Motherhood: When Labor Pains are Endless

“What happened to me?!” A quick glance in the mirror takes me back just a bit. My hair is pulled back in a disarrayed mess, and dry snot is crusted on my sleeve. “Mommy!” my daughter yells. This shirt has GOT to go. “Mommmmy!” she shouts again.

No one ever told me labor pains are endless in motherhood. Nobody said anything about walking hundreds of miles to put a baby to sleep—and that sleepless nights prevail far beyond infancy. I never knew I could nurse a baby with one arm, eat a meal with the other, and carry on a conversation. Multitasking has a limit?! I found out the hard way. 

No one taught me how to give more when energy is spent. And I never knew how selfish I lived before children. A wise, older lady once described for me the heartache. And, oh! She was right! My heart broke the day my oldest collapsed to the ground. Her tiny body lay still in her daddy’s arms, and we watched for her breath, and prayed for her to cry. My heart ached so deeply the night my middle daughter woke up in pain. She tossed and turned in my arms, and I would’ve given anything to take her hurt away. The heartache runs deep as a mother.

And so do the labor pains.

The laundry piled high just the other day, and I stood aside the washer, determined to complete one task for the day. Screams were heard from the living room, and my jaw clenched tight. My oldest two were fighting—again. My baby girl added to the chaos, and her sobs grew louder as she crawled towards me. No wonder I can’t get anything done! And then there was this moment. Simply—a moment—of looking up, and asking God, “Do you see me, God? Do you see me in this day?” It was a moment, merely a minute, and a few days later I forgot about the question my soul longed for God to answer. And then, while reading his Words, I came across Genesis 16:13, “She [Hagar] gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: ‘You are the God who sees me,’ for she said, ‘I have now seen the One who sees me.’”

There are these moments in life, holy moments, when I’m convinced the Holy Spirit is with me, embracing me. This was one of those moments. 

And yes, motherhood is hard. It’s one of the hardest journeys God has led me on, but for every step in this journey, God sees me.

For every sleepless night, God sees me.

For every multitasking endeavor, God sees me.

For every day filled with exhaustion, God sees me.

For every heartache, God sees me.

For every journey he has yet to lead me on, God sees me.

I never knew labor pains would be endless. But I never could fathom the magnitude of joy found in motherhood. And for every bit of unquenchable laughter or undesirable heartache, God sees me. 

Therefore, I will, I must seek after the one who sees me. He alone is capable of leading me. “He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.” Isaiah 40:11

Sandra Bretschneider enjoys pursuing outdoor adventures with her husband of thirteen years. Each day she lives out the blessed life as “Mommy” to her three young daughters and also works part-time as a speech-language pathologist. She founded the online ministry, He Gently Leads You, which aims to equip moms with free Bible studies. Her passion is to help moms cultivate Bible study skills and flourish in the guidance of God’s truth.

This post was used with permission and originally published here.

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