In the Shadow of Other Moms
I sat in that hospital room watching my six-week old boy, laying there with IV needles protruding from both hands and both feet. Delirious from lack of sleep, I remembered the significance of the day. It was Mother’s Day, and though there was no place I’d rather be than taking care of my most precious blessing, I slipped into a state of self-pity. My mind wandered to all the moms dining at the fanciest restaurants in town, laughing and relishing in the recognition.
But there I sat, wondering why God would leave me here to face this challenge alone.
I imagine this is how Hagar must have felt. Day after day, serving and caring for Ishmael while the other moms seem to have God’s hand of blessing and protection over them all the time. But not her, she thought. She trudged through the daily grind, facing one obstacle after another, never seeming to catch a break.
Were those other moms truly blessed more than her? Was she left all alone by God to fend for herself and her son? No way, not our loving, omniscient God. He saw her.
“Then she went and sat down across from him at a distance of about a bowshot; for she said to herself, “Let me not see the death of the boy.” So she sat opposite him, and lifted her voice and wept. And God heard the voice of the lad. Then the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said to her, “What ails you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the lad where he is.” (Genesis 21:16-17 NIV)
This passage of scripture tells the story of Hagar and Ishmael when they were sent away after Isaac was born to Sarah. Ishmael and Hagar needed to be separated in order for God’s covenant to be fulfilled through Isaac, but I can’t help but notice the plea of this servant who felt abandoned and feared for the life of her son.
As a mom, her story touches my heart. It also touched God, as we see from verse 17. God sent an angel to reassure Hagar that she was not alone, and that her son’s life would be spared.
“Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. And she went and filled the skin with water, and gave the lad a drink. So God was with the lad…” (v.19,20)
It’s been nearly 15 years since I sat in that hospital room. I’d like to say in all my deep, spiritual maturity (ahem) that I cried out to God in prayer at that moment, inviting His peace into my situation, but that wouldn’t be the truth.
Instead, I allowed defeat, exhaustion, and worry to pull me into a funk that lasted for weeks. But through reading the story of this mom who undoubtedly experienced the same defeat, exhaustion, and worry, I realized He’d been there all along. All I needed to do was call out to Him.
I learned many great lessons in my early days as a mom, and honestly, I’m still learning! But the most important thing I’ve come to know is God is always here. Even when I feel alone, He sees me.
Linking up with beautiful writers this week. Click the buttons to the right to visit these sites for more encouragement!