One of the most unexpected gifts of receiving the call of motherhood has been the constant metaphors that open my heart to the nature of God. Through the journey with my children, I find myself coming ever deeper into an awareness of how God’s love is pursuing my heart.
I embraced motherhood as a vocation after entering the Church. As a convert, I had been set free, I had escaped bondage and walked away from the shackles of slavery not unlike the story of the Jews in Exodus. But even after near escape, the Jews found themselves wandering.
How I relate.
God knew he could give me the most incredible vocation, the most powerful path to the promised land, but that I am prone to wander in the desert without the firm, steady guidelines of his entreating love.
The commandments are fundamental to the moral and spiritual life because they are an invitation to the very heart of God, a command to relationship with him.
You shall have no other Gods before me (Ex 20:3).
Yes, at the altar of conversion I had said I do, I do! . . . and, when the call within that call (the call of motherhood) came into blazing focus, I said I do, I do!
But, oh, how often I don’t.
When I find myself in the desert within the scope of this God-ordained call, is it because I have been wooed away? Is it because it is time for the idols to be stripped away? The slippery truth is that I can create golden calves by making seemingly good intentions ends in themselves. I am wooed away by the idols of perfectionism (who doesn’t want to be a perfect mom, perfect kids), of performance (I want to check the boxes and nail this down), of hell-bent independence (it is all up to me, I can do this on my own).
God is the lover of our souls. He wrote the commandments as a covenant of love. He will not allow me to wander away and sell myself short on anything less than my highest good. He will settle for nothing less than the gift he wants to give me through this vocation—wholeness and holiness that can be found only in his passionate, pursuing, encompassing love.
This is why God first beseeches me to love him (vertically) above all else. This is not a suggestion, this is a commandment, because it is only out of this love that my relationships to my husband and my children can flow (horizontally).
Are you finding yourself in a desert of wandering, strained frustration in your motherhood? Return to your first love, pour out your heart, confess your empty, wandering way. Return to the commandment of love and be wooed, be enraptured by the God who etched his covenant for you in stone with his very own hand.
I relate so much to your confession, Jolly! How you describe me as well!