Earlier this month I boarded a plane alone with my four children. We were flying home to New York after nine glorious weeks of visiting our extended family in my hometown. Red eye flights always lure me in with their cheap rates and so at about 10 PM, cranky, tired kids in tow, I hugged my daddy tight, braved security checkpoints (the drama!), and we made our way to the gate. Two escalator rides, 5 bagels and 3 juices later, we arrived just in time for my youngest to collapse with her cheeks on the floor exclaiming, “My legs don’t work anymore!” while my son ran his forehead right into a sharp corner resulting in blood, a giant goose-egg and a mild concussion. The wailing was Olympic quality, I promise.
As other passengers looked one with sympathy, pity or the occasional raised eyebrow, others helped me with my bags and even ran to nearby cafes to get ice for my sweet boy. I was so overcome with their kindness and practical help that something in me just burst and I began to cry, right there in the airport. It was a good kind of cry, but I was faced with the reality not just with what was before me in that moment, but also the journey I was embarking on: leaving home once again and raising my babes away from papas and grandmas and aunties and uncles; relying in many ways on new friendships or complete strangers for support.
I write a lot about settling into life away from all I’ve ever known and the joys and challenges that come along with that kind of life, because that is my story- but in a way its the story of us all. At the Mom Heart conferences this year I was surprised by the common theme I kept hearing from women- they feel alone. So many of us it seems feel unstable, unsettled and ache for a deeper, truer kind of community and home.
In Scripture, James writes to encourage the early church and likens them to the 12 tribes of Israel in the Dispersion. This was a time when God’s people had been scattered all over the world by Babylon and Assyria and they longed to return to Jerusalem. God did re-gather his people and bring them home, and James used this illustration to encourage the Church, and even those of us today who are scattered throughout the earth. One day we too will be re-gathered by our Father, but this time, to our heavenly home- the place our hearts ache for. But what are we to do until then? When we feel so alone? When we aren’t sure how to raise our children? When we can no longer sustain the lack of real life interaction because our world is more comfortable living behind screens? James encourages us to live by faith- to ask God, with faith and not doubting for wisdom (God’s discernment and knowledge) to guide us in all things that are practical for this earthly life.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.” -James 1: 5-6
To be away from my family, to raise my children on the streets of New York City, to know how to love my husband well, discipline my children, respond to their questions, train qualities in their character, make choices about their education, about what television shows they may watch, what clothes they can wear, what food we should eat- all of it requires living by FAITH.
We say this a lot around here at Mom Heart. This isn’t a place where we’re ever going to tell you how to live under a certain set of rules, or methods or by checking boxes. This is a place to be real and true and even a little messy. Its a place where we want to encourage you to live by faith as a mother, day by day, in your own wilderness, with the assurance that our loving Father will guide you, will lead you, and will one day gather you home.
Faith means simply: to have a settled trust and confidence in God- Knowing his character and his promises. James says that to be secure, to be stable and settled, one must live by faith. To live by faith is to walk with God and know him. Isn’t it amazing that the verse here says that God is generous to us, not with holding, but eager to give us wisdom as we come to him? He longs for us to be settled, even now as we are scattered, and promises to secure us in himself alone.
My prayer is for your settling too. In all the ways you may feel tossed by the sea, in all the ways you may be experiencing doubt. Today, let’s dig in to asking God to grow and build our faith. I’m making a list of the Attributes of God (knowing his character) and writing down his promises – they are all over Scripture. Would you dig along with me? Seek out the Father who longs for us to be settled in him alone ? You can add attributes and promises in the comments and we’ll give Him glory together. May our faith and our trust in him increase as he gives us wisdom for our days as moms,
Until we are home,