the love of a mother

“Only a Woman, divine, could know all that a woman can suffer.”
Willa Cather

(hand carved wooden figure of Mary / carved in France / Julie Cook / 2014)

Have you ever loved someone so much that you’d do anything for them?
I mean anything.
You’d cut your arm off for them.
You’d stand in front of a speeding train for them.
You’d lay your life down just to move Heaven and Earth, all for them.
If they were facing some sort of challenge or difficulty, you’d trade places with them without blinking.
You’d take the pain,
the suffering,
the anguish. . .
Whatever it is, you’d take it and take it willingly and gladly, just to spare this loved one the pain, the suffering the anguish. . .
all because you love this person just that much. . .

If you are a mother, a mom, a mommy, a mum then you totally “get it”—you understand those questions and statements.
For those hard questions with the impossible answers are what constitutes the love of a mother.
Doesn’t matter if your child is 6 or 26, if they hurt, you hurt.
If your child is going through difficulties, challenges, hardships. . .
you’d take each and every one of those difficulties, challenges and hardships just to spare your child—
Because that’s the heart of a mother.

As my own heart currently heaves heavily for my own child–
As I pound the gates of Heaven as hard as I can–
As I scream out to the void of stillness–
As my frustration and anger is all so bitterly palpable–
As I assail the God of all Creation. . .
. . .because that’s what a mother does for her child—she sees, she watches, she hopes, she cries, she suffers, she wishes, she dreams, she hugs, she consoles, she remains outwardly positive—
And all the while, she prays.
She prays day and night.
She prays without ceasing and riles at the maddening silence from above.
She badgers and harangues the God of the Universe as if He’s merely not paying attention. . .
As if He has no idea of what was going on.
As if He doesn’t actually love this child any more than the mother.
Loves him more than I. . . ???

Try telling any mother that someone else loves her child any more then she. . .
For that’s how mothers are—they are tenacious, defensive, voracious, strong. . .and yes, they would move Heaven and Earth for their child. . .yet on those occasions when they can’t move the Heavens, they can’t make things right, they can’t kiss it and make it all better, they can’t stand in as substitute. . .a heart silently breaks.
I don’t think anyone can ever fully grasp the pain of a mother’s heart.

And as it is on just such an occasion, as my own heart currently breaks–as in it is breaking now— as my own frustration is enough to break me, as my voice is raw and hoarse from my shouting to the God of both Heaven and Earth, and as my eyes are swollen from the shedding of countless tears, my thoughts race across time to another Mother who most assuredly understands my frustration, my pain, my sorrow for my child, for she suffered grievously for her child long before my own heartache began. . .and there is solace in a shared pain.

Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
Luke 2:34-35

And a sword will pierce her soul. . .

This is the time of year when we find our thoughts turning to the story of a young timid woman, along with her equally young husband, seeking shelter during a long and arduous journey as the time arrives for the birth of their first child. . .
Yet it is to this same woman, who 33 years later, witnesses the brutal betrayal, beating and ultimate public execution and murder of her son—It is to this very public story of the very private agony of a Mother’s heart which draws me inward and touches my own heart in a deeply profound manner.

And so it is. . .and so it goes. . .
a pierced soul will continue to assail the Heavens, as the tears continue to flow, as the prayers continue be spoken without ceasing. . .
As the heart of a mother continues to be battered and bruised for the love of a child.

Hear me, O Lord, for Your lovingkindness is good;
Turn to me according to the multitude of Your tender mercies.
And do not hide Your face from Your servant,
For I am in trouble;
Hear me speedily.
Draw near to my soul, and redeem it;
Deliver me because of my enemies.

Psalm 69:16-18

10 comments on “the love of a mother

  1. lljostes says:

    Even as God loves our children, so He loves us and will uphold us, strengthen us. I hear your heart’s cry and join with you in prayer, thinking of Mary’s ponderings and prayers for her Son. Hugs ~ Laura

    • Thank you Laura—its a long story—Brenton was set to graduate college today. Almost 7 years since high having start school going straight every single semester since he graduated high school. He has a learning disability which makes school tough, but he has been determined. After making all A’s this term, his law professor, as he is pre law, gave me a D—he had to have a C—-this took place late yesterday afternoon, the 11th hour—Graduation being this morning—Brenton went to him to see what he could do to pull it up or he wouldn’t graduate—the professor told him that he wasn’t the first student that didn’t graduate because of him and he wouldn’t be the last—as a retired educator, I was beside myself—but as our son was distraught, my heart broke—he has never caught a break in life—everything has always, always been so very difficult and hard—and despite set back after set back, disappointment after disappointment, he continues to persevere— our hearts, yesterday, almost shattered for him….
      Thank you for your prayers and concern===

      • lljostes says:

        Ache, ache, ache….ache. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your son. God knows. May He give you peace and keep Brenton moving in His direction. A big hug ~ Laura

  2. Lynda says:

    Prayers for you that you will be able to rest in the arms of our Lord as you give God your burdens and cares. Blessings.

  3. Oh, Cookie, I’m so sorry! I know this is heart-breaking for all of you! If it is any consolation, something similar happened with my nephew. Nevertheless he is now happily married to a lovely young woman, a wonderful father to their two beautiful children, and a very successful executive in his job. My sister like you was shattered and heart broken at the time as was John, her only son. But we just never how or what the Lord will do to, in the end, to work all things together for our good. I wish I could be there to give you a huge hug and provide some kind of comfort and peace. ❤

  4. prior says:

    Julie = I mena momma bear – 🙂 jk – well seriously – do not ever forget that God knows what we need. I know you know this – but we do need to be reminded of it all the time. and so often something that seems bad is actually a key part of keeping us where we need to be so that we can be exactly on the joinery that God has in store.

    I know it seems hard, but God knows that your son can handle this. He knows that you all can. Andy Stanely shared recently about when his dad went through trial after trial – and his dad always said, well God knew I needed this – or God knew we could do it together.
    It hurts – I know – and it feels like two blows to the knees. but it is not. It is a delay = it is a detour – and the depth of this sometimes it what cultivates deep understanding and richness.

    hurting sucks – but it is not that bad and sometimes the way us humans are – well we never grow unless things like this happen. And I know it would be hard if it was my son – and if we had prayed for an open door and all that – but remember that God knew your son would get this professor – God knew his temperament at this time – and just like he knew when Pharaoh’s heart would finally turn – he has every single detail covered. And that helps buffer things. When we remember that every single detail = large and small – is really important because of the lives we touch as a rippling effect – well keep in mind that it hurts – but it has so much real value.

    When I read that CS Lewis failed a major exam – I was floored. Really? This great thinker and super intelligent man – who is quoted al over the world. Yeah, and he also had many other setbacks and shots to the ankles – but it made him who he became. It did – and we might not ever have had this apologist adding his wisdom in the world had it not been for those key setbacks.
    I know it gets old after a while – but andy stanley was also talking about how too often we forget to celebrate the detours – because they are strategic. God knows the number of hairs on our head – and he knows each sparrow that falls – and we need to remember that he has your son’s life all mapped out. Even with free will I believe that Goid knows the future as clear as we know the past – and so take heart. God is on the move., and he has good things in store for your son and this experience is a crucial part of his life training – so he can drop his anchor with more stability later. He can grow and cope with the angst – and learn to work through setback and disappointment – but it is not by chance that he had this professor – it sucks and we do not know God’s plan, but we do know that He is omnipotent and can rest in His power.

    we also know that ALL things work for good
    not that they are good – but they work FOR good – and keep reminding everyone of that right now. Problem solve, cope, heal, assess, rest, distract yourself with fortifying stuff – but remind yourselves of the value and also that we just do not always know what is going on in the spiritual realm – but God does – and so we trust – and no weapon formed against us will prosper.
    be encouraged = good things are in store – it may be one more setback – or five – but life awaits and sometimes the easy peasy path leads to more discouragement and want in the long run – it does – and 20 years from now things will look much different.

    hugs ❤

  5. Jenna Dee says:

    I feel your pain and understand the disappointment you are feeling through the eyes of your child. It seems some people sail through life getting every opportunity yet others try their hardest and never seem to get a break. Life can be so cruel to our precious children which breaks our hearts because we can’t make it better for them. Love to you and your family from Jenna

    • Thanks Jenna—it’s so hard when there’s nothing I can do to help—he has perseverance and determination—which is good—and he’ll get back at it in January and we will see were we are one Saturday in May 🙂
      Thank you for your love and support—

  6. freescot says:

    Your post touches me very much and thank you for expressing in such a beautiful way a mother’s love. Men have a hard time learning about this love which is so all-embracing, forgiving and natural. I think that men learn this love while women are born with it and some of us don’t ever learn maternal love.

    May you, Julie, and Brenton emerge much stronger from this disappointment and seeming failure, trusting in the divine Love in all its femininity and masculinity.

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