Some days it’s all you can do to get through. I know. Every mother prays. That’s what I did when my son, Joseph, was born. While I didn’t write this journal entry then, I could have, because it reflects everything I thought (and prayed) that day.
27th March, Easter Monday
I’m in my hospital bed, and thankfully alone. My new little baby, Joseph, is not even one day old, and I can feel my normal self seeping back in, like life to my bones. Just like the other two, this pregnancy wore me out: body, soul and spirit.
The intensity of the birth last night is still fresh. People were everywhere! Conferring, encouraging, coaxing. Hours of agonizing contractions. But now, I’m quietly triumphant. For the first time I have brought a baby into the world with no drugs, no medical intervention, and no extra stitches. Yippee!
I’m not completely alone though. I’ve just put Joseph back in his crib. I’ve been holding my beautiful new baby, watching his perfect sleeping face. He has black-brown downy hair. A small blotchy red face, still recovering from last night’s squish into the world. And long slender fingers covered in loose skin, like gloves that are too big. They will fill out soon enough. Then, I was suddenly overwhelmed with the desire to pray for him.
Not that I haven’t already prayed.
Because the long months of pregnancy? They’re the best times to pray. Even though it’s been busy with Marion at kindergarten, and Alice is still a baby really, I’ve prayed constantly for this new one. I suppose I’ve been like a child, asking my Dad for the best things I could think:
“Please make this baby into someone who will love you.”
One of my favorite prayers was: “Give him musical ability.” I loved the thought of father/son jamming sessions.
When those legs inside me kicked so hard it hurt? “Grow them into legs built for an athlete, who can run and jump and play hard.”
And especially, “Help this new little person to grow in faith and deep understanding of you, Dad.”
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances
A Cry for Help
But now, sitting here, the prayers for this baby are so much more real, now I can see him. Here in front of me is a brand-new human. I see his perfect lashes and his button nose. And it makes all the difference.
He’s so tiny in my arms, but I try to imagine him in the future. All grown, and taller than me. It’s unbelievable really, but it will happen one day. I know it. As I prayed over him just before I know this boy is loved already, even though I’m so tired I don’t have that emotional response just yet.
As I write, I gaze in wonder at this precious creation God, and I, brought into this world last night, and I am gob-smacked. It’s awe-inspiring even.
But I am also aghast. I cry, “HELP!” I know I’m at God’s mercy today, and I pray, “Get me through this!”
Because, we have a baby boy! And in my family, boys are such a mystery. So far, in our family, there’s only one grandson for my Dad to take pride in: my little nephew, Samuel. I guess that’s two grandsons now, if you count the newbie, Joseph. Until recently, Dad had only daughters, step-daughters and granddaughters. But now I’ve added my own boy to the lineup. Oh my gosh! It almost like I’m feeling my way in the dark. I’ve never known a little boy to be close to.
I pray, “Get me through this!”
So, I pray this Easter Monday:
“God, I’m so blind when it comes to boys. Help me please! Give me your eyes so I can see how to do this.
“But while I feel sightless, I know you will show me what to do. Even if I’m too busy and tired to pray constantly. Even if it means learning by trial and error.
“I choose to be willing and open. Please get me through this! Use my weakness, to make this boy strong.”
Every Mother Prays
Prayer is Number 20, in 20 Ways to Rock at Being a Mother, but it could be Number 1. Prayer is the thing that kept me going, my survival mechanism when my children were little. Some days it felt like a moment-by-moment tightrope walk, with prayer like the safety-net below. I know now that every mother prays.
When you have no idea what to do, when decisions are uphill battles, when the kids are screaming, and you have no clue why – all these and more – you can pray, “Please God Help! Show me the next step!”
Like me, you may have no mother to call on. But most likely you will have some sweet friends in your life. They are part of God’s answer for you. Hopefully, you also have a great partner. So even though it may often feel like you are alone, really, you aren’t. These people are all part of God’s answer to your prayers, even on days when you feel quite lost.
Please God show me, what to do!
Sometimes when you pray it may feel like nothing happens, although be sure God hears, and will give you the patience needed. Other times, there will be an immediate and unexpected answer, even if it’s only that you are more calm and clearheaded.
But through it all, pray and keep on praying!
Because God will answer. I know, because my children, now grown-up, survived my trials and errors. My hits and misses. My ups and downs. Actually, more than just getting through, they are all incredible young adults. I can only think that God answered those desperate prayers when all I could do was pray.
It’s so true. Every mother prays. The big secret to admit? We know we can’t do it on our own.
What to Pray
If every mother prays, then what do they say? Here are some ideas about what to pray from Celine Dion. This video shows the lyrics >>>
It’s helpful to have some inspiring words for when you are under stress. Here are some for you:
- And every day, when your heart especially feels the loneliness of life, pray. St Pedro Pio
- Worry is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength – carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength. Corrie ten Boom
- Acknowledge him in all your ways, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:6 NET
- Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 NIV (Emphasis mine)
Eight Points to Remember About Prayer
- Prayer is a thinking process as much as a spiritual one.
- Remember, prayer is about the future of your children.
- But, it’s also about the present, and your ability to manage.
- To pray constantly is a cry for help and wisdom. Pray: Get Me Through This!
- Prayer requires you to be open to listen to God – mostly it’s a still, quiet voice coming from inside your thoughts.
- The beauty of prayer is that you can spend time praying with your “significant other”, and shoulder the load together.
- Being serious about prayer may mean other people will partner with you, like family and friends. Be open for that.
- It may also mean you might feel very alone, but know God is with you, even if you cannot feel him there.
- One thing I have discovered is that God always answers prayer, although not always in the way you expect. Sometimes the answer is, “No”. Other times the answer comes with bells on!
What are some things you have prayed for? Have you seen some answers? Do you believe that every mother prays?
This is the end of the 20 Ways to Rock at Being a Mother series. Go back to 20 Ways to Rock at Being a Mother : You Are Loved
This blog has reminded me about birth stories! Look out for next week’s post explaining more about stories that every mother has quietly hidden for each of her children.