Motherhood: The Never-Ending Job

Guest post by Joyce Harrell

Many years ago when I was a young mother with small children, I somehow thought when they left the nest my job as mother would end. I thought when I raised them to be responsible adults somehow they wouldn’t need me anymore. Boy was I wrong!

I am glad to know I’m still needed. The role of mother is a little different now, though. Things seemed to be a little easier when they were small. As mothers, we cared for their wounds, gave instruction, and prayed for their spiritual growth and development.

I don’t think I was prepared for the adult parenting “heart” experiences. My first realization that motherhood worries never end was when my oldest son went to Iraq. He was gone for a year; there wasn’t a day that passed that my heart strings weren’t pulled in all directions. My knees had never experienced so much prayer time.

At the time, one of my patients also had a son over there. Those two young men were actually in the same brigade. You can imagine my heart when two years later the boys were notified they were returning. Before deployment, my son was sent home with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and Susan’s son went but never returned alive.

I can’t even begin to share how heavy my heart was the day Brandon and I went to the funeral home to say goodbye to Blake. There were no words. Only tears; as they are now.

Then, my daughter. She did great during her first pregnancy. A real trooper when labor began. I was so proud of her strength. It became time to push, and the pushing went on for two hours. The doctor finally said “that’s enough”, and they took her for an emergency C-section where they discovered that Judah’s shoulder was somehow stuck; he would have never been born had they not taken him. As a mother, sitting, praying, and not being able to “fix” the moment was harder than anything I endured parenting her as a child.

A few years passed and Kelly became pregnant again. We were so excited. It was time for a new one! I received a call one day about 12 weeks into that pregnancy. Kelly hadn’t heard a heartbeat at work the night before and she was spotting. (She is also a nurse and has access to that type of equipment).  I was 250 miles away, and could not be there as she found out that in fact, there was no heart-beat. The next several months I felt totally helpless. I, as her mother, could not mend her broken heart. Only God.

Now, we have great news. There is another little one coming. She is now 12 weeks and all is well at this time. We are trusting God, one day at a time. It’s a journey where I can pray for her.

There are some paths our children have to walk alone to find their own peace.

Then, there’s our youngest son; he is getting married in June! Wonderful news to us all. He is 25 and is engaged to a wonderful Christian woman. I already know: as he continues to grow, there will be heart breaking times in his life that I can only stand by and pray.

Once a mother; always a mother. When they are young, they pull on our apron strings. When they are older, they pull on our heart strings. I understand now—my work as a mother never ends. Matter fact, I think it’s just beginning.


Joyce Harrell, RN, OCN is a Christian holistic nurse who provides natural solutions to common health problems. Joyce utilizes the art of nursing by implementing essential oils, enzyme therapy, vision boards, wellness coaching, and nutritional therapy to help you create an environment for your body to best heal. Joyce is a wife, mother, nana, author, holistic healer, and above all committed to her relationship with God. You can find Joyce at  or email her at



One thought on “Motherhood: The Never-Ending Job

  1. I have two younger children, ages 7 & 9 and my husband and I make sure we instill God Word to prepare them for life’s unexpected twists and turn. Knowing that we are doing all we can to prepare them now will give me comfort when they are older. Wonderful article to reflect upon!

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