Lately this phrase has been going through my mind:
See your trials as treasures.
Today on Mother’s Day I’ve been looking back on mothering trials.
Sicknesses, injuries, others treating my children in cruel ways, unwise choices, date rape, troubles in school and with the law, unhealthy relationships with boys have all come to mind.
Words I heard that have broken this mom’s heart have echoed in my mind: “I’m pregnant,” (she wasn’t married) “I’m a homosexual,” “I don’t believe in God,” “I’m depressed and want to die,” “Will you ride with us to the prison, so we can visit him?”
Rebelling against God and His ways by both daughters is something that wasn’t in my plan as a mom. Yet that trial has been a part of my role as a mother.
My desire for my daughters was that they embrace God and be saved as children, marry a godly man and then have children that they raised to love and serve God. My dream and prayer was that they stay on a spiritual path their whole lives and live fully for Him… But on certain days it has seemed all of my desires as a mom were shattered.
Yet as I review these trials on a regular basis, I see that they are treasures because they have transformed me. They humbled me and delivered me from haughty, “no child of mine” thinking. They gave me compassion for other moms and for young people who are struggling in their faith and in their family lives. Best of all they have brought me closer to the Lord than I’ve imagined possible. They have made me dependent on Him rather than on my own thinking or worldly wisdom.
Today as I sat in church with Mindy, my younger daughter who’s 28, I thought of how a number of years ago I sat in church alone on Mother’s Day and felt sorry for myself. Both of my girls were captured by the culture and seemed to have little room in their lives for the Lord or for me. But now Mindy is seeking God again and desiring to live for Him. She has empathy for me as a mom because she’s going through mothering trials of her own. I feel a sense of closeness to both my daughters and love them—even so and even though–the way God loves me.
I’m believing God is able to help my children to fully return to Him. As I do, I see Him working in marvelous ways. The treasures I’ve found in the trials that I’ve been through with my children is a deeper, more real relationship with my Lord and a greater love for people—including my children. The other treasure I have is that I’m growing up rather than staying a child in my emotional and spiritual life. One way I know that’s happening is that I’ve received compassion from God to hurt for my children rather than because of them.
As I’m learning to see trials as treasures, I’m more able to embrace these verses from Scripture:
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4 NIV
I’m celebrating this Mother’s Day that I’m able to say to God, “Thank You, Lord, for these trials which have become treasures.”
Can you say the same?