» Look Up

This is a devotional I shared at Together in the Trenches Retreat. I thought there might be someone reading today that needs these words as well.

I’m a mom. A mom who constantly questions whether I’m getting anything right. I’m scared, confused and worn out right along with everyone else. Isn’t it funny how God uses us despite our short-coming and fears?

I hope these words of encouragement and pieces of God’s word bring you some rest today.

Mothering children who have experienced trauma and pain in the early stages of life is difficult, to say the least. It’s downright lonely and crippling at times. You find yourself in a rotating pattern of drowning and clawing back up to the surface for a breath of air. The very child who brings you joy also leaves you speechless and empty.

The very chaotic, unpredictable nature of trauma has claimed your household and left you in shambles.

You’re left there, sitting in the wreckage, wondering if there is an “up” from here. You’ve heard that once you hit rock bottom there’s nowhere to go but up. That’s all well and good, you think, but it seems you’re spending most of your days at the bottom lately and the light at the top is slowly fading.

Mom in trenches; the darkness isn’t closing in yet. The light isn’t fading. You’re just so very tired and worn thin from endless days spent clutching The Connected Child in your left hand and guiding your child back to you with your right. Here’s a bit of truth to cling to, when God allows you to be emptied He doesn’t plan to leave you that way. Look up, He’s there.

Don’t forget, you are fully human, yet striving to do divine work. Redemption is costly, redemption is painful. And in your beautiful surrender to obedience you’ve accepted a task that you cannot do alone.

We see so many instances of God standing with his people in scripture:

2 Timothy 4:17 But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth.

Isaiah 41:10 fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Exodus 15:2 The LORD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.

Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.

Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.

John 16:33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.

The last verse, John 16:33 has become my heart verse in the past year. Reading those verses in succession gives me great courage and hope… but knowing that Jesus has already won every battle I’ll ever facethat gives me strength for the day. Jesus you’ve got this, take my life in your hands. You said it Jesus, you have overcome.

If you can’t find words to pray, know that it’s enough to say, Jesus you’ve got this, I’m yours. My kids are yours.

Mom in the trenches; you are a warrior. And warriors don’t fight alone. We wake, we rise, we swipe on war paint, we hand it to Jesus and we claim our tribe.

Every day provides a new opportunity to fight for the family you courageously love.

Give it to Jesus mamma, he’s already won.

About the author


Erica is an advocate for simplicity, family time, making a cozy home and loving others well. She is the community coordinator for One Orphan, the orphan care ministry of America World Adoption Association. Erica and Calvin have four young children; Elliott, Charlotte, Lola and Liam. They currently reside in Nashville, TN.

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