Faith Motherhood

Dear Fellow Mama, God Will Give You More Than You Can Handle

August 26, 2017

I know that our secret is safe with him. He’s not telling anyone, not unless his limited vocabulary of “Train!”, “Fish!”, and “Snack!” can somehow relay the message. I’m pretty sure we are safe. And so I find myself here and there bending down to whisper into his toddler ear, “You’re going to be a big brother!” He giggles and runs off to play. At the same time God is whispering into my own heart, “You’re going to be a mama again.” His words need time to soften the edges of my heart against this shock.

I had guessed this one wrong before. And timing said this shouldn’t be possible. But I had a feeling. For nine tests, most within the window of time that they should have given me a solid answer—they all read “No”. But that last one remained in the drawer. And every Mama knows that when there’s a suspicion, those tests cannot remain unused. So I took test number ten, really just to assure my heart that I was indeed crazy, and that life was not about to change in a very big way. I brushed my teeth, set to getting ready for the day, and let that test sit on the counter doing its thing. But then I glanced down and my heart shot into my throat. “Yes+”.

“This is ok, right?” I asked with shaking voice as I held up the test for my husband to see. I sank to the floor, knees weak. “Of course it is.” He assured me. Or tried.

Of course it is. That was seven weeks ago. And now my belly is rounding out with this new life carving out its space within. And the past seven weeks have been filled with that question, “This is ok, right God? We can do this?” And His sovereign, patient answer of “Of course it is.

Are you asking the same question today? Whether you are braving sleepless nights with your first newborn, or belly swollen with a second, third, maybe fourth baby on the way—perhaps you find yourself in this same arena of doubt that I’m in. It’s too much. I’m not enough.

And I’m too tired.

This week as I was waiting for my husband and our second son outside of the restroom at the aquarium, our youngest son was running wild. He ran into the restroom yelling, I called him back. He ran back out yelling even louder and jumped onto my leg. I waddled away with him grasping my leg like a monkey, riding atop my foot. A woman tapped my shoulder, “Hang in their Mama, I’ve got two of them!” She must not have noticed my six-year-old standing nearby. And she couldn’t have known of my four-year-old in the restroom. And my 11-week baby bump was hidden within my sweater. I wanted to laugh and thank her, then kindly let her know I have four. I didn’t. Because the truth is, no matter the number of children we have—they are more than we can handle.

When God gave me this new baby, He gave me too much. He also gave me too much when He gave us our third son. Our second son was too much for me also. Our first son? I was completly insufficient for him, too.

It depletes us, this high calling. Shatters us. Empties us. Exhausts us. Then asks us to do it all over again. Every single one of you raising a baby (or seven)—you are incredible. Please just take me at those words.

We do not have the energy. We do not have the attention. We do not have the kindness. And the hardest to swallow as a mama—we do not have enough love for them. Jesus does. And this is exactly His design for motherhood, that only in leaning into Him can we be enough for these babies.

On those days, and there are many, when you feel wholly insufficient, know this:  God does indeed call us to more than we can handle, and it is all a piece of His beautiful story.

In Genesis 17, I am certain that Sarah, upon hearing that God would give her the long-awaited child she had dreamt of for years, felt wholly incapable. She was ninety years old, for goodness sake. And I think I am too tired for another baby?

And I am sure that Mary, upon hearing from the lips of an angel that she would bear a son as a young teenage mother, felt very insufficient. Especially when she found out that her child would be the promised Savior of the world. No pressure there, Mary.

And yet, as with every other calling that God places on His people, He equips us for every path He leads us down. However many children you have, however difficult those children may be—He chose you for them. And He will not let you down, not even on those darkest, most difficult and trying days.

He stands up to His promises. He remains true to His words, “His divine power has granted us all things pertaining to life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3). Everything for life and godliness—this includes raising every single one of those babies He gives us.

So yes—He will give us more than we can handle, but only because His divine plan includes us depending on Him through every doubt, every heartache, and every mistake. He is enough for our motherhood. He is enough for our children. He is enough in our not enoughs. Dear fellow mama, we’ve got this—but only through Him who gives us strength for the journey.

  • Elaine August 26, 2017 at 1:56 pm

    Oh my goodness, this is such AWESOME news! I smiled as I read it! God LOVES entrusting the trustworthy with precious littles! Sooooo excited for you all as you prepare to welcome yet another one! What a blessing!!! ❤️🙏🏼❤️

    • Eryn Lynum August 26, 2017 at 3:48 pm

      Thank you so much Elaine!!

  • Hannah @Sunshine and Spoons August 26, 2017 at 3:48 pm

    First of all, congratulations on your newest little one!

    Secondly, this resonated with me so much. I have 4 littles, ages 9, 7, 4, and 3 and I’ve really been struggling with not being able to handle this. My kids all have varying special needs due to Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, my youngest to the point of being medically complex and needing a feeding tube until he was 18 months old. My own EDS has been getting worse as I get older and I’m not physically capable of taking care of my kids and home on my own and have to rely on my family to help. It’s hard to give up control and accept that you can’t care for your own children, especially knowing that I will continue to get worse and someday my kids will probably struggle with their EDS considerably as well. God has definitely given me more than I can handle, but I’m learning to lean on Him to get through each day.

    • Eryn Lynum August 26, 2017 at 5:07 pm

      Thank you so much Hannah! Your story and testimony of God equipping you–it is beautiful. I have Addison’s Disease, an autoimmune disorder that causes plenty of fatigue and dizziness. It is certainly a struggle to take care of babies when also dealing with an illness, which I know is the case for many mamas. Your faith is inspiring. Thank you for sharing!

  • Katherine Stevenson August 26, 2017 at 8:42 pm

    God also gives everyone freewill, and having children is a choice so it could have been prevented.

    • Eryn Lynum August 26, 2017 at 9:51 pm

      Thanks for chiming in Katherine! I certainly realize that 🙂 This one came as a surprise but also a huge blessing.

  • Sylvia Schroeder August 28, 2017 at 9:54 am

    That was so good Eryn. Thank you for the truth of the God factor in our inadequacies. Such a comfort and blessing. And of course, Congratulations!

    • Eryn Lynum August 28, 2017 at 2:33 pm

      Thank you Sylvia!!