Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Some things motherhood has in common with surfing...

Image courtesy of www.morguefile.com
There’s a movie out in the video shops called “Soul Surfer”. If you haven’t watched it yet, do yourself a favor and watch it! It is the inspiring true story of a teen girl who got her left arm bitten off by a shark, but then, after a period of struggling, bounced back into life and carried on doing what she loved to do, surfing. Like many of us she had to hit rock bottom first, but her faith eventually gave her strength to fight through the difficulties of her recovery. Most importantly it gave her a new perspective. I am all for new perspectives. And I love a good story where God uses our suffering and turns it into something good…it gives me hope that my suffering, my hardships are not in vain either. So, watching this movie, I got a new perspective on motherhood and maybe life in general too.

When Bethany (that’s the girl’s name) was healthy and strong, she was or seemed in full control of her life. On a winning streak for sure! But then, after the terrible ordeal of the shark attack, she was “broken” and with only one arm left she had to learn to live and surf again. Paddling through the oncoming waves with only one arm to paddle with seemed kind of overwhelming and she kept loosing her board. Long story short…her dad stepped in and made an ingenious little adjustment to the board so she could hold on one-armed. After that it was up to her to keep trying and she kept on paddling until she finally managed to stand up again and surf her first wave, one-armed! She made it, not without help, but eventually she made it! I like her story, but it made me think. About motherhood of course because that’s where the waves are pounding me.

It seems to me that motherhood, no matter how old your children are, is somewhat like surfing in murky waters too. In my pre-motherhood years I too seemed to be in full control of my life and most of the time on a winning streak. But then came the first child and later a second and I found myself paddling and paddling, fighting the waves. Much like her I swallowed a lot of water, but in my case the water was “guilty feelings” and it had the potential of drowning me too. Bethany, in the movie, gave up for a while, having exhausted her strength trying and she even gave her surfboards away. That’s the point where God stepped in and gave her a new perspective. He showed her that helping others was the only way to regain her life.

Giving up was never an option for me. I also didn’t have the luxury of giving my children away, not even for a weekend, since all our relatives are thousands of miles away. But when I found myself completely “broken”…God did step in and proved to be an incredibly loving father. He helped me make many adjustments in my life and His ways of resolving some of my problems seem more than ingenious to me! I have been trying and paddling ever since. Yes, I fall of the board quite regularly still, but despite the hardships of parenthood, I am gradually learning to conquer the waves and have some fun too! The waves keep coming and so are the many problems children drag into the house, but how beautiful are those moments when the sea is calm just for a little while and I get to sit on my board and rest. I haven’t mastered it yet, but how exciting it must be when I finally learn to go with the rhythm of life and conquer the waves, when I get to stand and “surf” through life with ease. Sound impossible? With God I know it’s not! So, if you are having a tough time being a mom today...don’t grow weary and don’t just paddle back to shore. There are other surfers like me out there with you. We know that you need some rest and we are here to cheer you on…KEEP TRYING! Keep praying! I believe in you! 

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  1. You have whet my appetite to watch "Soul Surfer", Sue.

    Thank you for all your encouraging thoughts. I'm out in the waves on my surfboard!

    1. Thank you Ruth Ann, it will be worth watching! Isn't it so much more fun to surf in company rather than alone? Anyone else with a comment out there?


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