(Republished with permission from Press Service International, for Christian Today Australia)
It is three in the morning, and you wake to cooing and gurgling from the bassinet beside you. Amidst the cycles of feeding, sleeping, nappy changes, cuddles and the occasional household chore, where does a tired mama find faith?
. . .
A journey and a season
Meeting our newborn daughter was an incredible experience. That first week in hospital was filled with enthusiastic singing, many chapters of the Beginner’s Bible, and constant thanksgiving to God for His faithfulness in delivering the gift of our first child.
Fast forward a few weeks and that initial burst of energy-giving adrenaline was gone, replaced instead by a very real fatigue. The singing died down, and it was hard to concentrate when praying or reading the Bible. Sometimes all I could manage was “Lord, please help her to sleep.”
Then, the storm passed. We settled into a routine, and I felt a refreshing in my spirit that lifted me up. With renewed energy, I spoke out the proclamation of Psalms and physically too, I rested and recovered.
God is merciful and He is kind. He knows how much we can take, and He sees us through all things. In the seasons of challenge, rest and growing yet to come, I know God’s faithfulness will continue to reign.
. . .
Faith in the struggle
We may not think it is much, but to cry out to God in any capacity is faith. It is a ministry to be a mum; a precious privilege to raise up a child. It is also a season in life marked by busyness that may be different to what we have experienced before.
What we used to set aside as devotional and prayer time may need to change with baby’s schedule. However, there is always a secret place, an intimacy with God, that we can cultivate. This secret place is found in the yearning of our heart.
With our silent cries for help in the middle of the night with an unsettled child, we put our trust in God. With the recollection of a verse that encourages, we receive blessing. With every small thank you, we give God praise.
Our schedule of worship and devotional time may no longer be specifically timed with the demands of a newborn. Yet, these disciplines of faith can still be a routine of our heart. God always knows what we are going through and He is our solid ground, our shelter.
“For in the time of trouble
He shall hide me in His pavilion.
In the secret place of His tabernacle
He shall hide me
He shall set me high upon a rock.”
(Psalm chapter 27, verse 5)
. . .
There are so many resources out there to help women adjust to motherhood, and everyone will have a unique journey of their own. These are just some things I found helpful in keeping faith during the busyness of those first few weeks with baby.
Pray, even if it’s short. Just keep talking to God; simple thanksgiving (“thank you for baby”), adoration (“Lord, your glory is shown in creation, in the miracle of new life”), declaration (“God you are faithful to see me through all things”).
Memorise some scripture. Motherhood has many unpredictable moments and Bible reading time can feel interrupted. Why not memorise some verses to meditate on throughout the day? There is no need for flipping book pages or swiping across a phone screen if we have the Word memorised!
Find some friends. Good friends (and family of course) are invaluable! Knowing that people are praying for me and baby has been a great encouragement. The verses, testimonies, songs and shared resources have spurred me on in faith!
Make use of feeding time. I have often used this time to memorise and read Scripture, pray, and to declare God’s promises over baby. However, feeding can be difficult so it may not be the best time for everyone. Still, from watching my mum do the occasional bottle feed, I have learnt that there is always time to say, “Thank you Jesus for the milk!”
Slowly but surely – take your time. Motherhood has been great for learning self-control and patience. Every little moment adds up; for example, the house getting cleaned little by little rather than in one big blitz. In the same way, consistent faith counts, so keep leaning into God. Little by little those moments of choosing God will build our faith.
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A final encouragement
We all go through different seasons in life; motherhood is just one example. For the mothers, but also for the weary, and the ones transitioning into new seasons – don’t give up! God is faithful to see us through, so keep faith, and keep trusting Him.
“… but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah chapter 40, verse 31)