Trust.

Before the mom thing, I thought this one-syllable word was pretty straightforward. You know, be honest so people trust your promises, reliable so people trust you’ll follow through, have integrity so people trust you’ll do the right thing. Sounds simple enough for a person of good character.

There’s also mindless acts of certainty in everyday things such as trusting your car will start, the paycheck will show up, the sun will come out tomorrow—somewhere anyway. You trust the grocery store will have food on the shelves and the library will have books (except maybe during a pandemic).

Then motherhood dawns . . . and the meaning of trust shifts into a celestial gear.

Somehow, you need to brace yourself for the ride.

When our second son was five days old he stopped breathing. By the time the ambulance arrived, he was coughing and crying, air filling up his lungs once again. But we still had to transport him to the hospital for tests: EKG, spinal tap, blood panel, etc. I was the ripe age of 25 when a firestorm of unknowns blazed at me from every direction. Trust?

Our oldest son was in kindergarten when bullying entered his world. He’d come home crying about how his classmates teased him. My mom blood began to boil and spinning thoughts of damaged self-esteem consumed me. Trust?

RELATED: When You’re in the Thick of Motherhood, Sometimes it’s Hard To See the Beauty

In the fourth grade, we allowed our daughter to play football. Not flag. Seeing as a 23-year-old she is 5’ 2”, you can imagine the pipsqueak stature she had at nine. And because she is all-things athlete, she became the quarterback which means a large majority of the offense was her running the ball, ergo, getting creamed by boys twice her size. Trust?

Learning this new type of trust is overwhelming.

First, we need to trust in ourselves. We need to believe despite our weaknesses, cluelessness, naivetes, we are indeed capable of taking care of another human being.

Such confidence can take forever years to build. Because no instruction manual. No universal how-to or handy DIY video at our fingertips explaining proper ways to handle the ever-changing, always surprising nuances of raising kids.

As the need to trust begins to filter through every age and stage of mothering, our doubts can quadruplify.

RELATED: You Are the Mom. Period. 

In the school-age years, we need to trust our kids will have good teachers, be able to learn, develop social skills, make friends.

The tween years ask us to trust our kids will adapt to hormonal changes, find their crew, resist the giant sucking sound of middle-school drama, develop self-love.

Raising teenagers means trusting our kids will develop healthy friendships, make good choices, be safe drivers, say no to drugs/alcohol, avoid serious injury in a sport, have the strength to be an original.

Parenting young adults is an enigma of its own. We need to trust they’ll find their way, believe in themselves, garner motivation to build a future, grow in their faith. Big time credence.

What we find out over time is the type of trust necessary in motherhood has everything to do with a capital T—Trust.

Which, translated in many languages, means blind faith. Unseeing assurance that something bigger than ourselves will always take care of our kids.

Parenting becomes a cosmic Trust walk in a galaxy of unknowns.

RELATED: Letting Go of Martha Motherhood

One day you’re floating atop a certain air of confidence, the next day you’re sucked into a black hole with no idea where you are, how you got there, and when or if you’ll get out alive. One day you’re celebrating a majestic supernova of accomplishment or milestone, and the next your ego takes a pummeling from a vicious meteor shower of doubt, uncertainty, fear.

Motherhood is without exception a magnificent gift, coupled with mind-blowing uncertainty. We have no real choice but to walk by faith. Even if we have “sight” we can’t see more than two feet in front of us on any given day.

The only constant we can count on is love.

Like gravity, it’s always there pulling us in the right direction—towards our children. This means we can lean in with love into every struggle, joy, annoyance, success. We can let love ground us amid the chaos of our fears. Love is the great container holding everything together.

Therefore, I guess raising kids is also a cosmic Love walk.

A level of adoration extending beyond the vastness of comprehension, yet contained within our limited human capabilities.

So, it appears motherhood is really a cosmic God walk.

I think the sooner we realize God is in control, the better.

The quicker we spiritually place our kids into His protective arms, the easier our role becomes. Even one small step as a mom means one giant leap for our kin.

Trust.

After the mom thing, I’ve realized this one-syllable word is anything but straightforward; it’s more like straight up. Letting go and looking high into the heavens with steadfast belief. We can look to Moses’ mom for inspiration because she put the baby in the basket and laid it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile River (Exodus 2:3) Now that’s Trust!

Will you join me in trying to Trust a little more each day? What’s one small act of Trust you can implement right now?

Originally published on the author’s blog

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

Shelby Spear

A self-described sappy soul whisperer, sarcasm aficionado, and love enthusiast, Shelby is a mom of 3 Millennials writing about motherhood and life from her empty nest. She is the co-author of the book, How Are You Feeling, Momma? (You don't need to say, "I'm fine.") , and you can find her stories in print at Guideposts, around the web at sites like Her View From Home, For Every Mom, Parenting Teens & Tweens and on her blog shelbyspear.com.

Spanking Made Us Parents We Didn’t Want To Be

In: Faith, Motherhood
Silhouette of mother pointing finger at child

Fourteen years ago when my husband and I were preparing for our first child, we felt we already had several tools in our toolbox. Both of us worked with children and youth, and we felt prepared for parenting. We decided early on that we would never spank unless we were completely out of options.  As our bright, sweet, bubbly firstborn entered the terrible fours (yes, he was a bit delayed in his toddler rebellion), we were surrounded by a community of people who believed in “controlled spanking” with hugs and grace afterward.  RELATED: These 6 Words Transformed Discipline in Our...

Keep Reading

I Was Raised by an Easter-Only Mom and I Want More for My Kids

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother and daughter read Bible

Motherhood is not for the faint-hearted, and women tend to look to their upbringing for guidance. We may not even realize we’re doing it! But being a godly mother is even more difficult when you weren’t raised by one. The questions are endless: How do I model forgiveness? How do I set the right priorities for my household? How do I explain baptism to my 6-year-old? Is it okay to have undiscipled friends around my children? Do we have to pray over every meal? Is the occasional swear word acceptable?  These questions may be less intimidating if you were fortunate enough...

Keep Reading

Even When it Feels Like I Can’t, I Keep Going

In: Faith, Motherhood
Tired mom holding toddler

When I feel like I can’t do one more thing. When I am overwhelmed and touched out and lost in the logistics of it all. When my physical and mental energy are depleted. When the length of my to-do list needs more hours than I have. When I am so bone tired that I’m sure I just can’t go on. And there is still more to do. And the only choice is to keep going– I keep going. I dig a little deeper and find strength I didn’t know I had. RELATED: Check on Your “Strong” Friend, She’s Faking it...

Keep Reading

What Happens When She Wants Another Baby and He Does Not?

In: Faith, Marriage, Motherhood
Husband and wife, pregnancy photo, color photo

I am on my knees, folded over, with my head resting on the carpet. I am in my closet, which doesn’t see much of the vacuum, and it is the only place I can find to sob out of sight. I feel hollowed out and defeated as if I have run a marathon and was cut short at the finish line. I cry out in prayer, pleading with God to soften the heart of my husband. I desperately want another child, and he desperately does not. I take a deep breath and dry my eyes because my 4-year-old outside the...

Keep Reading

Is Your Marriage on Cruise Control?

In: Faith, Marriage
Couple holding hands in car, above view

Cruising down the road, the highway curled before us like a ribbon into the horizon. Cozy road trips are a staple for my husband and me, and we look forward to the time together. Having been married for 37 years the adventure continues! We have loved each other through the ups and downs, and we have learned a lot about relationships. We also made a point of carefully watching successful relationships and surrounding ourselves with those whose marriages flourished. Nowadays, we have many young couples ask us what it takes to keep a marriage vibrant. One of the key ingredients...

Keep Reading

Ordinary Mornings, Extraordinary Grace

In: Faith
Emily Ley holding Sure as the Sunrise book by water's edge

“From his fullness, we have all received, grace upon grace” (John 1:16). Today, take note of what brings you gladness. That which gives you pause or causes you to take a deep breath. These are glimpses of God’s goodness in our lives, brought to life through moments and things, memories and sounds. Realizations and hope. In its biggest forms: a moment you wish you could freeze in time, and in its smallest: a sliver of grace, otherwise overlooked. I wake up to the smell of fresh laundry, sheets cool against my skin. One eye open, I peek down at the...

Keep Reading

She Just Needed to be Held

In: Faith, Motherhood
A little girl held by mom, color photo

“She just needed to be held,” I texted my husband after a two-hour battle to get my 3-year-old to bed. She’s been sick. Daddy’s been gone. And she needed to be seen. Held. Loved. And in that split second, I felt God say, “Just like you.” When things are chaotic. When we feel alone. When we feel weary. RELATED: God Sees You, Weary Mama When our spirit feels sick. When it all feels like too much to carry. We need Him. To breathe life into us. To remind us of our worth. To remind us of the hope He offers....

Keep Reading

Church Should Be a Sanctuary for Neurodivergent Kids

In: Faith, Motherhood
Child praying in church pew black and white photo

We still have a lot of work to do when it comes to the acceptance of loud, energetic, and spirited children inside the church. It’s easy to preach (pun intended) acceptance of every individual as God made them, but when a 9-year-old is shouting out, repeatedly during a sermon, or a 6-year-old is jumping from one pew to the next during the prelude, that’s when reality sets in. You hear the elderly man behind you whisper to his wife, “Back in my day, children were seen and not heard, what’s wrong with kids these days?” Then the single, 30-something across...

Keep Reading

Do You Ever Feel Like a Fraud?

In: Faith, Motherhood
Stressed woman side view

Hey, Momma. Do you ever feel like a fraud? Maybe it’s just me. Here I am . . . trying to build a life and career writing about motherhood. Yet, I don’t feel very good at it at all.  When my oldest was born 13 years ago, I decided on my own that we weren’t going to spank or yell.  Then, life changed.  One child turned into six over the course of a decade. And over the years, I’ve failed to keep the commitment I made all those years ago.  RELATED: I’m Not The Mom I Thought I Would Be...

Keep Reading

The Prayer Heard Round the World: ESPN Anchor Prays On-Air For Damar Hamlin

In: Faith, Living
Dan Orlovsky prays on ESPN for Damar Hamlin

No doubt you’ve heard it said (or even said it yourself): “I’m praying for you.”  In the wake of Damar Hamlin’s terrifying collapse midway through the first quarter of Monday night’s NFL game between the Buffalo Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals, it seems the entire nation has been praying for his recovery. We saw both teams kneel to pray as the ambulance carrying Hamlin left the field. There have been moments of silence offered across stadiums in Hamlin’s honor. Hamlin’s family issued a statement thanking the public for the outpouring of support and prayer: “We are deeply moved by the...

Keep Reading