Anyone who’s had a baby before knows how life altering and time consuming those first few weeks can be. It seems like almost every minute of each day is focused on caring for, or at least thinking about, your baby’s needs. Days blend into nights as the little routine repeats over and over and you feel like you will never function normally again. One night my husband and I went to bed at 6:30 p.m. because I knew I would be feeding our son every two hours anyway, so it would just be a series of naps in my bed instead of on the couch (looking back this was a really bad idea because I had to drag myself out of bed even more, although my husband got a good night’s sleep!).
There are a few scriptures that have repeatedly come to mind since having our son that I now understand much better. My understanding of them has changed since I’ve become a mother, and my new lens has helped me to learn more about God’s character and His love for me. One passage in particular is Isaiah 49:15-16:
15 Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget,
I will not forget you!
16 See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
your walls are ever before me.
Previously, I remember thinking, Of course a mother could never forget the baby at her breast, how silly! She obviously would love taking care of his every need, feel compassion towards every cry, and willingly sacrifice all of herself to meet his every need. However, I was quickly made aware of the battle between my selfish, human nature and love for my son. Even though my newborn’s survival depended 100% on my attentiveness to his needs, there were times when it was a deep struggle to want to take care of them. Even though I never truly forgot about him, there were definitely times early on when I begrudgingly got up to tend to him. As I climbed out of bed one night, after being yanked out of a blissful, deep sleep by his cries, I remember thinking about this verse. It dawned on me that God delights in taking care of my needs all the time. He never forgets about me. He always has compassion. I’m engraved on the palms of His hands, along with billions of others. Amazing!
When the demands of motherhood seem overwhelming, and it seems impossible to take care of one more person or meet one more need, we should remind ourselves that God wants to take care of us. He remembers us when life is easy and when life is painfully hard. He pours out compassion on us even when we don’t deserve it. His love is perfect and it is the ultimate display of true sacrifice. He will mother us when we feel unable to mother anyone, and some day’s that is exactly what we need.
By Nikki H.