Years ago, twenty to be exact, when I began having children and all that includes, I chose a Bible verse to help focus me through the challenging times with young babies. Galatians 6:9 says “Do not grow weary in well doing for in due season you will reap a harvest.” With four beautiful, smart, little girls, I enjoyed every second of my time with them. I loved nursing, the challenge of potty training, the toddler years during which I was usually pregnant with one of them and very cumbersome as I chased after those chubby little legs that were faster than I was. I loved the tea parties, their creativity with paints, paper, scissors and glue. I loved the hours and hours of reading a classic book aloud under a tree in the backyard. I loved the time we spent home schooling, choosing a topic that excited us all, discovering and learning together. If I was going through a particularly difficult childhood phase, I would remind myself that “This too shall pass,” another great word from the Bible reminding us nothing lasts forever. I remember being utterly exhausted each night as I collapsed on the couch after I’d finally gotten them all tucked in their beds, but I was content and happy.
Now, twenty years later, I am reaping a harvest of much fruit as I send my two oldest off to college. I look at them, knowing their hearts are full of life and a love for God. I see their maturity, way beyond mine when I was their age, but I also see their questions and wondering with a little hesitancy as they head off on their own. I release them into God’s hands now, more than ever before, trusting Him to guide them, watch over them, and care for them. I’m excited for them, but I will miss them dearly. Long gone are those precious years of childhood.
Then I remember my three still at home. I have felt the weariness set in, deeper and harsher than ever before. I am older now, but with three long years of battling childhood cancer I feel ancient. I am mentally, spiritually and emotionally spent, but I am not broken. I long to give up, give in, or check out as a mom, but I cannot…I will not. So I ask God each day to build me up. I ask for His grace to help me not grow even more weary, to be able to keep pouring myself out to the three young lives He’s given me at home. They are priceless. They need me. They deserve my devotion just as my older two did.
The battle is tougher now. Childhood cancer does not just “pass” as potty training did. It seems to always be hanging there in the background, waiting like an enemy ready to destroy us. But now I know something I didn’t know as a young mom, God is fighting for us and I can relax in His power and might. I can let the weariness slip away into His hands. I know there will be a harvest for these three as well. One day I will be sending them out the door with a smile on my face and tears in my heart. But when that day comes for Joshua, I will fall on my knees with my hands lifted up in thanksgiving. What if that day does not come for him? Each of our lives is so tentative. Then I remember the ultimate harvest, which will come for all seven of us someday…
There is no end in sight except heaven.