During December we’re focusing on leaning on God. Please see the Monthly Prayer Focus page to read our strategic prayer request for this month.
By Erin Duplechin
I’ve heard it said about motherhood that the days are long, but the years are short. As a mom of young children, I can attest to this truth. Some days with my four and five year old feel painfully long. The constancy of being needed, the tears, the discipline and the days of yelling at Jesus to show up in the midst of all the shenanigans. I’d never really seen my desperate need for God with such clarity until I became a mom. The days are long.
But, that five year old turns six in two weeks and it’s then that I’ll remember that the years are short and I’ll ask that age-old adage: where did the time go?
Motherhood: it’s slow and fast and you can’t wait for the years ahead and yet grieve over the ones behind.
I think this expression applies to missionaries as well. Having grown up in the first world with conveniences at my fingertips, the adjustment of being without certain ones is challenging. Most things just seem to take longer- laundry, dishes. Living in our coastal town is difficult with consistently hot and humid weather. Our houses are not climate controlled and the heat is wearying. An especially hot and sunny day coupled with a power outage makes for a very long day.
If motherhood was a step closer in recognizing my need for God, becoming a missionary forced me to sprint toward this reality. My first fifteen months here in PNG were the hardest days of my life. The days were excruciatingly long as I sorted through not just my own culture shock and physical ailments, but also my children’s. There were days where I didn’t want to get out of bed in the morning and, once I did, I counted the hours until I could sleep again. The days were long.
But, as our family prepares to celebrate three years since moving to PNG, the time feels as though it has flown by. I look back at the last three years and think: whoa, that was fast. I remember our early days in the village that I thought would never end, all the times I cried out for Jesus. All the moments I had to lean into Him to keep from falling.
The days are long, but the years are short and in every season I need Him more and more. There’s a daily leaning into Him that I have to do now to make it through. Today as I think back, I can look at those long days and feel gratitude because they taught me about neediness and poverty in spirit and the beauty of relying on Jesus in every moment.
And so today, as I mother and mission, I lean into Him.
Erin is a mother of two and wife to Kevin.