Yesterday, my little boy developed a mild rash, and I have no idea what caused it.
Today, someone remarked he isn’t babbling as much as some babies his age.
Tomorrow, separation anxiety will hit in full force when we try nursery at church for the first time.
The minute I solve one challenge, three others appear. I don’t have answers. I don’t know what’s normal. I’m a first-time mom. And asking Google questions is the best way to develop nightmares.
Is peace possible in motherhood?
I find myself yearning for God’s peace to be present in my chaos. I want to thrive in this season of new motherhood and respond to mini-crises with quiet confidence instead of a cry session.
As usual, I’m running to Jesus and His Word for help. I want peace, but where do I find it?
#1: Define peace God’s way.
First, we must agree on the definition of peace. Jesus told His disciples in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (NKJV).
Not as the world gives.
The world’s definition of peace is experiencing comfort and ease. It’s the absence of pain or discomfort. Peace is a matter of circumstances going our way.
Jesus didn’t promise protection from problems. He promised His presence to sustain us through them. The “Helper” or Holy Spirit abides with us if we know Jesus as our Savior (John 14:15-18). Regardless of the struggles we’re facing, He remains with us.
God’s definition of peace is found in God Himself, not in a perfect set of circumstances.
#2: Realize that God’s peace comes in storms.
Mark chapter four records that after a full day of teaching by the Sea of Galilee, Jesus told his disciples that they should cross over to the other side. While they were partway through their voyage, a great storm arose, but Jesus was asleep.
We know that God is omniscient and knows all things. Jesus knew they would meet a storm, but He wasn’t concerned.
The disciples absolutely were. They woke Him up, asking, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” (Mark 4:38b).
I can hear myself in this question. Jesus, don’t you care that I’m exhausted? Don’t you care that I’m at the end of my rope with this situation?
But Jesus’ response to the roaring waves (and I believe, to us as well), was and is simply, “Peace, be still” (Mark 4:39).
If there were no storms, would we appreciate His peace? More than likely, we would be content to coast on the calm waters, depending on ourselves.
However, the storms of motherhood are realities, and we each have our own. It’s what we do with those storms—our fears, our failures—that determine the presence or absence of our peace.
#3: Practice out-loud faith.
I’ve been trying half-successfully to keep a gratitude journal, but on mornings when my sleep deprivation hits record highs, I want to glare at the journal. I can’t think of anything nice to say.
Of course, I still have hundreds of reasons to be grateful, but too often, I fixate on my lack instead of on God’s abundance.
Sometimes, I just have to say out loud, “Thank you, Jesus, that you’ve got this,” or “Thank you, Jesus, that what is hard today will not be hard forever.”
Clearly, I need just as much practice with out-loud faith and gratitude as the next mama.
But I don’t want to hear Jesus say to me, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” (Mark 4:40). Because when I put my faith and trust in Him, I acknowledge He is my anchor. No matter what storm comes my way, I can experience His peace.
Mama, if you’re feeling peace deprived, remember that Jesus is our anchor and that a carefree life isn’t possible. Be encouraged that He calmed storms back in the disciples’ day, and He can calm ours today too. We have but to pursue the peace found only in Him.
Kristen Hogrefe Parnell
Kristen Hogrefe Parnell writes suspenseful fiction from a faith perspective for women and young adults. Her own suspense story involved waiting on God into her thirties to meet her husband, and she desires to keep embracing God’s plan for her life when it’s not what she expects. Kristen’s books have won the Selah Award and the Grace Award, among others. An educator at heart, she also teaches English online and enjoys being a podcast guest. Kristen lives in the Tampa, Florida area with her husband and baby boy. Connect with her at KristenHogrefeParnell.com.