Do you know the difference between the Rocky Mountains and the Appalachian Mountains? Both span thousands of miles and both are considered “fold mountains.” That means they’re both formed as the result of two geological plates that collided and forced the earth upwards in a series of rocky folds towering thousands of feet above sea level. The Rockies, however, stand taller and are more jagged than the Appalachians because they are younger, and haven’t experienced as much erosion. In contrast, some mountains in the Appalachians are more like soft, rolling hills shaped and molded by years of being buffeted by storms and the world around them.
I am a mountain. A new-fold mountain to be exact—full of sharp, jagged edges and steep drop-offs. But the battering winds of motherhood are eroding those sharp places bit by bit. Every day, God uses my sweet toddler to shape me and mold me into the soft rolling hills of godly motherhood that I know he wants me to be.
Motherhood is sanctifying. This is a truth that all Christian mothers should know. This latest storm of quarantine that we are all in is also sanctifying. It hurts. Many mothers around me are feeling the biting winds in various ways: endless days of frustrating e-learning, not being able to leave the house with very active children, keeping children from family members who love them. Mothers are enduring pregnancy and birth without the normal joys of physically-present community. We are all enduring a season of hardship without regular activities and people—aspects of life that normally fill our cups—as we shelter in place to wait out this storm.
What Does the Bible Say?
The Bible tells us that God wants us to view hardships as the specially-designed training regimen we need to become more fruitful (Heb. 12:5-11). How does this happen? In a nutshell, through humility—telling God that we want to be soft, moldable, and teachable—letting the hardship chip away at the jagged edges, freeing us from the things that make us miserable.
After the skies have cleared and the dark stormy night gives way to dawn, my prayer is that some of my rougher edges, cracks and sharp drop-offs will start to round out just a bit.
Have you ever watched an ‘old-fold’ mom practice patience with her children? It’s truly a miracle to behold. One summer, I witnessed a little girl throw a massive, world-ending fit and her saint of a mother didn’t crack for a second. She calmly spoke reason, comfort, and empathy to her child until the storm passed. I watched her and thought about all the times she had probably responded in the wrong way and wondered how long it took her to get to this level of patience. I pray that through my suffering and sanctification God will teach me immeasurable patience with my children—the same patience that he shows me as his child.