Two. years. They say that nothing can prepare you for motherhood, and they are both right and wrong. Life experience cannot, but God does. In ways we both see and can’t imagine, God is working in our hearts to prepare us for what is to come, and He also is walking right next to us every step of the way. Unbelievable highs, unimaginable lows. God. is. there. He always has been and he isn’t going to leave.
Two years ago, I was in this same spot. It was the night before a scheduled induction for our first child. I remember the effort it took to roll from one side to another, and I remember lying in bed telling myself that I needed to sleep, but sleep was the last thing on my mind. When we walked into the hospital that cold, winter morning, we knew that life would never be the same. Several hours later, after two and a half hours of pushing, he arrived. Nine pounds of a long-awaited and prayed for miracle baby.
I wish that I could go back in time and tell myself things would be ok. Feeling like a failure is a good way to sum up my first year of mothering. The blessing and the curse of parenting at this point in time is that we have access to so many resources-books, websites, blogs, forums, mommy groups, consultants. The list goes on. With all of those voices speaking into our heads, we can’t hear our own voice. When we do hear our own voice, we don’t trust it, because we couldn’t possibly know more than all of the “experts.”
Grieving when your body won’t do what it was “made to do” and you have to supplement feedings and eventually give up on nursing. Trying to figure out how to manage reflux and get the baby to gain weight. Watching your marriage seemingly crumble into a pile of anger and silence. Not knowing how to get back to “normal”-and not knowing if you ever will.
Looking back now, I know that the refining fire that we walked through made us stronger. God works miracles and heals marriages, making them stronger than ever. I know this isn’t always the case, and it makes me even more thankful that it is our case.
Tonight, I was tempted to go down the path of “mommy failure” mentality. When it’s 9:30 at night and you’re just starting to make muffins for the birthday celebration at daycare for your 2 year old, the Devil has plenty of chances to plant thoughts in your head. You have to admit that we’ve all been there. God speaks truth, though, with a gentle reminder of all you have to be thankful for. So, with each scoop of batter, you think of something you’re thankful for. Scoop by scoop, your heart changes and you see God in this process.
I’m not perfect. I’m not a perfect mom or wife. I never will be. The sooner I accepted that and decided to enjoy the process instead of fighting for a perfect product, God stepped in and brought healing and joy.
Two years ago our lives were turned upside down. Sweet baby boy, you are such a blessing and changed our lives in ways we couldn’t imagine. God made you for a purpose, and we are so lucky to get to walk alongside you as you figure out what that purpose is.
This mama’s heart shows its wear, but it is fuller than you could ever imagine.