my goodness i've been so blessed to meet women along the way who have challenged & inspired me in my walk with the Lord. jessica is one of those ladies. the way she loves the Lord & gives herself humbly & freely for her family & others is a blessing to see... even from afar. thank you for sharing with us jessica! enjoy her beautiful writing ladies & be encouraged!
Motherhood dawned on me four years ago today, bringing with it a tidal wave of responsibility and demand. It rearranged my identity and priorities, stole my sleep and all my attention. I remember those first few days after an unexpectedly complicated delivery, leaning over my son’s bed in NICU, his tiny fingers wrapped tightly around mine and tears falling fast and free from my eyes, dripping one by one on his skin so soft and fresh from the womb. The weight of responsibility I felt in those hours took my breath and peaked my senses. I thought if my eyes left him for a moment he would surely die. He needed me, more desperately than any human ever had, and I was in crisis (trying not to show it), wondering if I really had what it took to nurture him well and sustain his fragile life.
The fog and fear that plagued me in those days jolted my spirit like few things have and I was sure in my soul that I was in need of God. I fell hard into him with more tears than words and he was tender and receptive, reminding me that he is constant, never changing, always present, and that He is the giver and sustainer of life, NOT ME.
Right away, I was distinctly aware that all my preconceived notions of what it meant to “meet with God” were being redefined. I often felt I had lost Him in the dizzying and all-consuming task of nurturing new life, but he was as active as ever in and around me. I just needed my eyes and ears to turn toward Him. My most fervent breath-prayer became, “God give me eyes to see and ears to hear (Proverbs 20:12) in the ordinary, outside the sanctuary.” I knew that my sanity and survival in this season was intimately connected to my ability to receive what He was imparting amidst the noise and chaos.
4 pregnancies, a loss and 3 babies later, motherhood has multiplied its volume and demand of my attention. I waiver between soaking in the beauty of my babies, delighting deeply in the touch and scent and sounds of them and their ever-evolving, always-new state of being to feeling suffocated, on edge in the juggle, weary from sleepless nights, and selfishly aching for solitude and time alone. It’s easy to loose sight of God in it all. The chaos often numbs my spirit to His whisper, but when I cry out for sensitivity enough to find Him here, He graces me with the ability to do so.
When I become fixated on His kindness and beauty woven through my day instead of the mountains of laundry, sink full of dishes or endlessly hungry babies with two minute attention spans, I am empowered and filled with joy and zest for life and love. I’m energized to meet the demands of motherhood and nurture my babies well. My anxiety falls at the feet of gratitude. Suddenly, the patter of toddler feet on a hardwood floor, the heavy breath of a slumbering infant on my neck, the calm of country air and chimes dancing to the rhythm of the wind in the distance reaches deeper in me than the cries and screams echoing off my walls. My heart steadily softens as God woos me through the ordinary. I’m rearranged through a profound awareness of my union with Him. I am filled with a sense of being surrounded and inhabited by a power far greater than my own. With Him, in Him and through Him I have all I need and my role of Mom becomes weighty with the agenda of heaven.
My prayer for you and for me today is that our eyes will be lifted to hills and that our ears will be wide-open and receptive to the whisper of the Divine. That we will sense His desire to captivate us and shower us with affection even as we mop filthy floors, mediate fights and fold mounds of laundry. He sees and hears and is attentive to every longing and need we carry.
Count the graces; name them. They are endless.
“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—His eternal power and Divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made.” –Romans 1:20
Jessica Willis and her husband, Allen, reside in Hendersonville, TN with their three children: Jonah (4), Eve (21mo) and Sofia (6mo). Jessica holds a Master’s Degree in Professional Counseling from Liberty University and burns with passion for family and women’s issues. She is currently a stay-at-home mom and part-time Alpha Childbirth Instructor, seeking to educate and empower women and their husbands as they intimately engage with God in the Divine dance of creation.