A Lenten Reflection: On Motherhood, Surrender and the Grace We Need For Both

By Courtney Elmer

I can still hear the sirens blaring outside my hospital window. It was Mardi Gras day 2018. The Rex parade was rolling below, and I was almost 22 hours into labor with my son.

NOTHING could’ve prepared me for the journey of motherhood I was about to embark on.

Oh, I thought I had it figured out. I’d read all the books, subscribed to all the motherhood blogs and taken all the classes to help me learn about being a mom.

But little did I expect that this little boy would become my greatest teacher … one I didn’t know I needed.

Lent came and went in the blink of an eye, amid the sleepless blur of my little boy’s first month of life. I cried as much as he did during those early days, because none of my perfect plans for his entry into this world were what I had in mind.

The perfect birth I’d envisioned didn’t go according to plan. The perfect breastfeeding relationship I wanted didn’t go according to plan. Now that I think about, nothing I’d planned went according to plan.

I was so busy over here with my plans for him, I didn’t even realize he had plans for me. Plans God had for me really, that he was teaching me through this tiny, fragile baby.

I’ve learned to trust my motherly instincts and accept God’s grace in my life with gratitude, looking for those times when he winks at me – like in my husband’s warm hug … in my son’s mischievous giggles … even in that pile of laundry, because it means that my home is full of life and love and mess.

I’m learning to forgive myself for the times my plans fail. Above all, I’m learning to surrender to a Plan that’s far beyond my human expectations.

Trust. Gratitude. Grace. Forgiveness. Surrender.

That’s what I’ve got planned this Lent … and beyond.


Leave a Reply