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Celebrating a mother’s journey

Jamila with children Akim (left), Tishad (right) and baby Santiago.

I am celebrating my 10th anniversary as a mother. What an honour and a privilege it is to accept that God has blessed me with three sons who continue to foster my greatest personal growth and development.

I have braved the rough waters of uncertainty, getting divorced soon after the birth of my second son, and six years later I stood in love, but not in God’s law, and had a child with a man I loved.

Months after giving birth to my third son, I felt the crushing of emotional defeat as God pulled me back into His obedience. I had to internalise His promise.

Forget about the former things, do not dwell on the past, for behold I am doing a new thing.” —Isaiah 43:19

Walking in God’s obedience, and honouring Him with our lives, and our children’s lives allow Him to make a way during our wilderness experiences. These experiences can feel like a 100m sprint or sometimes like a full-on marathon requiring grit, determination and endurance.

Sometimes I have the notion that I can succeed on this motherly path, even win only to realise that oftentimes ‘winning’ is sometimes about finishing.

“Our dreams, identities, ambitions are cocoons that we get attached to, but they oftentimes have to be shed to lead us to the next” —Gary Zukav, American spiritual teacher and the author.

Focusing on being in a peak physical state gives me discipline, determination, desire and an unwavering drive as a mother and professional. It has given me a deep understanding of my own resilience.

I ran the UWI half marathon, and a tag team triathlon five months after giving birth and knew that my race was one of endurance and commitment, and seeing my future with anticipation and excitement—my future is infinitely bigger than my past.

I have truly come to understand what author Mark Nepo in his book Seven Thousand Ways to Listen describes as seeing “no experience as wasted, and to be broken is no reason to see all things as broken”.

Celebrating Mother’s Day with mothers around the world, women know your worth. Follow your curiosity and be courageous in the midst of uncertainty—uncertainty is the fertile ground of pure freedom (Deepak Chopra).

As mothers, we have more strength than we give ourselves credit for. Let us trust in God’s process and validation, for when we know what God’s opinion is of us, man’s opinion becomes less relevant.

My top 5 motherly life goals are:

To be in a constant state of peak physical fitness

To grow daily in spiritual maturity

To walk in higher discernment

To provide my young charges with tools to become mature, consistent, decisive, strong men and;

To complete my first iron man race (1800m swim, 90km bike then a 21.2 km run) by 2020

Happy Mother’s Day each and every day to all the women who physically, emotionally and spiritually nurture and guide their children’s journey.

Jamila Cross is a triathlete, former professional footballer for Sevilla FC women’s Club Spain, and mother of three boys Tishad, Akim and Santiago. She is the founder of the Mariama Foundation, a registered non-profit organisation raising the storytelling bar for the Caribbean’s female athletes.