Crossway published my article, An Open Letter to a Struggling Mom, last month. I’m happy to share it with you on my blog today. Click below to listen to me read it aloud or to learn more about my new book, God Is Still Good: Gospel Hope & Comfort for the Unexpected Sorrows of Motherhood.
Motherhood is hard. While being a mom is a desirable and godly calling, sometimes patience wears thin and hearts race. As a mom to five children, three of whom share the same serious genetic condition, I’ve also learned that motherhood often exposes our hearts to the wounding arrows of pain and grief.
Your struggle today may be real and fierce—mine is.
Along with the expected challenges of motherhood, like runny noses and tantrums, maybe you face some unexpected ones—I certainly do.
But whatever your journey looks like, and however you feel today, I want to remind you that struggling mom isn’t your primary identity. Even while you and I experience the joys and bear the burdens of this glorious thing called motherhood, we remain—and always will remain—beloved daughters of our heavenly Father. Beloved is who we are.
You Are Beloved
Beloved is who you are when you’re awake in the night soothing a newborn. Beloved is who you are when your toddler throws a fit. Beloved is who you are when you wash and fold another load of laundry. Beloved is who you are when there’s trouble at school, your teenager questions his faith, or you get a call from the police saying there’s been an accident. Beloved is who you are when your child’s sin or your own sin rears its ugly head.
If you are in Christ, you are his beloved, won at the dear price of your Savior’s blood (1 John 4:10–11), and nothing can separate you from his love (Rom. 8:38–39). Not miscarriage nor postpartum depression, not a diagnosis or rebellious child.
Do you cling to this truth, or do the circumstances of your struggle make it hard to remember? Sisters, take heart. Even when we forget God and his truth, he remembers us:
Can a woman forget her nursing child,Isaiah 49:15
that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb?
Even these may forget,
yet I will not forget you.
We moms know it’s hard to forget to feed a child—especially a nursing infant or a ravenous teenager who reminds us. But even if we should forget, God isn’t like that. He remembers his children. And though we might forget who we are in Christ, God remembers that we’re his beloved daughters, and he acts as a loving Father toward us.
God Is Still Good
God Is Still Good invites women to experience God’s comfort and grace through the sorrows of motherhood and leads them to put their hope in Christ, despite the unexpected trials of life.
God Remembers You
In Egypt, “the people of Israel groaned because of their slavery” (Ex. 2:23). True, God had kept his promise to multiply Abraham’s offspring (Gen. 15:5; Ex. 1:7), but what about those other promises to make his descendants into a great nation and give them the land of Canaan (Gen. 12:2, 7)?
And what about us in our struggling moments? Will God keep his promises to our families when an ultrasound shows a growth abnormality, a child is slow to read, siblings argue, or we spend the night at a children’s hospital?
In distress, the people of Israel “cried out for help” (Ex. 2:23). God “heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. God saw the people of Israel—and God knew” (Ex. 2:24–25).
God heard. God remembered. God saw. And God knew. If this was true in the Old Testament, how much more is it true for those who cry out to him on the other side of the cross?
In our struggles as moms, we can feel forgotten, even invisible. But as God’s beloved, when we call to him, we can rest assured that he hears, sees, and knows us. He remembers his own, and he remembers you.
God Hears, Sees, and Knows You
The Israelites may have felt forsaken or forgotten, just as we can in our trials, but they weren’t. God heard every prayer. He saw every form of mistreatment they suffered. He knew the burdens, fears, and anxieties they carried along with each brick for their taskmasters. He cared enough to come down to them, revealing himself to Moses in a burning bush and using him to lead them out of Egypt and on their way to the promised land.
Moms, God hears every prayer you pray for your children. He sees what you’re going through. He knows all of it, including all the messy and unmentionable parts. And he sent Jesus to meet you more than halfway—to come down to you. Jesus is the one who came to earth, suffered for your sin, and rose again. He is your proof of God’s care for you, that you are his beloved.
Jesus knows the heavy load you carry, and he invites you to exchange it for his: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart” (Matt. 11:28–29). God isn’t distant or far off, but “gentle and lowly,” and he hears, sees, and knows you. Just as he kept his promise to deliver Israel from Egypt and to give his Son, Jesus, to deliver you from your sin, he will keep all his promises to you in your hardship—whether in this life or the next.
God Is with You
When God appeared to Moses, he didn’t say the exodus would be easy, or that the people would always believe and never doubt God’s power, or that the way would always be clear, or that there wouldn’t be any enemies lying in wait, ready to pounce. And when you and I turned to Jesus for salvation, though we experienced marvelous rescue and deliverance, it didn’t mean that our journeys toward heaven would be without toils and snares.
What sets us apart as Christian women isn’t easier passage but the presence of our glorious Savior in all his attributes. Jesus is Immanuel, “which means, God with us” (Matt. 1:23), the fulfillment of God’s promise spoken through Isaiah (Isa. 7:14). And before leaving his disciples, Jesus said, “I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:20). Through the Holy Spirit, we get Jesus in his entirety—for eternity. We enjoy union with Christ—the one who saved us from our greatest problem of sin—even when we struggle.
Our Lord is with us in our kitchens and carpools and medical appointments. He doesn’t go on vacation when our trials come. He’s with us when we answer the phone calls that make our bodies shake. He isn’t taking a nap or scrolling on his phone when a child falls down the stairs, flips a bicycle, or crashes a car. He’s right there with us, his hand holding ours (Ps. 139:10), when we wonder whether a child’s mental health will improve or worsen. But it’s knowing who is with us that makes the difference.
God Is Still Good
Not only is God with us, but our God is good. In Exodus 33, Moses pleaded with God not only to go with his people, but to show his servant his glory—and, remarkably, God agreed. He said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The Lord’” (Ex. 33:19, emphasis mine).
Sisters, God is still good. That’s who he declares himself to be. But how good is he? According to Exodus 34:6–7, wrapped up in his glorious goodness is his mercy and grace, enough for today and tomorrow. It includes all the patience and forbearance he demonstrates when he’s slow to anger with our stubborn and persistent sin. His constantly flowing, bottomless fountain of love and faithfulness offers us true and lasting security. And his full and complete forgiveness awaits when we return to him after doubting his love, wandering away from his fatherly embrace, or transgressing his commands.
God is still good—for us, his beloved daughters—in our present challenges, and he is ready to give wisdom, grace, patience, faith, and whatever we need to follow him in both our mundane and heart-pounding moments of motherhood, on the playroom floor or in an ambulance (Phil. 4:19; 2 Pet. 1:3).
Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good!Psalm 34:8
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
Katie Faris is the author of God Is Still Good: Gospel Hope and Comfort for the Unexpected Sorrows of Motherhood, He Will Be Enough: How God Takes You by the Hand Through Your Hardest Days, and Loving My Children: Embracing Biblical Motherhood. A pastor’s wife and mother to five, Katie lives with her family in New Jersey. To learn more, visit katiefaris.com.