Victims or Overcomers?

by Abbie Halberstadt September 13, 2023
“... we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Romans 8:37 (NIV)

Many aspects of motherhood require us to overcome.

We overcome our need for eight hours of sleep so that we can provide sustenance 5,678 times a night during those days of bleary newborn bliss (and, yes, pain).

We overcome our fear that something terrible will happen to our precious kiddos. (Or at least we overcome it enough not to keep them locked up at home, where they’re honestly just as capable of hurting themselves … Fireplace corners! Electrical outlets! Crib jumping!)

We overcome the difficulty of disciplining disobedient children.

As mothers, if we desire to do more than spend our days in the fetal position, we must overcome! The good news? If you are in Christ, you are more than an overcomer. In fact, Romans 8:37 tells us “we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”

Through TV, music, social media and magazines, we are bombarded with messages like “you’re enough” and “motherhood gives you superpowers.” But the truth of Romans 8:37 says something very different from, “If you are a mother, you are a superhero.”

It is true that motherhood grants many women a special dispensation of grace and grit they’d not yet possessed, but it only takes one round of frantically Googling pictures of hand, foot, and mouth disease to realize you don’t feel like enough. And you are literally powerless to make your baby “all better” immediately.

At this point, it’s all too easy to fall into “victim motherhood.” This mindset manifests in the deluge of social media posts that paint children as our captors and our bullies, using “helpful” captions like, “If you think your kid is a pain now, just wait. It gets worse.”

I saw a particular little phrase on a recent post that exemplifies for me how subtle victim motherhood can be: “Wouldn’t it be nice?”

“Wouldn’t it be nice if my child didn’t get sick so easily?”

“Wouldn’t it be nice if my toddler obeyed the first time?”

The answer is a resounding YES! It would be nice!

But the problem is there’s no promise of “nice” in motherhood (or in life, for that matter). Joy? Yes. Purpose? Absolutely. Growth? Amen! But a false expectation of “nice” mires us in self-pity and resentment against our lot in life — or against anyone who seems to have it easier. There is no easy escape from this pit.

Notice I said “easy” — not “simple.” I know from personal experience how hard it is to revive my downcast spirit on those really challenging days. But it really is as simple as a daily return to this truth: We serve the God “who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20, NLT).

The uncomplicated fact is that I have a choice every single day to praise God for the discipleship opportunities provided by a child’s disobedience. I have a choice to praise God for the ministry opportunities tucked into the extra snuggle time that comes with an under-the-weather kiddo. You do too!

Mamas, you do have a superpower, and it’s available to every Christian who believes the Bible is true and effective (Hebrews 4:12). It’s ready for the taking for every believer who knows that an indwelling of the Holy Spirit is so much more empowering than any pep talk or slogan.

Your superpower lies not in approaching motherhood struggles with an attitude of “it would be so nice if …” No, your superpower as a mom is the ability to acknowledge that nothing befalls us without God’s knowledge and that He has promised to keep doing a good work in us until its completion at the day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:6).

Friends, it’s easy to stay a victim of our circumstances. But it’s not better.
It’s hard to overcome. But it brings so much goodness.

Lord, help us to see the good in the hard and to be thankful for our need for You every single day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


For more biblical encouragement for the challenges of motherhood and practical strategies for facing them in Christ’s strength, grab Abbie Halberstadt’s new book, Hard Is Not the Same Thing as Bad, or her debut book, M Is for Mama.



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Philippians 1:6, “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (NIV).

What is one way you can make seeking strength from the Lord your first response to motherhood struggles?

© 2023 by Abbie Halberstadt. All rights reserved.

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