One of the things I’m most grateful for about Janna is that she has an uncanny ability to calm our kids when they’re in their most frantic, inconsolable and irrational places. When they’re sick and miserable, something about the way she cares for them brings relief.
I tend to squash the feelings with well-placed advice like, “Suck it up kid! Life isn’t fair! Deal with it!” or, “Just sleep it off!” It’s really solid parenting, and it works…never. When left to my own devices, I’d rather not have to work through the emotions and brokenness of the kid’s situation just to get past the drama.
Janna hears the emotions, lets them express it, and provides insane wisdom that helps the kids work through it. For real, I don’t know where I’d be without her.
I do notice this is how it is with many moms as well. Moms have a certain way of allowing the kid’s emotions to pour out while effectively consoling and bringing peace to the situation. It was true of me when I was a kid too—nothing made me feel better than a Sprite and Ritz crackers from mom when I was sick! I believe this gift of comfort is a God-given capacity uniquely dispersed to moms. It’s the reason “your mama” jokes aren’t funny. For real.
Isaiah 66:13 says, “As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you…”
For whatever reason (probably because it’s about to be Mother’s Day), this verse stood out to me this week. This is a prophecy about the Israelites while they’re in captivity. Captivity is a time of great sadness, suffering, despair, etc. Imagine the United States being taken over, and the freedoms we enjoy being removed—it’s a little like the Walking Dead under Negan’s rule or something.
Anyway, in this place of despair and hopelessness, Isaiah writes that there will be comfort—comfort that is so effective it’s like mom’s comfort. It’s a comfort that can handle our raw emotions in such a way that we can come back to center to realize the extent of God’s love—love that casts out fear (1 John 4:18)!
I tend to suppress raw emotions, even more now that I’m the “man of the house” and need to keep it together. I’ll be honest and say that I really struggle to articulate and express uncomfortable feelings and frankly, it’s frustrating. I am working towards getting to a place with God where I can be fully vulnerable, honest and raw with all the emotions that I am used to stuffing. Janna doesn’t allow a stuffed emotions household vibe, so it’s safe to say, I have been a work in progress with this for over ten years.
I could stand to learn from all the amazing moms out there who embrace the mess with compassion and love, and remind myself that this is the nature of who God is—He is able to handle the hot mess, and he is the only source of true peace in that moment.
Moms, thanks for expressing the nature of God in this way. This is the imago dei (Image of God) uniquely expressed through you! May you be full of joy this week knowing that God says, “Well done!”