Age 10: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”  For me, the answer was always the same: “A wife and a mom.”

Age 20:  “Where do you see yourself in 10 years?”  I’d say, “Married and raising my at-least-3 kids.”

From early on, we’re conditioned to believe that we have control over the outcomes in our lives. We’re told that if we do A and B, we WILL get C. But by the time we reach 30, most of us have experienced enough to know that this notion is far from guaranteed. In our 20s, we’re full of expectations and plans about what life will be, and we really believe that if we do all the right things, and try hard enough, those things will happen. And I believe one of the greatest sources of discontentment in life is unmet expectations.

Ten years ago, the idea of turning 30 was really no big deal to me. I thought, I’ll be raising my beautiful children with my handsome husband, and I’ll hardly notice the passing of another decade. But the reality of 30 for me has meant the beginnings of fine lines and a few gray hairs before holding a sweet son or daughter in my arms. And it has caused a bit of an identity crisis for me.

One by one, my friends started having beautiful babies. Then some, a second. Others, a third. Several, already done. And me? Still waiting. Still praying. Still hoping.

My heart is a constant battle ground of two opposing forces, each determined to tell me who I am. The evil one tries relentlessly to make me believe I am of less value because I don’t belong to the proud, exclusive group called “mothers.”  But God gently whispers that I am His daughter (2 Cor. 6:18). He tells me that He takes delight in me and rejoices over me with singing (Zeph. 3:17). He tells me that He fearfully and wonderfully made me (Ps. 139:14). He tells me that I am radiant as I look to Him (Ps. 34:5). Radiant!!!  How easy it is to believe these things about others, yet so hard to believe that He feels these things about ME.

It’s true – my life looks different than I planned.  Proverbs 19:21 says, “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”  So, what is this purpose God has for my life? Why has He allowed me to walk this painful journey of waiting? I may never fully understand, but this I do know: God is using my circumstances to unlock my heart – to draw me nearer to Himself. God is inviting me to sit at His feet and pour out my deepest desires and hurts to Him.

As I turn 30 next year, my desire is to live out Romans 12:12 which says, Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”  We’re told in scripture that Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness. I want to bless God’s heart with the hope, belief, and trust I have in Him. Now, for patience. Oh, patience. And not just patience in waiting, but patience in affliction! For the last few years, Mother’s Day has been a particularly difficult day for me as the reminder of what I am without is plastered everywhere I turn. This year, I will experience my first Mother’s Day after the loss of our twin boys. Friends, the affliction is real.  This year, I will cling to the Giver of every good thing, including patience, during the pain that this life brings. And to be faithful in prayer. What a gift – God’s faithfulness to us. It’s a true honor to offer Him our faithfulness in return. Prayer is our direct line to God – how we communicate to Him and where He speaks to us – a time of giving from our hearts, and receiving for our souls.

Maybe you’re like me – life seems to be getting away from you and it just doesn’t look quite like you had planned. Maybe you thought you’d be further in your career, or have more money or a bigger, nicer house. Maybe you thought your children or husband would fulfill you. I pray that you would join me in finding our worth, identity, and purpose in Christ alone, and that we would embrace who HE says we are. I pray that our eyes would be opened to see the beauty in the journey to which He has called us and that we would fully trust in HIS good and perfect plan.

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 now!

Order Now

Karah Maschmeier

I have been married to my wonderful husband, Seth, for going on 5 years. We live in Kearney and love it here! I keep myself busy with several things - I work for my dad's law firm as their accountant/office manager, teach private piano lessons, teach Spanish at Faith Christian School, and have an Etsy shop. Seth and I hope very much to be parents soon, and we're excited to see what that will look like for us.

God Has You

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman hugging herself while looking to the side

Holding tight to the cold, sterile rail of the narrow, rollaway ER bed, I hovered helplessly over my oldest daughter. My anxious eyes bounced from her now steadying breaths to the varying lines and tones of the monitor overhead. Audible reminders of her life that may have just been spared. For 14 years, we’d been told anaphylaxis was possible if she ingested peanuts. But it wasn’t until this recent late autumn evening we would experience the fear and frenzy of our apparent new reality. My frantic heart hadn’t stopped racing from the very moment she struggled to catch a breath....

Keep Reading

My Husband Having a Stroke at 30 Wasn’t in Our Plans

In: Faith, Living
Husband and wife, selfie, color photo

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV) This verse in the book of Jeremiah has long been a favorite of mine. In fact, it’s felt relevant across many life events. Its simple, yet powerful reminder has been a place of solace, perhaps even a way to maintain equilibrium when I’ve felt my world spinning a bit out of control. In this season of starting fresh and new year intentions, I find great comfort in knowing...

Keep Reading

She Left Him on Valentine’s Day

In: Faith, Marriage
Husband kissing wife on cheek, color photo

“Can you believe that?” Those were the dreaded knife-cutting whispers I heard from across the table. I sunk deeper into my chair. My hopes fell as everyone would forever remember that I had left my fiancée on Valentine’s Day. Maybe one day it would just dissipate like the dream wedding I had planned or the canceled plane tickets for the Hawaiian honeymoon. Some bridesmaids and guests had already booked plane tickets. It was my own nightmare that kept replaying in my head over and over again. I had messed up. Big time. To be honest, if it made any difference,...

Keep Reading

God was In the Room for Our Daughter’s Open Heart Surgery

In: Faith, Motherhood
Child's hand with IV

I’ve had a strong faith for as long as I can remember, but I always felt bad that I never had a “testimony.” I had never gone through something that made me sit back and say, “Wow, God is real, He is here.” I have always felt it to my core, but no moment had ever stopped me dead in my tracks to where there was no denying that it was God. And then, that moment happened to me on December 5. After five months of fervently praying for a miracle for our daughter, the day came for her heart...

Keep Reading

A Benediction for the Worn Out Mother

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman leaning against kitchen counter, black-and-white photo

Blessed are you, Father, for bestowing upon me the honor of motherhood. For allowing me to experience the deep joy of bringing forth life—a joy I often take for granted and instead choose to begrudge. My children’s cries and demands have worn me down. I do not recognize myself. I selfishly long for the old me. My thoughts are an intangible mess of never-ending tasks, self-criticism, and comparison to those around me. RELATED: God Sees You, Weary Mama But Your word says you are near to the broken-hearted and downtrodden. You do not forget the cause of the tired and the...

Keep Reading

God Doesn’t Forget You When You’re Lost and Unsure

In: Faith, Living
Woman looking into camera, color photo

I’ve been wandering around feeling lost for over a year. Wondering where I’m going, what I’m supposed to be doing. Nothing seems to make sense. I felt purposeless. I felt stuck. I questioned everything: my faith, my marriage, my career—if it could be questioned, I doubted it. And I was completely clueless how to fix the funk. For over a year, I’ve been in the wilderness. I’ve wanted to find my way, but every path seemed like another dead end. The wilderness. I’ve been residing there. Not feeling fed. Not feeling heard. Not feeling seen. Struggling to find a purpose....

Keep Reading

And Then, the Darkness Lifts

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother with baby smiling

Today when I woke, it had lifted, like sunshine peeking after rain. And as my toddler clicked on the lamp beside my bed to see her mama, I saw me too. I got out of bed and I walked down the hall. And the coffee pot sat there waiting for me, as always, like my husband at the kitchen table with his books. He smiled at me, and I think he could tell as I took my medicine, took down a mug, and poured my coffee. I opened the secretary desk and pulled out the chair and my Bible, like...

Keep Reading

Joy in This Stillness

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother holding sleeping toddler, color photo

I woke up suddenly in a sweat while it was still dark. Except for the humming of the oxygen machine, the house was silent. For a moment, I thought I might have time to enjoy a cup of coffee before my son woke up. However, a glance at my daughter’s crib told me that feeding my caffeine addiction would have to wait. My daughter has a terminal brain disorder called Lissencephaly, a side effect of which is uncontrolled epilepsy. Many mornings, a subconscious recognition that she is having episodes of repeated seizures rouses me from my sleep. Throwing on a...

Keep Reading

Sometimes All We Can Do Is Say How Hard Motherhood Is

In: Faith, Motherhood
Tired mom with baby in foreground

I have been sitting in the peace and quiet of the office to do some long overdue Bible study for all of five minutes when the baby wakes up. With a heavy sigh that is becoming all too common, I go to the bedroom to pick up my fussy, probably getting sick, 8-month-old daughter who has been asleep for approximately 15 minutes. I bring her to the office and put her on the floor with some new books and toys. Sitting back down in front of my own new book of Bible maps and charts, I begin reading once again....

Keep Reading

Sometimes I Want to Skip This Part

In: Faith, Living
Husband and wife sitting on swing, color photo

Kelly Clarkson’s new album Chemistry is about the arch of her relationship with her husband and their divorce. The first song on the album is called “skip this part.” It begins with her asking if she can skip the heartbreak. She begs to jump over the deep pain that came with her divorce. The song is haunting and beautiful and says things like, “my heart can’t forget the ache before the mend.” She is honest and vulnerable, admitting she is not sure if she has the strength to get through the pain. She just wants it all to be over, for...

Keep Reading