“God does not call those who are equipped, He equips those whom He has called.”
a quote that I probably read + skimmed over in a book, or heard without really contemplating during a sermon — likely writing it off as clichéd + in no way significant to my life — is weighing heavy on my heart this morning.
I’ve never felt called to do anything “big” before. you know, BIG. like move my entire life oversees to spread the gospel, or work with impoverished inner-city kids living lives I couldn’t possibly comprehend having grown-up middle class. like selling all my excess possessions to live more humbly, or taking a life-changing leap of faith to follow the Lord. so, I didn’t feel a statement like this applied to me. what would I need to be equipped for if I hadn’t been called to do anything big?
I’m currently walking through a season (17 months + counting) of asking God “why?” a lot, specifically regarding my high-needs toddler. I know, all toddlers are needy + demanding, and tough, but she’s been more difficult than “normal” — compared to the dozens of infants and toddlers I had professional experience with before becoming a mama — since the early morning we brought her home from the birth center just 4 hours after she was born in a bathtub. if you’re my real-life friend, you’ve probably heard a little (or a lot) about our difficulties with her. so, amidst the almost year + 1/2 of little-to-no sleep, long-lasting + painful trials with breastfeeding, hospital + specialist visits, endless days of crying + screaming, and constant praying for help + patience + change; I’ve continuously been asking “why?”
why would God entrust such an extra-needy baby to such a selfish + impatient mama? why haven’t we gotten to experience an “easier” or truly joyful season of parenthood? why have we struggled so much with breastfeeding AND her health AND her sleep AND her daily disposition AND our finances + marriage, all simultaneously? please don’t get me wrong, I am so incredibly grateful that I have been blessed with my sweet Madelynn, and I would never wish that I had been given any other baby, but still I often find myself selfishly longing for her to be easier and for me to be better at parenting her. this morning as I was ceaselessly praying through yet another tantrum-filled morning, the Lord laid a heavy (yet freeing) truth on my heart. “God does not call those who are equipped, He equips those whom He has called.” God didn’t give me Madelynn, and all her needs + demands + difficulties, because I was patient enough + selfless enough + strong enough + good enough to handle her. God, by blessing me with her, called me to be her mother. and that IS a big calling. it’s huge. being a mother is one of the highest callings I could have been given. it being an extremely common calling does not diminish it’s importance, or it’s eternal significance. being a mother, to ANY baby, is a high + hard calling. in this season it may be a calling that required more sacrifice than I could have ever imagined, but all along He has been equipping me for the job. I do feel as if I’m losing my mind some days, and I do feel that this current lifestyle is not sustainable, but He has gotten me here. he got me through a high-risk pregnancy, and a natural labor and birth. he sustained me through the 6 months of excruciating nursing before things slowly became more bearable, and the 13 months of never sleeping more than 45 minutes at a time, and the incessant misery of this little life in my care, and He will equip me to get through this season too. and each impossible season of raising a broken human living in a hard + fallen world. I have no doubt that every new season of parenthood will be difficult in unique ways, but I can also rest in knowing He will get us through them and will allow us to experience joy in even the most difficult if we only rest in Him. He is good and He is for me. He is sovereign and He sees me. He sustains + heals + comforts + lavishes + loves me. He loves Madelynn impossibly more than I ever could, and He gave her me, so in Him I must be equipped + enough as her mother.
what has God called you to in this season of life? how do you handle the most difficult seasons that seem to have no end in sight, and how do you find joy amidst the despair + frustration? have there been really tough seasons of your life that you can now look back on and see the ways in which God equipped you to get through them?