Hello! Thank you so much for stopping by! I am excited to have committed to this 31 day challenge.
Last year I read Treasuring Christ When Your Hands are Full by Gloria Furman with two friends. We (roughly) followed the study guide as we met week by week. In the introductory chapter we found a prompt encouraging us to build a theology of suffering from some passages. That prompt sparked my heart and eventually this series. I realized I had not been making intentional connections from a theology of suffering to the daily kind of suffering I experience in motherhood. For over a year I have been thinking about this topic and actually started writing about it in the spring. Then came our plans to move overseas and it was crazy town for a while. When I saw this challenge, it was the encouragement I needed to write.
The following quote by Charles Spurgeon inspired the title for this series. “I have learned to kiss the wave that throws me against the Rock of Ages.” I have experienced the brokenness of this world through motherhood more than anything else. I have felt the brokenness of my body as I deal with hormonal changes caused by pregnancy and as I feel the effects of autoimmune disease. I have seen the deep brokenness of my own soul and my utter inability to believe and trust apart from Christ as I battled post partum depression. And, in having daughters of my own, have grown intensely sensitive to the suffering that parents experience in this world–miscarriage, infant death, diagnoses of illnesses, death of older children, and terminal illnesses for parents themselves. Motherhood has been full of waves that bring me to my knees, that knock out all self-sufficiency and illusions of control, and that give me Jesus, over and over again.
I am learning –and will continue to learn as long as I live- to embrace the waves in motherhood. I often don’t want to kiss the wave. Sometimes I am tempted to be bitter. I have at times been deeply afraid that the bigger waves will kill me, that I will drown and I will lose my faith. But my Savior is the one who commands the wave to throw me against Himself– He is the Rock on which I land.
I am not an expert at suffering and I am certainly not an expert at all things moms. I learn by writing so my only credential in writing about a theology of suffering for moms is how much I need these truths to face each day in motherhood with joy and courage.
Now, motherhood in itself is not suffering; it truly is an incredible gift, an undeserved privilege, a precious, precious calling. But, as anything good in this fallen world, suffering does come with motherhood. And when I am not equipped with a robust theology of suffering, or when I forget it, then it is very hard to embrace motherhood with joy and self pity quickly takes over.
We know motherhood can be hard day in and day out but we don’t always think of that hardship as suffering. And yet, when nighttime comes we start dreading the next day when we have to do it all over again, and our hope is shaken. Do we have a framework within which to think of the frustrations, disappointments, physical weakness, emotional weariness, and exhaustion that come with the territory? We very much need theology for the trials we experience every day with sleepless nights, messy homes, difficult children, our own sinful attitudes and the doldrums of endless repetition of menial tasks when we yearn for something more.
John Piper said, “Wimpy theology makes wimpy women.” By framing this series as a theology of suffering I don’t want to enable our complaining about how hard it is to be a mom. I am actually hoping for quite the opposite. I am hoping that by looking at the precious truths of the Word about suffering we will not be wimpy, but courageous! My prayer is that as Christ strengthens us as moms our homes will be places where the gospel is adorned and in which (and from which) the Kingdom is advanced for His glory.
Even though I will be writing every day, I won’t post every day. Here is a general schedule for my weekly posting:
Mondays–Encouragement through song
Below are the posts in the series. I will keep adding as I write them.
Introduction to the series
Introduction–you are here