Motherhood and Dying to Live

“…unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.” (John 12:23-26)

These impossible words from our Lord…impossible, that is, for one who does not possess the spirit of the living God.

And still so hard for the one who does.

This verse made me think of motherhood and children. “Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies…”

There is a dying to produce life. God knew that. And that death that seems painful to us at times, He knew would bring about “many seeds”.

I thought about “many seeds”. And “olive shoots around your table”. And fruitfulness. When we “die” to our fear, our control, our plans, our pride–when we die to ourselves, we become able to increase with so much more capacity. Both in sheer number, and in our ability to become a true disciple of Christ. (“Nevertheless it is not I, but He that lives in me.”)

No, our culture doesn’t esteem motherhood, because it’s not very fond of dying. It doesn’t esteem the things of God for that same reason.

But those who have tasted of that wonderful gift of grace know about the secret–the underground miracle of rebirth and producing many seeds.

As mothers, can we cling to this analogy, glory in our “many seeds”, and long for nothing more than to allow God the room to do with us what He wills?

If not, He’ll keep us dying all the time, until we finally do give up and die once and for all…for His glory and purpose.

3 thoughts on “Motherhood and Dying to Live

  1. Kelly, you may be interested in the life of St. Gianna Beretta Molla who literally died to save the life of her third (and last) child. Her life is such a moving testament to God’s preparation for this vocation and of a mother’s love.


  2. What an excellent post Kelly! I had never thought about this verse before in the context of motherhood. As mothers we are constantly dying to ourselves daily and putting others needs before our own. Thanks for the new insight of this verse to my life as a mother.


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