Psalm 16 - Meg Walker - Mother's Day Collection Day 2
The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
I bless the LORD who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me.
I have set the LORD always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
Approaching the big days is the worst… isn’t it? The build up, the (unintentional) expectations, the hype… the way social media pressurizes things. It’s all so overwhelming. And it’s hard.
Around Mother’s Day, specifically, there is a painful part of my soul that laments that my motherhood is actually largely unseen. My first Mother’s Day, my arms were empty, but my heart was full. Still, I wondered: Was this day for me, too?
We had lost two babies that same year – our son after seven hours due to a birth defect and our second ten months later via miscarriage. I knew I was a mother, and yet I carried an inner fear because I wasn’t totally sure if anyone else agreed. I had carried life in my body and my arms… but only for a brief time. Did that count?
And, in addition, the deeper question I wrestled with was: God, is this really what you have for me? My heart was so acutely hurting. My circumstances overwhelmed me. Was I unfit to be a mother? Is that why he took my babies? How could this possibly ever be good for me? It was hard to believe. And my babies felt so far away.
For months, as I carried my dying son to term, I clung to a few verses that seemed to anchor my soul. God felt so distant, but he gave me the grace to believe him when he wrote, “The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.” (Psalm 16:6)
You see, I had come face to face with the lines that God had drawn for me around my life, and I had to decide if I was going to praise God for what he had given me. Had the lines – losing one child, and eventually a second – actually fallen for me in pleasant places? Was this really God’s beautiful inheritance for me? I was faced with responding as, “Yes, God, you are still God of my life. I will choose to trust you,” or, “There’s no way.”
Regardless of what he said, these were my boundary lines. This was my actual life. And so, I concluded that I simply needed to ask for the grace to trust him with it. As time went on, and I grieved what should have been, I began to realize that all those things I suddenly longed to do-- changing diapers, reading bedtime stories, making lunches, celebrating achievements-- may be part of motherhood for some, but motherhood doesn't end there.
The moment you begin carrying the love for another human being simply because they’re yours – at that moment, you become a mother. Caring for a human life, sustaining it as best as you can, being asked to lay down your own needs and desires in order to give selflessly to someone else: all of these things are significant parts of parenting, regardless of your daily routines.
You’ve been entrusted with the soul of another person, even if for too short a time; and it is there that motherhood is born. You are a mother.
God has made you a mother. He has defined the lines of your life, and he names those lines pleasant – even when the world does not. Your motherhood might include loss. Your motherhood might include trauma. But your motherhood is something beautiful that God has given you. Take comfort in how he sees you. He calls that birth in your soul good.
And where does that leave you? When the pain is too much, when the weight of the world overwhelms you, when the holiday leaves you in dread? It leads you here, right back to the words of that same Psalm:
“The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance. I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.” (Psalm 16:5-8)
You can find comfort in the One who made you a mother. He holds you; he protects you. In the night, when you are awake again, unable to sleep, tears soaking your pillow: instruct your heart to his goodness. He is at your right hand! He is near you. You do not have to be shaken.
When you feel completely unseen, completely unnoticed, pained by the brokenness of this world and unable to face the day when you long to be celebrated, too… rest in the truth that God sees you, and he loves you for you. The same reason you love your babies - just because they’re yours.
My friend, this Mother’s Day might be hard. I get that. This plan for your life might not feel good. I get that, too. But know this – your inheritance is beautiful because it is his. Lean in to what he’s given you. Embrace his tender affections for you wherever today finds you – and rest knowing that this day is for you, too.
God cares for you more than you could know. In that, you are loved. You are seen. You are known. I’m praying for you.
Happy Mother’s Day.
Hi Friend, Ashlee here. Below is a song that I encourage you to listen to. I thought it would be a beautiful way to enter into worship as you begin your day and dwell on the Psalm above. Praying that you would feel the closeness and peace of the Lord as you walk forward today.