“Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.”—Romans 12:16
“Only humility will lead us to unity, and unity to peace.” —Mother Teresa
Motherhood in a way forces you into a posture of humility. You have to put this little human above yourself and try not to lose patience with them, even when you haven’t slept in weeks! I’ve also learned that being humble means you have to set aside your pride and admit that you need help. There is a saying here in Rwanda, “Turi Kumwe”, which means, “We Are One”, and here at WMF Rwanda we love to say that we are better together. Those are lovely sayings and I believe them to be true, but sometimes I fall into the trap of thinking that other people need help, not me.
When I have to ask for help my pride tells me that I’ve failed, I’m not good enough. But when I lean into the humility of Christ, I remember that it takes a village to raise a child. I can do all the research in the world and listen to all the motherhood podcasts, and I have learned so many good things I want to apply in parenthood. But I cannot forget those who God has given me to be in community with, those who have gone before me and from whom I can learn valuable lessons.
This is my first baby, I’m in no way experienced, but I am grateful to have so many women from different backgrounds with whom I am able to share the experiences of motherhood and learn a thing or two along the way. This season I have had to learn to let go of my pride and ask for help. Sometimes it is just a matter of asking a simple request such as holding my daughter so that I can go to the bathroom, or even just to breathe for a minute.
I am thankful that I am able to bring my daughter, Chloe, to work with me, but some days it is a struggle to focus. One Thursday afternoon I was at work and Chloe wouldn’t stop crying, I also had gotten barely any sleep that week. I was trying everything to calm her down, nothing was working, I couldn’t handle it anymore. I stopped what I was doing and stood up to rock Chloe to sleep. No one was around me at the time so I started to silently cry. Then my coworker, Immaculee, saw that I was crying and came over and gently rubbed my back asking me what was wrong. I proceeded to tell her that Chloe hadn’t been sleeping and now she won’t stop crying, and I can’t get my work done, and I’m just so tired! Immaculee, who has a two year old, looked at me knowingly, then she took Chloe from me and tied her on her back in the way Rwandan mothers do, where she remained for the next couple of hours.
The days and weeks following that day I have noticed how often the women I serve alongside do the same thing, or something similar, for each other. We are a village, a community, who helps our sisters when we are in need, no matter how great or small that need is.
When I am proud I believe that I can do it all by myself, that I don’t need help from others. But God gives us community as a gift — it opens the door into humility, which allows us to see our need for each other. We are broken pieces of the body of Christ, when we come together we are whole. And when we have humbled ourselves, when we have been made whole, we can then walk in peace with each other and say to one another, I am part of you and you are part of me.
Annie Jones was the Short Term Programs Coordinator for Word Made Flesh Rwanda. As of the beginning of 2020, she and her husband Claudien Niyigena along with their first child, Chloe, relocated to the United States where they continue to support advocacy work.
Connect with Annie: firstname.lastname@example.org