It takes a village to raise a child, or so the saying goes. Many eyes and ears make light the fears and concerns of a mother. We can’t be everywhere all the time with our kiddos, even in our own home sometimes when we are raising a litter. Unless we strap a GoPro to our child’s forehead, he is destined to live the bulk of his pre-adult life outside our motherly reach. And all God’s teenagers said, “Amen.”

What if the “takes a village” mantra was more about raising up moms? As in, it takes a village of moms to help a weary mom stay strong?

This broken world is scooping up our children by the armful; a manure ton of evil competes for their souls. Some days the battle can feel unbearable. And, last I checked, shape-shifting and bi-location isn’t the norm in mothering. Which means we will always be at the mercy of those dang uncontrollables.

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The worry surrounding these real-deal issues is enough to keep a mom up at night, praying until it rains. But what if you are a mom in the actual throes of these struggles? The mom dealing with real life, heart-wrenching scenarios of illness, addiction, brokenness, etc.?

Who’s keeping you strong, weary momma?

Who’s keeping you rooted, courageous, hopeful, functioning?

Jesus told us, “I have told you these things, so that in me, you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

But how do we believe this promise when we can’t see God at work? Or remain hopeful when our pleas for answers are met with silence instead?

Remaining steadfast in the faith amidst painful trials can be an overwhelming challenge to even the seasoned believer. That’s where the village of moms comes in. It may very well take a continent to help a weary mom put one foot in front of the other. Good thing a continent of moms exists. God surely thought this through.

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What this means is . . . 

When you don’t believe, another mom can believe for you.

When you can’t trust, another mom will trust for you.

When you lose hope, there’s a mom out there willing to hope for you.

When you feel like giving up, some mom is just waiting to love you forward.

Consider the little story in Exodus where Moses found himself observing a battle from afar one day. When he kept his arms raised, his people were winning the fight. But when he let his arms down, they began to lose. Despite knowing his people would lose the battle if he didn’t keep his arms up, Moses eventually succumbed to exhaustion. He had no strength left to keep his arms raised.

Cue, Aaron, and Hur, a.k.a., a figurative village of mothers.

“Eventually, Moses became weary, and so Aaron and Hur responded by holding up his arms until the Israelites were able to finally defeat the Amalekites” (Exodus 17:11).

All the feels, right? Friends to the rescue. People helping people.

Similar to Moses, sometimes, we have nothing left to give. Even though we know that giving in to exhaustion as a mother, falling away from prayer, and succumbing to our fears may cause us to lose the battle. Maybe hurt our kids more in the process. This is why we need to thank our shooting stars for loving and trustworthy friends who are willing to be our strength. We just need to risk being vulnerable and ask for help.

The mom thing is tough. From day one until the end.

This is why God setting up humanity to experience the gift of relationship was genius. Thank you, Creator of the Universe.

Connection with other humans empowers us to trust, steels us against our fears, fuels us to keep up the fight. And when it comes to motherhood, the power of relationship is having someone in our life who helps us:

See beyond our limitations.

Hear above the noise.

Speak when we lose our voice.

Hold us up when we crumble.

There’s a quiet relief in togetherness. Allowing another mom to hold up our arms now and then is a beautiful thing. A precious life-gift.

Weakness is part of our human experience. And so is communal strength.

Let’s keep each other strong, weary mommas,

Originally published on the author’s blog

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 Scary Mommy, Her View From Home, For Every Mom and on her blog shelbyspear.com.