into the mother and woman I’m called to be.
1. Trusting God consistently with the little things makes it easier to hand him the big things.
Whenever big challenges come my way, I always focus on how my faith will get me through. But, faith is like a muscle. We have to continually build it up to handle those Level 4 life events. Every day, she woke up and trusted God with any decision that came her way. Her grounding statement = “If he did it before, he’ll do it again.” Whenever I feel a little shaky or worried that a problem is too big, I have to say that to myself to snap things back in place!
2. God doesn’t owe us answers.
As someone who
loves needs answers, I struggle with this one a lot. But, that’s not the way faith works. Our responsibility is to trust God even when we don’t know how things will happen or work out. It doesn’t mean that we can’t ask how or why. We just need to know that God is working even when the answer is unclear or unknown. This is like Faith 301. I’ll admit that I am still working up to this level! This journal has been a great tool for me.
3. Our lives are the best Sunday school lesson for our children.
My mom had us in church whenever she could – Sundays and weeknights. She was devoted and volunteered on multiple ministries until her body told her that she couldn’t. I watched her serve others without complaint, tithe regularly despite our financial situation, and pray without ceasing. Her life was a lesson in what it really means to believe and live out your faith. It reminds me that I am an example for my boys. What I do every day has a profound impact on who they will become and what they will believe.
4. Faith doesn’t work unless we do.
My mother had unshakable faith in God and what he could do for us. She also knew that she had to do her part to manifest any blessings and healings. When it came to managing her health, she regularly consulted her physicians, attended physical therapy and participated in support groups. She was faith in action. And, honestly, action is where it counts. Applying for the job at a higher level, fighting for your family, using your voice for a cause – all ways that we put our faith in action. Believe first. Then, do.
When I think about how I show up for my boys, I regularly think about these life lessons. What example am I setting for them? How do I cultivate their own faith, in an age-appropriate way?
I am so grateful that she was alive long enough for me to absorb her faith lessons, and to apply in my motherhood story.