God’s love not un­like that of a ded­i­cated mother

Chil­dren’s death tore out sig­nif­i­cant piece of iden­tity, she writes

Calgary Herald - - YOU - Shauna Caldwell’s Read more from Shauna Caldwell at evan­jor­dan.ca.

To­day, I cel­e­brate my mom.

Moth­er­hood is a no­ble call­ing, de­spite the ten­dency of our cul­ture to un­der­value its im­pact and reach. This Hall­mark oc­ca­sion can be a re­flec­tive time, and it cer­tainly evokes a va­ri­ety of emo­tions.

A huge shift in per­spec­tive oc­curred when I be­came a mother my­self. I be­gan to grasp how much my mom gave of her­self — the ded­i­ca­tion, hard work and sac­ri­fice. She was pur­pose­ful in rais­ing chil­dren of char­ac­ter and em­pa­thy, to be good cor­po­rate cit­i­zens de­voted to fam­ily, friends, and hon­our­ing God.

Par­ent­hood in­tro­duced a fun­da­men­tal shift in my iden­tity. Once I was wear­ing the ti­tle “mom,” my heart was be­ing stretched sig­nif­i­cantly and per­ma­nently. The three lit­tle lives of my chil­dren cap­tured a vast swath of real es­tate in­side my heart. No longer was life just about me and my hus­band. My cir­cle of con­cern had grown ex­po­nen­tially, sig­nif­i­cantly defin­ing me.

Fast-for­ward to the year when our twin boys were 17 years old. The ac­ci­dent that took their lives was trau­matic and life-al­ter­ing for our fam­ily. The pain that ac­com­pa­nies the loss of a child is pro­por­tion­ate to the space he took up in a mother’s heart.

I hurt much be­cause I loved much. As Jor­dan and Evan un­ex­pect­edly and abruptly ex­ited out of our lives, it tore out a sig­nif­i­cant piece of my iden­tity.

When it comes to pro­tect­ing our kids from hurt, we are will­ing to go to the wall for them.

I know that if it were hu­manly pos­si­ble, I would have died in my boys’ place in Fe­bru­ary 2016. Had I been aware of what was tran­spir­ing, I would have in­ter­vened at any per­sonal cost.

A mom’s love can be fierce and un­com­pro­mis­ing.

Did you know that God’s love for us is not un­like that of a ded­i­cated mother? As im­per­fect and flawed as we are as moms, there are char­ac­ter­is­tics that re­flect God’s heart of love to­ward all of us. It is love that is sac­ri­fi­cial, un­con­di­tional, per­ma­nent, full of grace and ac­cep­tance.

Did you know that God would “go to the wall for you?”

Ac­tu­ally, did you know that He al­ready demon­strated his sac­ri­fi­cial love for you?

God sent His only son, Je­sus, to walk this earth, to suf­fer a bru­tal death, and to rise from the dead. Je­sus demon­strated God’s in­cred­i­bly gen­er­ous love to­ward us: “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13

There are many dif­fer­ent lenses through which peo­ple see Mother’s Day.

Sadly, it can be a day for some to iden­tify strongly with feel­ings of pain or fail­ure. I think of my grand­mother who was aban­doned by her mother by age three, and raised in a num­ber of abu­sive foster homes in the 1920s. I think of friends who have been un­able to con­ceive.

On the other hand, there are new moms out there who feel so very over­whelmed with the re­spon­si­bil­ity of rais­ing those lit­tle ones. Mothers need no ex­tra as­sis­tance in the area of self-flag­el­la­tion; the pres­ence of so­cial me­dia has cer­tainly cre­ated a per­ceived gold stan­dard, that of which most moms feel they fall short.

More re­cently, I am com­ing to un­der­stand the heartache of be­ing a mother whose chil­dren have passed away.

I en­cour­age you to con­sider that de­spite the very real heartaches you may face, when full trust is placed in Je­sus, He res­tores us from sin and gives us a new iden­tity in Him­self. He pro­vides di­rect ac­cess to a re­la­tion­ship with God. He takes what is bro­ken and makes us whole and com­plete. This iden­tity in Je­sus has the power to lift us above our pains and fail­ures. He will fill you with His grace, love and ac­cep­tance. He will give you a peace and hope that car­ries you through life’s dif­fi­cult cir­cum­stances.

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