By LIBBO CROSSWHITE
Hope for when you strike out as a mom
“I TRIED MY BEST!” she said through tears as the softball game ended. Last inning, down one, two outs, bases loaded, full count, all the things that set up for a moment of heroism or magnified defeat. And yes, I’m describing a 7-year-old’s softball game, but also maybe this entire school year for many of us.
Moms, we’ve made it to May. In what feels like (and, for many of us, was) a two-year school year, we are in the bottom of the ninth. Most of us stopped keeping score a while ago and have struck out a time or two. Shoot, if I am honest, I feel like I got smoked by a fast-flying foul ball a few times this year.
I have reached a new stage in my motherhood where I must ask permission to share stories each month, because now my oldest daughter can read, so this is all I can share of our most recent softball game. You can imagine if there were tears, it probably wasn’t a moment of heroism in the last inning. I also have been forbidden to mention the snow cone that she got her friend to order her in the dugout in the middle of the second inning. So, I WILL NOT mention that.
In a world that is constantly teaching us that failure is bad, baseball teaches us that failure is inevitable. As believers and as moms, I think we can find ourselves so afraid of failure that we can easily be entrenched in living a life consumed by fear.
I’ve recently been walking through a study of living in fear versus living life through a lens of faith, and I’m sure I’m not alone in having to fight the urge to let fear consume my thoughts, with all that we find ourselves living through each day.
Whether you’re sending off your senior to college in August, trying to make it through potty training, or any stage in between or after, as mothers we often find ourselves playing out worse-case scenarios as we raise our humans. We often see the responsibility and weight of raising our children through the lens of earthly brokenness and pressures of the world.
As moms, we find ourselves on the verge of tears often, all saying some version of “I TRIED MY BEST” on the days when it feels like we struck out more times than we can count. God offers us refuge in His Word to remind us that living in faith is less about our own ability and more about His sovereignty.
God’s Word shows us ways in which we can fully rely on God to help us in the decision-making process as mothers. His Word is both the playbook and the ultimate source of comfort as we build a relationship with God that gives birth to living a life of freedom found in faith alone.
Paul reminds us in Philippians 1:9-11 that the fruit of our decision-making can be found in growing in the knowledge of who God is:
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ — to the glory and praise of God.
If we believe the Word of God, we believe these things to be true and begin to live in this truth:
God created us. God knows us. God is with us.
Psalm 91:9-16 says that if we know and love God, He will rescue us, protect us, answer us, be with us in trouble, honor and deliver us, and show us salvation. These promises need to be written on our hearts and the doorframes of our homes. God tells us He will rescue and protect us because He knows we’ll need to be rescued and protected. God knows what we need before our first breath.
As we finish this school year, may we rest in God’s promises and in the relationship that He is calling each of us into. In the month of May, may we celebrate the gift of motherhood and the gift of faith that He has graciously given us.
Libbo Haskins Crosswhite and her husband, Clay, live in Madison and attend Pinelake. They have one daughter, Mary Thomas, who is 7 years old, and a son, Russell, who is 5 years old. She is the high school guidance counselor at Madison-Ridgeland Academy and can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.