Y’all have heard me talk about the Young Wives Club for some time now, ever since I became a monthly contributor for the site. Well, today, you are in for a treat, as the founder of the YWC, Hannah Bowers, is sharing her heart with us today on the topic of mothering in the face of death. Hannah has such a sweet heart and a passion to encourage women, and I know she will do just that for you today. Please join me in welcoming Hannah to Hargraves Home and Hearth!
I’ve recently discovered that my beautiful baby boy loves hymns. He is especially captivated by the old song Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, written sometime in the the late 1800’s. For good reason, really. Even I am caught up in the simplicity and depth of what this song has to offer:
Swing low, sweet chariot,
Coming for to carry me home.
Swing low, sweet chariot,
Coming for to carry me home.
Now, we aren’t an all-hymns-and-pipe-organ type of family. Our worshipful repertoire includes modern worship hits right alongside some of the more obscure songs of old. But this song has lately risen above all the rest.
Until recently, I never really excelled at keeping my focus on things unseen (2 Corinthians 4:18). Honestly, who likes to constantly think about death and the end of everything we tangibly know and hold dear? I certainly do not, but the repeated singing of this eternally-focused song has really resonated in my life. It has challenged me to see beyond the imminent physical death for what Christ intends for us: eternal life.
If you’re a regular reader at the Young Wives Club, then you know that my view of motherhood is a bit revolutionary. I believe that the ultimate purpose of motherhood is raising children to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Anything additional is just a perk. But even having already established that staunch belief, I can’t keep my thoughts from running to the majesty that eternity has to offer us and how that impacts me as a mother.
Motherhood is a chance to show my kids that death in this life is not the end.
I’ve been to an unusual amount of funerals and, as hope-filled as the minister tried to make the situations seem, it is really hard to get past the ambient feeling that death is the end.
Somewhere between the grieving loved ones and pungent florals, we find a deafening reality that this life will cease to exist. By the time the group reaches the cemetery, the breadth of our mortality comes to a head and we are, once again, forced to face a reality of life no more. And for many of us, death is simply that: no more.
Despite this, Scripture tells a very different story and, unless we are deliberate in our mindset, it’s easy to overlook the sovereignty of God’s Word is a situation so bleak as death. But hope is on the horizon.
But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. (I Thessalonians 4:13-15 NKJV)
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26 NKJV)
So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. (1 Corinthians 15:42-44 NKJV)
As mothers, we have a powerful opportunity to introduce our children to the beauty and hope in death given to us by Christ Jesus. Because of Christ, we do not have to fear an end in this lifetime. We are promised greater things in all of eternity.
Swing low, sweet chariot…
The hymn-writer had his sights set on the Heavenlies. Just as Elijah was swept up into the Heavens in a chariot of fire, and Enoch walked from this life straight into the presence of a holy God, we will take our last breath here and immediately take in the heavy aroma of the Father in the next.
Death doesn’t have to be ominous and scary because we know what is to come. Scripture tells us of all the wonders the other side of Heaven - no more tears, no more sorrows, no more pain (Revelations 21:4). Forever, we will worship at the feet of the Father. No longer separated by the chasm of humanity and sin. We will be united forever and we will stand before him as a body of believers enveloped in the glory we could only taste in this lifetime.
…while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:18 NKJV)
Inevitably, the day will come when I leave this Earth, my husband passes on, or, heaven forbid, my child leaves before me. What a testimony it would be for my children to praise God in that absence, rejoicing that a loved one has left this world to be swept up into Heaven. I desire for my children to know that there will be sorrows in this lifetime, but I equally desire for them to be aware of the joy that is to come.
My responsibility, as a mother, is to intentionally invite them to a faith so radical that death does not make them quake.
I want children who boldly go where the Father calls them. Children to make hell quiver because they do not fear anything this life throws their way. I want them to understand that the things in this lifetime will inevitably pass away. All the while knowing that Christ and all that is eternal will never fade.
Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. (Matthew 24:35 NKJV)
Hannah Bowers is a passionate follower of Jesus Christ, compelling speaker, host of the all-new Facebook Show Rings & Things, and founder of the Young Wives Club. Currently residing in Columbus, Ohio with her handsome husband and adorable son, you will most likely find her juggling breastfeeding, the laundry, and a food concoction in the kitchen. For more great thoughts from Hannah, visit young-wives.com You can also find Hannah on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest!