I discovered a new song this weekend and it instantly became a firm favourite.
You might know it too, “Shadow Step” by Hillsong United.
Driving in the car listening to this on top volume today (I was by myself and it was pure bliss), it made me reflect on the meaning of the “shadow step” in the song. To me it was symbolic of stepping into a shadow, an unknown area, a new place, not yet sure what you’ll find or if it is going to work, but trusting God with the process.
I could relate this back to motherhood immediately.
Are we not always operating in shadow steps when it comes to raising kids?
We all know there are no manuals, no two kids are 100% alike and you never know which phase will hit you next. Ask 5 different experts and they will give you 5 different ways to potty train, handle anxiety, deal with temper tantrums or how not to turn your child into a bully.
As mothers we can only hope that when faced with a new phase in raising our children we are taking a step into the right direction, because we will not see the results immediately. We operate in the shadows, hoping that we will do the right thing.
I feel assured though, that I am not doing this alone.
I have God with me whenever I step into the next shadow and as sure as he could multiply 2 fishes and 5 loaves of bread to feed a multitude of people, He can multiply my humble efforts at mothering children. I am only a broken vessel, there is no perfection here.
On a daily basis I make mistakes in raising my children. I know however the intention I rise with every morning. The same intention that follows me 24 hours every day. It is the intention to raise my boys well, the intention to shower love on them, the intention to send them out in the world one day as difference makers, as followers of Jesus and as confident young men understanding their place in this jumbled up world.
I have to believe that God sees that intention and that He honours that.
I choose to believe that He takes my parenting offering and that He makes it more.
When I got home, I did a little research to find out the real story behind these lyrics and what it meant to the writer. I discovered a beautiful analogy to the “shadow step”, different to my own interpretation. It did in fact not just represent a step into the unknown, but rather no matter where you step going forward into new territory, you do it in the shadow of the One who goes before you, walks beside you, behind you and operates inside of you. Just like the cloud covered the Israelites on their journey to the Promised Land, His shadow covers us.
Let’s be honest; raising children mostly feels like walking in permanent semi-darkness or navigating a tricky obstacle course but we can rest assured, knowing that with every step we take, we walk in the shadow of Someone that is 100% there.
And I’ll chase Your voice through the dark
Fix my eyes on the unexpected
In the wonder of Your shadow step
So take another step.
– Hillsong UNITED
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Magda is a mother, budding entrepreneur and a dabbler in words. She is originally from South Africa, but Perth became home in 2015. Her happy place is spending time with her husband and two boys, all 3 of them redheads! Most of her spare time goes into washing underpants and putting down toilet seats, but if there’s any left, you will find her with her nose in a book. Other passions include coffee and chocolate and sometimes she runs too. She loves encouraging women to be authentic, ignore the opinions of others and to become the best possible version of themselves.