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Faith Imagined: A Mother in His Image

Faith Imagined

Alisa Hope Wagner: Christian Writer

May 11, 2008

A Mother in His Image

My twin sister and I were pregnant at the same time – I with my second baby and she with her first. I warned her how life-changing and difficult being a new mom was. For me, it was one of the hardest times of my life. Everything I took for granted was gone. The carefree and selfish life I loved vanished; and a beautiful, demanding little person took all of my attention.

It took me almost a year to actually enjoy singing, “Where are you sir” and “This little piggy went to the market.” I felt like a fraud of a mom because mothering did not come easily or naturally to me. I had to daily make a conscious effort to be a good mother. I tried to prepare my twin sister so she wouldn’t suffer the same guilt that I had. I told her that it would take time to get over the shock of having to care for someone else, and that the mothering-urges would kick in soon enough.

After my sister’s baby was born, she and her husband moved in with my family for a couple of months. My sister’s husband was starting a new job in another city, but they had to close on the sale of their house before his position started. I was excited to have my twin sister close to me for a few months before she moved away. I also thought I could help make her transition into motherhood a little easier.

During her stay, I was completely humbled by my sister’s ease into motherhood, and I wanted to take back every warning that I had given her. I had never seen someone live so selflessly for another person before. My sister’s joy of being a new mom never ceased. The twin sister that I’ve always known, that I grew up with, was completely transformed – she cheerfully embraced being a mother.

I remember just watching her after she had persevered through a long night of caring for her crying son. She had to sleep downstairs on the couch so she didn’t wake my husband and my kids. In the morning, she was holding her son in her arms, looking at her son’s face and simply adoring him. Her c-section incision still hadn’t healed, her nipples were sore from breast-feeding, she was living in a home with another family, she hadn’t gotten any sleep and she was a brand-new mother; but her face showed no regret, no aggravation, no entitlement and no despair. All I could see was joy and delight and gratitude and love!

At first I was so distraught. Why was my first year of motherhood so difficult? Why hadn’t the mother-instinct come to me so easily? Why did I have to constantly make determined decisions to be a good mother? I love being a mom! Why couldn’t I have been as selfless as my twin sister?

What I’ve realized from watching my twin sister and all the other mothers in my life is that God has gifted each one of us with different reflections of His character. We are all made in His image; we are all daughters of the King. We cannot allow the weeds of sin to strangle us and cause us to feel defeated. We cannot dwell on our flaws, our strong-holds or our mistakes. We must expose those dark areas to God, so His power may restore our weaknesses. If we set our gaze on Christ and obediently follow His example, then God’s glorious light will shine from our lives and outshine the darkness.

When I watched my twin sister hold her son that day, I saw a glimpse of how God holds me. God never gets mad when I cry all night. He never gets mad when I demand all of His attention. He never gets mad when I assert my needs over His. Because of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, God only looks at me with love and joy. God is a selfless Father who abounds with mercy, patients, wisdom and love. He has set high standards for me and never fails to lovingly correct me and bring me closer to Him. Instead of feeling inadequate when my sister shined the selfless character of God, I should have rejoiced! Knowing God is the sole purpose of life, and through my sister, I got to know Him better!

I look around me, and I’m overwhelmed. I see the nature of God sparkle from the lives of all the mothers in my life. We each are a beautiful crystal on an amazing and priceless chandelier. If we each shine the unique light that God has given us and not try to dim the light He has given to others, then we can be a radiant light for this world – reflecting the glorious image of God and illuminated the redemption of the cross. My prayer for myself and for moms everywhere is that when we reach heaven and sit at the foot of Jesus, He will tell us, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you reflected my glory beautifully.”

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Blogger Alene said...

What a beautiful story! How true that mothering is HARD!!! I love how you point out we all exhibit different traits of God. I can learn so much from others. Thanks for sharing. BTW - you shouldda won!

8:35 AM  
Blogger Kristen said...

You DEFINITELY should've won! I love the transparent, authentic way you write. Keep sharing with us!

2:16 PM  

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