Suffering with hope

Motherhood – Learning to Rest in the In-between, Unfinished, and Unknown

As Mother’s Day approaches, I’ve been thinking a lot about how much the journey of motherhood is one of always living in the in-between, unfinished, and unknown. 

As soon as we put away the vacuum, a child spills their lunch. As soon as the laundry is folded, it’s back in the hamper. As soon as the last bite of dinner is finished, dishes need to be cleaned and the next meal needs to be planned. But it’s not just the mundane tasks, it’s the reality that we (and our children) are always in a process. Right when our children grow in one area, they begin to struggle in another. We snap AGAIN at our child after apologizing the day before. As we look around, there’s always more we could be doing, something we could have done better, and a future full of unknowns. It can be stress-inducing and joy-sucking at best, and crippling at its worst. 

Because we are created in the image of a God of order, wholeness, and perfection, it’s difficult for us to live in a world where those realities will always be mixed with brokenness, flaws, failures, and imperfections. Even our best efforts will be riddled with imperfections and no guaranteed outcome. I’m learning more and more that, just like the Christian life, our rest is not going to be found in handling every situation with perfection, a guarantee that our children will follow the path we desire, a picture perfect family, or knowing what the future holds. It rests in God’s unmerited grace. You and I are not moms because God thinks we won’t screw it up. He knows we will. We are entrusted with the title “mom” because his grace is bigger than our failures. He knows it will drive us to our knees in dependence on him if we are willing. 

So our goal is not to figure out the end result or measure every choice we make as though it will determine the end of the story. It’s to learn to live faithfully in the in-between, unfinished, and unknown. God holds the outcome in his hands – we need not carry the burden upon our own shoulders. 

God’s Word reminds us as moms:

When we feel weak: “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.'” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

When we don’t know what to do: “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

When we feel like we’ve failed: “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26

When we’re grieving for our child: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

When we feel anxious: “The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:4-7

When we fear the future: “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7

When your child is wayward: “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” 2 Chronicles 20:12

My fellow mom, may this encourage your weary heart today. Whatever ways you may be feeling stuck in the many unknowns and unfinished work of motherhood, may you simply rest in the fact that God will be faithful to help, guide, forgive, and strengthen you one step, decision, and moment at a time. He will carry the rest.

Happy Mother’s Day,

Sarah Walton

4 thoughts on “Motherhood – Learning to Rest in the In-between, Unfinished, and Unknown”

  1. Oh, Sarah, thank you for writing from your heart and letting us know that we are not alone in our struggles as mothers. I am a mother of 3 adult children, 2 of whom have gone their own way living a life I would not choose for them, but God knows their stories and He can redeem them. It’s not all on my shoulders and I can rest knowing that He is sovereign over the good and the bad. Love you! Happy Mother’s Day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing that. It’s an encouragement to other moms in a similar situation…and I know there are many. I’m so thankful God is faithful and we always have hope for our children’s hearts. Happy Mother’s Day to you as well!


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