Motherhood is hard, which is why we need a perspective shift for our work in the trenches.
Nine weeks. Sixty-three days. Seven hundred fifty-six hours.
Those numbers measure the span of time I lived in the hospital in 2015.
The plan was simple: I was to continue carrying our second daughter, Alisa Jane, until it was no longer safe to keep her in my womb.
Recently, I told a friend about this experience, and she asked, ‘How did your family logistically make that happen?’
Thankfully, our little family didn’t just survive that season; we actually thrived, even in all the heartache and grief. Reflecting on the experience with the benefit of hindsight, I answered my new friend with the simple, yet profound, reason for this: ‘The body of Christ surrounded us.’
Speaking to the disciples on the eve of his death, Jesus said, ‘By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.’
We know God’s love means we are to offer this same type of love to those not yet covered by the blood of Christ. Yet sometimes, I wonder if we have neglected to remember the true intent of Christ’s words on the eve of his death. Jesus was concerned that night with how they would love one another.
Jesus anticipated that his followers would be known by their love for one another, because the uniqueness of their love would reflect the greatest love this world has ever known: God’s incomprehensible, unconditional love.
This is the distinguishing characteristic of the Church.
Those nine weeks I lived at Baylor Hospital were some of the most humbling days of my life. I watched as believers from our community surrounded us in support. Friends with children of their own gave of their time. Christians we hardly knew provided meals, grocery shopped, and gave financially to help us navigate that trying season. Believers—some I had never even met—visited me almost daily, bringing with them the fragrance of Christ to the 6th floor at Baylor.
When we operate as he intended for us to live, we, the body of Christ, are a magnificent reflection of the greatest love known to man—God’s love for us.
Today I'm reminded of how far I am from being a good mother, a good friend, a good wife / sister / daughter / church member / volunteer – a good anything! I feel split in two, like I live in the in-between. I want to do better, oh how I long to do better. But the needs keep coming at me and I fail over and over again. I just can't seem to get it together.
At times, it can feel pretty bleak. Why can I not live out what I know, I know? If I have Christ, why do I sometimes feel lost? If I know his promises are true, why do I act like they don't exist?