Mothers play many roles: nurturer, storyteller, comforter, supporter, problem solver, and more.

Along the journey of motherhood, women experience intense emotions – some that saturate the senses. Many of these emotions cause a mother to stumble; others help her thrive.  

A mother knows JOY. When her arms wrap around a piece of her heart for the very first time, she’s consumed with a permeating delight. Months of discomfort and anticipation come full circle with one life-changing introduction: “Baby, meet your mama!” 

But as much as happiness floods her, it doesn’t take long before a mother knows FEAR. Her protective spotlight shines on her risk-taking toddler. Moments flashback to when she was the free-spirited explorer causing her mother concern. But now she battles the anxiety on top of endless exhaustion.

Oh, she knows EXHAUSTION well – cleaning up the baby’s tracks, spending nights wide awake, and beginning her thankless routine again with each new day.

While the child grows, a mother knows PRIDE. Each milestone marks a memory to share for a lifetime. Pride is felt when she sits in the stands for early morning soccer games cheering until her voice cracks. She’s among the crowd in the auditorium and is the one who starts the standing ovation following each performance. Her refrigerator is dressed with artwork and homework accomplishments she celebrates.

A mother certainly knows FAILURE. She reaches the end of her rope, and the anger boils over into a string of words she can’t take back. Patience wears thin, and it’s easier to hide in the bathroom than to referee another conflict. And soon, the failure starts to morph into GUILT.

She convinces herself she isn’t like the others, isn’t worthy, and isn’t enough. The long, unchecked list and the call from the teacher for another behavioral issue overshadow any prior victories.

But a mother knows GRACE – endless grace. Grace in the face of harsh words, the missed moments, and the constant comparisons. Grace that welcomes the fresh start of a new day. Grace that is freely given because it’s freely received.

Despite grace, some mothers know deep DISAPPOINTMENT. Disappointment when the baby’s heart ceases to beat, and her womb and arms are left empty again. Disappointment when the call says the birth mother changed her mind after she was chosen. And disappointment that their her own mother wasn’t willing to sacrifice or stick around.

Thankfully, disappointment is not triumphant. Because a mother knows STRENGTH. In her most vulnerable, messy, and inexperienced moments, she digs deep for courage. She approaches each challenge with something she knows best – LOVE.

Her mind, heart, and body are equipped with an unconditional love that nourishes her soul and influences her children despite her shortcomings. Her influence is matchless. For she knows she was intentionally placed in this role, and she is equipped to answer the call.