This is probably one of my favorite photos of me and A when she was my only child, circa late 2007. She is slouched over my J-filled belly and nuzzled into my neck…a place reserved for a special few. She had such faith in me as a mama even though I was new at it. We bumbled through together, and I guess we still do. Bright and shining, she is. Filling my world with energy, imagination, and lightness of heart.
I’ve recently been reflecting on my mothering journey and how interesting it is to look back on the seasons. When I became pregnant with A (surprise, three months after our wedding) my life and plans were de-railed in the most glorious way. We were on the Five-Year Plan which turned into the Have-Three-Kids-in-Five-Years Plan, and then one more after that for good measure. What is really ironic is that I never saw myself as a mother. I never especially wanted to have kids, mostly because I was afraid that I would mess them up, or at least pass on my personal issues (which I guess is still a risk), and with all the heartaches I carried in my later adolescent years, I just didn’t want to go there. I actually hadn’t even planned to get married for a long time (or ever) until I met my now-husband who spent a good 3 years trying to woo me before I trusted my heart to him. What I mean to say is…this motherhood gig was not at all my plan, my dream, or even my wish until God changed my heart via a positive pregnancy test. I finished the one term of grad school I was enrolled in at the time, but I didn’t return after that, and now I have a full house of kids instead of a Masters degree.
Anyway, I guess I wanted to share all of this to say that we all make plans…but sometimes God’s plans are different. And in my experience, although often not as glamorous or self-gratifying, His plans bring more fulfillment than anything we can find on our own. So if His plans are on the table next to yours, it would be worthwhile to reach out and embrace them, though it might take all your heart, soul, mind and strength to do so.
I’ll leave you with some excerpts from my journal, dated November 2005 – shortly after I found out I was pregnant, followed by a photo of K, holding A for the first time:
There is a miracle inside me. I am certain. A brand new life, a brand new joy. A new baby is to join our new family sooner than we expected. I have wrestled and surrendered, wrestled and surrendered. The Lord holds me in a place where I am to receive and embrace my womb and whomever may be growing there. I am anxious about the changes that would come with a baby so soon, but I also feel peace. We don’t know what is going to happen, but something between K and I speaks a firm and silent ‘yes’ to what may come. We realize it is soon, but we are full of joy. I would not want to undo what is done, no matter how soon it has come. Miracle inside of me, I embrace you.
Lord, only You know what will be woven into the tapestry of our lives. You know the children that will come. You know the blessings You have prepared for us. And You know the provision that You will swiftly send to us as we need it. I trust You, and I thank you for this blessing.
Jesus, what joy You have brought to me, after years of weeping and mourning. You have prepared this little wonder, this overwhelming gift for K and me. Please hold our hearts and teach us more about how to walk with You, to hear from You, and order our lives in a way that pleases You.
Hello, little one. Inside me, you are growing, and your father says (after looking it up on the internet) that you are about the size of the ball on a ball-point pen right now. Just a wee little one you are. It is remarkable to me that my body feels different already and you are barely big enough to see. I am in awe at the process of conceiving and growing a child within my body, and I am so excited to see your little face and little hands when you are born. I am overjoyed at the opportunity I will be given to pour all my love into you. You are already loved.