When Parenting Feels a Little Like Death

Do you ever read a passage of scripture that just hits home for you and seems to describe exactly how you’re feeling? Recently, I read this passage in 2 Corinthians that really resonated with me as a mom:

“We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself.” 2 Corinthians 1:8b

Aren’t you SO glad I shared that uplifting scripture with you???

First of all, I am very aware that this passage is talking about people who are ACTUALLY, LITERALLY facing life and death circumstances. My latest battle with my toddlers over not sharing their toys pales in comparison to the struggles described in this verse.

In studying scripture, it’s so important to take into account the original context and what it means for the intended audience. But I still believe there is something for you and me in this passage, even in our ordinary, mundane struggles.

Because some days, we are filled with despair, right? Sometimes, this feels like a pretty accurate description of how I feel.

“We were under great pressure…” As a mom, I’m under a lot of pressure, a lot of that self-imposed, really. I feel responsible for these little lives, and that weighs on me. What if I get it wrong?

“…far beyond our ability to endure…” There is a lot about parenting that feels like more than I can handle. It’s too much for me, and some days it’s all I can do to simply show up.

“…so that we despaired of life itself.” This part may feel a little strong, but I can all too easily go to a place of despair. The monotonous routine of my days can all blend together until I wonder: Does what I’m doing as a mom really matter?

Life can end up feeling kind of blah. We might feel despair some days.

I kept reading…

“Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death.” 2 Corinthians 1:9a

Do you ever feel like you have to die to yourself again and again in order to love and serve your kids well?

Again: I do realize they are talking about ACTUAL DEATH here. But what is the Christian life if not a call to die to ourselves? And what better way to learn that than parenting?

When I’d rather zone out and watch Netflix or sleep in, parenting forces me to lay down my own desires and, well, keep my kids alive. In very real, practical ways, it’s breaking the power of my flesh that would rather just do what I want.

And here is the best part…finally, some hope:

“But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.” 2 Corinthians 1:9b

And there it is. Here is the “why” behind the struggle, the hope that can keep us going.

When we face the challenges and pressures of parenting, we quickly realize that this is more than we can handle. It’s meant to show us how much we need God.

This is the God who raises the dead, and the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, sweet mama (Romans 8:11).

Some days feel like death, because it seems like we’re giving everything we have, yet it still doesn’t feel like enough.

Let those moments of desperation be a reminder that it was never meant to be up to you. You’re not enough, but Jesus is.

God is in the business of raising the dead and bringing life to the broken and hurting. If you feel despair, ask God to give you new life. Trust His strength to to be enough to cover your weakness. Parenting might feel a little like death, but God wants to fill you with HIS life. He’ll give you everything you, and your kids, need.


Do you struggle with finding time to connect with Jesus in the busyness of your life as a mom? I’ve created a 5-day email series that includes a short devotion along with simple practices that will give fresh life into your quiet times, even when your time is limited. Sign up here to get the emails!

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