The word perseverance is rolling continuously like a news ticker through my thoughts these days. When something weird like that happens, I’ve found its best to sit up and take notice. There is usually a big lesson to be learned and right now I’m absorbing all I can about this one word.
We recently attended our 25th college reunion at the same school our oldest daughter is now a senior. There was much talk of high school and college children and marriages and even …. grandchildren. We are marking time these days with big events and the wind blows away the chaff and I am left scratching my head at how in the world we survived this many turns of a calendar.
I stare backward at my days examining the mountains and valleys and the longish road I’ve walked. I keep coming back to one job. The one that causes me to double over in wonder and grace filled gratitude.
I was a mom. I am a mom. I will be a mom. It’s the background and soil, the canvas and container for whatever else God has called me to. I have done all the whatevers for the past 21 1/2 years in relation to that one job. Good, bad or ugly it has been the work that required unquestioning perseverance. For me, there never was an option of quitting.
I stare forward at my days contemplating what lies around the next corner of the road. I am beginning to understand that in a short while this massive task of raising my babies to adults will require radically different skills and energy. There isn’t a finish line to motherhood I suppose. Even for those who’ve lost a child. But the scenery and physical requirements will no doubt transform into a new kind of grace race.
Perseverance. Being a mother is a laboratory for growing this specific strain of discipline. My heart is growing large in love for those mothers in my life who I watch striving so hard to do all and be all and achieve all. I just want to reach out and hug every one with an older sister’s persevering grip and whisper, “You. Can. Do. This.”
Here’s the thing about perseverance. It’s hard to recognize when you are in its presence. It comes disguised as another load of laundry, another bill in the mailbox, another trip to the doctor.
Perseverance looks like Susie every day rising early to provide a home and love for her girls. All on her own. It is a thing of beauty. It looks like Ruthie and Ann, Misty and Michelle, managing jobs and homes, husbands and callings like a boss but no doubt feeling like a juggling clown about ready to drop it all. Perseverance mirrors Amanda and Shirley, DavaLynn and Christina, working hard at home and in roles unfairly defined by the label SAHM because four small letters barely scratch the surface of the guts they require.
Recognize yourself in one of these places? Well perseverance looks like you too. You are right smack dab in the middle of one of the most beautiful stories you’ll ever live. Do not be discouraged for the work you are pressing through is growing fruit to enjoy, right around the corner.
I want to give a gift to you today. This spoken word video by Amena Brown, who captures the essence of motherhood with her words of truth, is a story that begs to be shared. Today, in the spirit of learning a spoonful more perseverance, may you all dare to “Be you, bravely!”