Lord, Am I Enough?
LORD, AM I ENOUGH?
By Sara Jayne Baldwin
There was a time I believed I was losing myself in motherhood. I remember a specific moment when my baby was screaming for more food, my “potty trained” threenager had just had her fourth accident of the day, and my five-year-old was screeching show-tunes at the top of her lungs. I looked in the mirror and thought how did I get here? Was this truly the plan that God had for me and my path to reach my full potential?
Lord, am I enough?
It’s not that I wasn’t grateful for my children and for the opportunity to be a stay-at-home mom. I have been blessed with three spit-fire daughters, each enriching my life in their own unique and fantastic ways. Even in the hardest times, I love them with all of my heart and know that raising them is a complete privilege. It’s just that a lot of times my day-to-day life wasn’t always the beautiful and noticeably rewarding life I had planned on as I grew up picturing how motherhood would be.
At times I wondered if the ways I spent my time were worthwhile.
I used to dread getting asked the question, “What do you do for work?” Sometimes saying, “I’m a stay-at-home mom” felt a lot like saying, “I do nothing.” I felt the innocent question asker picturing me sitting on the couch eating bon-bons (what even is a bon-bon?) while my children frolicked around me. I felt that my work as a mother was low on the adding-value-to-society scale and that I should probably hurry up and get back to a real job if I wanted to be a contributor.
These feelings began affecting me spiritually and made me question whether or not the work I was doing was valued by God as well. What was the point of all the chaos, diapers, and mom shame? How did it fit into God’s plan for me?
I had my oldest daughter at 23 when I was living in New York City. My husband and I were young and eager to become parents, but an incident with my doctor reminded me that not everyone shared my excitement about motherhood. When my doctor told me my pregnancy blood test was positive; instead of saying ‘congratulations’ her first question was whether or not I was interested in keeping the baby.
As my daughter got older, I saw how our society praises women in visible leadership roles, as it should. But I couldn’t help but feel left out of the women’s empowerment movement as I cleaned cheerios off the floor. I even often wondered if Heavenly Father wanted me to be doing something else.
I wish I could have turned off my insecurities and voices around me that said I wasn’t enough.
I knew that I needed to turn to God to get the answers to my questions. By putting full faith in Him, I would be able to feel the love and acceptance I was yearning for as I forged on this path that I knew deep down to be so important but could also feel isolating.
I began to pray for His help through my daily parenting tasks and struggles. As I have looked for His helping hand in these seemingly small life moments, I have been able to see how Heavenly Father has guided and led me to be where I am for a bigger purpose than I could see through my mortal lense. I have not only seen that motherhood is valued by God, but more importantly I’ve learned that what I do is not who I am.
In the moments of pure chaos and tears, I earnestly pray for patience–and sometimes a sense of humor. In the sweet quiet moments when I help my daughter feel better after getting her feelings hurt, I pray for understanding and the right words to make her feel strong and empathetic to those who may be unkind to her. In the moments where I am at my lowest and don’t believe I will ever improve as a mother, I can reach out to Him and ask for the strength to try again. He is always there waiting. He lifts me up and helps me get back to work. These moments of desperate prayer are the times when my faith in Him has strengthened. He is helping me become more like my Savior, Jesus Christ.
Although being a mother is not always beautiful or fun, and there are definitely cooler (and cleaner) jobs out there, motherhood is a lot more than a list of tasks that must be completed each day. Motherhood is a process. A process that is filled with lessons every step of the way. If I forget to look for these lessons they quickly pass, and I am left sitting in a puddle of frustration, anger, or just something unknown and very sticky. With the Lord’s help and a hope in His eternal plan, these lessons have made me a daughter of God who knows my worth and knows that I have purpose each day to improve, to teach, and to become closer to Him.
I now see that God values me because he cares enough to help me when I need it most in my role as a mother. He guides me. And gave me His son, Jesus Christ, as a perfect example of how to live.
I stare my weaknesses in the face over and over again with these tiny humans who learn their every word and move by watching me. And oh, it stings. Turning to Him in faithful prayer is the only way to make those weak things become strong, and I have had to ask for help again and again.
“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9, KJV)
I believe that Heavenly Father is putting me through the refiner’s fire and sculpting me into the woman that he knows I have the potential to be. For me, this process is taking place within the walls of my home.
As I continue to understand the value of motherhood, I have also been blessed with the ability to see the joy in it. I can now better see the Lord’s hand helping me to create a happy home for my kids and one where their mom doesn’t question whether spending most of my waking hours with them is deemed valuable. I am grateful that God loves me enough to show me how to create a joyful life.
Raising three daughters comes with the responsibility of teaching them they can be whatever they aspire to be. I hope they don’t limit themselves, and that whatever position they find themselves in they will look to God in faith for guidance and direction. I hope they find God’s plan for them, and that they don’t make the same mistake I did by letting any insecurities or voices around them determine or diminish their value. I hope they dream big, reach for the stars, use the skills and talents they have been blessed with, and then lift where they stand–wherever that may be. I hope they understand their inherent worth as daughters of God and feel His love for them— wherever they find themselves.
I still have those what am I doing here moments, but I now have confidence to exercise my faith in God and see myself as he does. With His help I am learning, growing, and becoming. I am also teaching, protecting, and serving.
I once believed I was losing myself in motherhood, now I see that I have found myself. I now see that I am enough.