I had a dream last night in which, unbeknownced to me, the company I was working for had an evil plot to kill everyone on earth, except for those who would remain loyal to the company. It was a perfectly dramatic cross between the movies “The Firm” and “Armageddon,” only, I was the main character! I happened to find out about my company’s evil, world-annihilating plot just moments before they began releasing the fatal fumes that would slowly kill every inhabitant on earth. I had to make a quick, life-altering choice—was I going to conspire with the company’s malicious scheme to destroy the world, or was I going to stand up for the cause of justice and integrity and leave the company right then and there, even though doing so meant certain death? Dun dun duuunnnnnnn…….
Which path did I chose? I will get to that later.
When I woke up, I knew that this dream was telling me something. No, the dream wasn’t a warning to watch out for fatal gas outside my window, or that I had seen too many apocalyptic movies. The dream was speaking to me about being a mom.
Did you know that, when baby scorpions are born, their first act as a live being is to eat their mother? Yep. They viciously destroy the female that just gave them life. Hmm…this degree of maternal sacrifice hits a little too close to home for some of us tired-of-being-pooped-on-and-peed-on-and-kicked-and-bitten-and-awakened-every-single-hour-for-years-and-tired-of-living-with-sore-nipples-and-stretch-marks-and-pregnancy-weight-and-no-time-and-no-money-and-no-life moms out there. While my kids have never actually eaten my body limb from limb like scorpions do, I feel as though they have come pretty darn close. The “me” that I used to know is not the “me” that I see in the mirror every day. There are days when I feel as though she has been completely destroyed.
The day when I looked around and realized that I seemed to have lost myself was one of the hardest and scariest moments of my life. Some of you moms out there might not know what I am talking about, but I’d be willing to bet that many of you are nodding your head with complete understanding right now. Maybe you feel lost too. When my baby twins were born (a little over a year ago), I also had a 2 year old and a 3 year old. Life wasn’t just busy. It was impossible. I felt like I failed constantly, though I was working harder than I ever had in my entire life. For the first 6 months or so, it literally took every second of my day to simply keep the kids alive, fed, and mostly diapered. I practically never took breaks and never stopped working until around 11:00pm (when all 4 kids were finally asleep). Then, I would start the long process of feeding two babies through the night at around 11:30pm. And the whole thing would start again. Those of you who have had multiples know that I am not exaggerating. Each day, while I fought to be the best mom that I could be in the midst of chaos, the “me-light” was growing more and more dim, until one day, it felt like it had completely burned out.
Have you ever felt like this? If so, you’re not alone. But, there is hope.
Back to the dream. (The suspense was killing you, huh?) I had to decide whether or not I would pledge my allegiance to an evil company, and therefore, preserve my life—or, whether I would do what I knew was right and quit the company, even though doing so meant certain death for me. In that moment, I knew that there was really only one choice. I had to do what was right. And, as I quit the company and walked out of the safety of their building, I saw missiles being launched into all parts of the earth, containing fatal fumes. People began to fall, dying, all around me. But, then the strangest thing happened. Though all around me fell, I didn’t. I didn’t even feel sick. I didn’t even falter at all. Some how, by making the choice to give up my life in order to do the right thing, I was able to live! I was petrified at first, but began to gain courage as I realized that I was not going to die. I started helping people around me who were hurting and dying, and they were saved. Then, as I called my family and friends, others were being revived just by listening to my voice on the phone.
I had made a choice to sacrifice my life, and by doing so, many others were able to thrive (including me). We started a revolution, and the world was saved.
Being a good mom is the most sacrificial thing that I could possibly do with my life. It is literally laying my life down. My entire life down. All day and all night. Day after day after day after day. It is very hard. It’s, arguably, the hardest job in the world. And, I’ll admit, there are days when I have wondered if it’s worth it. But, this dream put it all into perspective for me. I am not really lost or dead. I’m not even dying. The company in the dream represents the true state of the unsanctified world—pure evil, damning people to doom and certain death. But just as I did in the dream, by being a mom, I am standing up for the sake of integrity and justice and love and righteousness and servant-hood and hope and patience and life. I don’t do it all perfectly, but I’ve given life to 4 little people, each who has the chance to partner with God and change the course of human history. Each who, within his or her tiny heart, has the power to love the hopelessness out of someone, breathe peace into an anxiety-ridden world, and shower compassion upon the forgotten. I gave birth to 4 little lives. My personal army of freedom-fighters, justice-bringers, and truth-declarers. By sacrificing my life, my life is now worth so much more. Being a mom is my ministry to those who, without my love and nurture, would otherwise die all around me. Revolutionary, indeed.
This year, I want to remember that servant-hood, though not always glamorous, is one of the most important and eternal gifts that I have been given. I can also breathe easy knowing that God wants me to be happy and fulfilled and to live an abundant life. He gives abounding joy for me in the midst of laying my life down. I just have to receive it (which, sometimes takes some practice). If you think about it—Jesus invented the concept of laying His life down for the JOY set before Him. So I can trust Him that He really does know what I’m feeling and He really does have hope for me!
So, happy new year to all of you amazing moms out there! Love and grace to you. You’re so very important.