The Refining Fire of Motherhood

The Bible occasionally speaks of a refining fire (1 Peter 1:7; Isaiah 48:10). It’s a metaphor using the purification process that precious metals undergo before they are usable. It’s a painful image, but that fits the process that Christians also undergo when they have to let go of the sin in their life or face trials. In the past year, I’ve learned that motherhood is a refining fire.

The Bible speaks of a refining fire. For me, motherhood is that fire. #motherhood #momlife #advice #testimony

I’ve basically felt like the same person since I was fourteen. There were a few trials that – although painful – I passed through essentially the same: a mixture of impatience, stubbornness, caring, and faith that somehow attracted those who needed help. Those trials simply gave me a chance to put into action what I claimed to believe. They weren’t on the level of a refining fire.

That changed over this past year as the refining fire of motherhood systematically stripped me down to my core.

The Refining Fire of Motherhood

In Monday’s post, I mentioned how I don’t have a lot of memories from my third trimester all the way through Baby H’s second month of life. What I do remember is a conversation with my own Mom about how I felt like pregnancy had stripped me down so that I could be rebuilt into a new person. ‘Mother’ wasn’t a new title; ‘mother’ was a whole new identity. Some of that conversation was a little melodramatic, but there was also a lot of truth to it.

Revealing the Impurities

I have a hidden sin that I struggle with: pride.

I take pride in the fact that I, for the most part, can take care of myself. I take pride in the fact that I can read the Bible and teach others about it. I am proud of myself for generally being a good person who strives to handle situations in a Biblical light. I take pride in the things that I once did before Baby H came into my life: Children’s Church, mission trips, being reliable. While I certainly feel like some things are worth being proud about, the problem came when I focused on the accomplishments as what I did instead of what God did through me. When I can honestly say that I take pride in my outward displays of humility, you should recognize that I have a very real problem.

My Lowest Point

As I approached the end of my pregnancy, though, I started to lose some of the things I prided myself on. I started running late for work on my best days. On the worst days, I cancelled appointments a few minutes before I was due to be there because I just felt so sick. My clients were understanding, but I hated it. I was supposed to be reliable. Missing work wasn’t ME.

As I neared my due date, Baby H exerted pressure on my stomach. If I ate small amounts, I would be fine. Unfortunately, I ate lunch in the car while driving between houses on my work days. I took one too many bites of my PB&J sandwich. It hit me hard. I began to feel so sick that I contemplated stopping on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere until I could recover some. I remembered a random small park coming up, and decided to pray that God kept my steering wheel turned in safe directions until I got there.

Once at the park, I began what felt like a mile-long trek across the grassy field and up a tiny hill to the bathroom. I had my phone in one hand and my keys in the other. I reached the bathroom, only to find the first one locked. The tears started at that moment. Even when I found the second bathroom open, I couldn’t regain my composure.

I locked myself in the stuffy, humid, nasty park bathroom, sat on the toilet, and continued to bawl. I felt awful, and I felt awful about having to cancel yet another work appointment. I was ME. I was supposed to be reliable. It felt like a crucial part of my identity had been stripped away.

It was the refining fire of motherhood at work to bring me to my lowest point.

Motherhood is a refining fire. #quote #motivational #motherhood #mom

 

Life After Baby

Things didn’t improve after I actually delivered Baby H. I found myself having to step out of church services or unable to assist with ministries as the care of a newborn took me away from things. I continued to be late for work appointments as I frequently fell back asleep with my daughter instead getting around in the morning. And, since I’m one of those people who feels physically sick when they don’t get enough sleep, I still cancelled appointments without much notice.

Not only had my identity of pride been stripped from me, but I was unable to regain any of those old threads back. I felt like I was naked in front of people without my good points hiding away my flaws.

The Refining Process

As a young teenager, I had once made a very good choice in suppressing the ungodly traits that I struggled against. It helped me curb and break bad habits. What I didn’t realize, though, was that I hadn’t truly dealt with any of it. The ugly was simply camouflaged:

  • While I could suppress impatience by accepting that I couldn’t rush other people, I still felt the exasperation of mentally being two steps ahead of my teammates. This kept me from experiencing joy while with others.
  • While I could suppress by anger by resisting the urge to speak or act in it, that didn’t change the fact that I have a very strong temper. I may not have often spoke in anger, but that didn’t change the tirade in my mind.
  • Suppressing all of the bad, ungodly things simple gave a chance for pride to take root. Because I had not surrendered my bad traits to God to handle, I could take pride in controlling my actions on my own.

It worked, until my own strength ran out. Motherhood, with its long nights, emotional strains, and inconsistent schedules, tore down all the barriers that I had built to hide the ugly. I had to come face-to-face with my own flaws. And I had to accept that I couldn’t handle it on my own.

I’m still in the Refiner’s Fire on a lot of things, but, for the first time in a long time, I can tell you that I feel like a different person. In a lot of ways, I am still me. I still have a lot of the core convictions and personality, but my impurities are slowly being burnt away as the refining fire of motherhood forces me to surrender my flaws over to God. Slowly, I am becoming a beautiful masterpiece instead of a gold-plated pendant.

Motherhood is a refining fire. #quote #motivational #motherhood #mom

 

What is the refining fire of motherhood? | Christian Motherhood | Refiners Fire | Biblical Womanhood | Christian Lifestyle | Raising Kids | Raising Children | Quote

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More about Lauren C. Moye

Lauren has had a lifelong passion for both writing and for helping people. Once upon a time, she would have laughed if somebody suggested she write nonfiction to achieve those goals. A couple of years ago, she would have scoffed if somebody suggested she write for her peer groups. Today she's writing to "HELP BUSY CHRISTIAN MOMS MANAGE LIFE."

16 thoughts on “The Refining Fire of Motherhood

  1. Patty

    Wow! Love this! Thank you for being so transparent!

    Blessings,
    Patty

    Reply

    1. Lauren C. Moye

      Patty, thank you for visiting and for leaving a comment!

      Reply

  2. Ailie

    Hello dear friend. You just wrote the first year of my motherhood. When I became I mother, I came to the end of myself and the beginning of finding myself in God. It has taken me about five years to find myself in God as a secure woman, mother, wife, and friend. I love that you call it the refining fire. It’s so true. What I’ve found is that the refining fire doesn’t go away but the joy of the process becomes more eminent than the discomfort. Love your heart Lauren.

    Reply

    1. Lauren C. Moye

      Ailie – thank you for the sweet comment and encouragement.

      Reply

  3. Nichole

    What a beautiful and insightful post. As mother, I totally relate to the refining process.

    Reply

    1. Lauren C. Moye

      Nichole – thank you for the comment.

      Reply

  4. Betty Predmore

    Lauren…love this post! Would love to have you guest blog in my Mom-Sense blog. I would gladly copy any of your posts that you choose with your permission. I know my readers would glean from them.

    Reply

    1. Lauren C. Moye

      Betty – thank you for the comment! I’m actually thinking about it. I just keep hitting rough patches in life that are stopping me from having the time. It’s on my list of things to work on though.

      Reply

  5. Mari Jones

    What a beautiful post. The refinement our Father walks us through is not easy, no matter where we are in life. He walks it with us, beside us, and He never let’s go. He is faithful to complete that which He begins!

    Reply

    1. Lauren C. Moye

      Mari, thank you for the comment, and for the reminder of God’s faithfulness.

      Reply

  6. Meg D. Gonzalez

    Wow! What a great post. As someone who is not a mother yet, I must admit I find your story as terrifying as it is inspiring. I can see a lot of your traits in me, and it sounds like it was a hard–though ultimately wonderful–transition. I wish you all the best as you continue to learn and grow!

    Reply

    1. Lauren C. Moye

      Meg, thank you for the comment! I hope it doesn’t terrify you too much. There are a lot of wonderful things about being a mother. It really can be a rough transition though. Thank you!

      Reply

  7. Erin

    A few years ago, I went to Bannack, MT. It’s a ghost town now (and a pretty cool one, I might add), but it was big on purifying gold and silver. In fact, they would even give demonstrations at the right time of the year. The particular time I went, I was blown away to finally discover what “crucible for silver and a furnace for gold” meant. The refining process is time-consuming, as they remove every speck of impurity. As a person that is constantly being refined by God, it is absolutely painful at times. I absolutely agree on motherhood being a refining process. There’s a lot of ugly that comes out (impatience, harsh words, wrong attitudes). I love the description of the gold plated pendant. Such a fantastic description of the pretty on the outside, but not so great on the inside. Wonderful post. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

    1. Lauren C. Moye

      Erin, thank you for the comment and sweet words! Watching the refining process is something that I want to do one day. The ghost town part sounds absolutely fantastic as well.

      Reply

  8. Rebekah

    This is such a beautiful post, Lauren!! I too, feel that motherhood has changed me, and definitely for the better. My boys are continually pointing out my weakness and imperfections, and God is using them to help my faith grow stronger.

    Reply

    1. Lauren C. Moye

      Rebekah, thank you for the comment! I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels like motherhood is making my faith stronger.

      Reply

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