“He gently leads those that have young.”


“He tends His flock like shepherd; He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart; He gently leads those that have young.” Isaiah 40:11

It was soon after we arrived in Russia that a fellow missionary mom on my team encouraged me with this verse, and to this day I am grateful for the timing and impact of that encouragement.

It was about 3 years ago that I was dropped into a completely new world, feeling totally helpless, yet having the same need to care for my family that I had before we left the states, if not more so, despite not knowing the first thing about functioning in this new place.  I didn’t speak the language, I couldn’t read what the products were at the grocery store, didn’t understand the culture, didn’t know my away around the city, there wasn’t a single person in the city that truly knew me other than my husband, I was adjusting to life without a car, a dryer, a  microwave, along with many other conveniences that I had been used to, I had left nearly everyone and everything that had given me comfort apart from God, and I was dealing with a jet-lagged 9-month-old and an exhausted, emotional self. I knew I was where I was called to be, but it was hard!

I remember reflecting on what I had heard at our cross cultural training about the “cultural adjustment cycle” and how the moms were taken aside in a special group and told that we would not likely experience a honeymoon phase at the beginning of our time overseas, but that we were more likely to enter directly into the “pit of despair.” I was there.

I was then reminded of this verse by my new teammate and friend probably sometime during that first week or two, and despite the feelings of shock and of being completely overwhelmed, I was so comforted to be reminded that our God is a loving, caring, tender God who had a special care and concern for me as a mother, as one of His sheep who has young. This verse has stuck with me as one of my greatest comforts as I go through times where when life gets  hard and I find it difficult enough to walk through the challenges on my own, let alone to be responsible for the care for my children and family in the midst of it. As I look over the past years as a mom, even as I look at the hardest times that I have faced so far, I can clearly see the grace of God in how gently he has led and cared for me. I know that despite how hard things feel, God is looking after me with the utmost of care.

Of course this verse doesn’t mean that God will never lead us through rocky terrain, as I am sure we have all experienced as moms on the mission field (and moms in general), but we can trust that He will lead us at a pace that we can manage with His help, and that He will carry us  when needed and lookout for us and for our children as He leads. I am praying for you, moms across the world, that you would experience the gentle leading of God in your life as you care for your children and follow God where He leads you!


4 Responses to ““He gently leads those that have young.””

  1. 1 Kim W. February 17, 2009 at 8:07 pm

    You are amazing, Ashley! I have forgotten about those first several months of your life in Russia and now, by God’s grace and care, you are all doing so well. Not to say there aren’t challenges, but you are really shining! Thanks for sharing this.

  2. 2 Charlotte March 22, 2010 at 12:25 am

    thank you for posting that. I hope you will visit Charlotte’s Heart
    God seems to be moving our family towards missions.

  3. 3 Austin Collie Youth Jersey July 9, 2013 at 6:50 pm

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  4. 4 Mary Lou Graham June 5, 2017 at 9:45 pm

    Excellent reminder of God’s heart for us. He gently leads us so that we can gently lead our children.

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