When my littlest turned one I wrote a post about our journey to his arrival. I want to share a few of those words again, as his fourth birthday looms and I can sense the feeling that change will soon come for all of us. As life becomes busier and roles change… transition is never easy. I am so beyond grateful that God has allowed me the opportunity to serve HIM in ministry. It is nothing I ever comprehended doing with my life, as I thought we had a mutual agreement… you don’t want someone like me and I don’t want to do it so we’re good, right God? Even as I type this I imagine Jesus shaking his head and laughing to himself. I also didn’t know if I wanted to be a mom before my kiddos showed up… but like ministry, being a mother makes me complete and gives me a full understanding of why God created me and gave me the life I’ve lived. I guess that’s what God means in Isaiah 55:9 when He says, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” As another year in the life of my baby boy passes, I realize that one of the most precious chapters of my life will come to a close sooner than later as all my children grow and I move into the areas of ministry God has prepared. I want to hold each one of my children a little tighter and celebrate them a little more.
I always joke that I am not a natural born mother, I am more of a natural born aunt. I didn’t dream of having children, I didn’t dream of having a big family, and I definitely didn’t know what to do with babies. From the time she was old enough to hold a baby, my sister wanted one… she wanted motherhood and everything that came with it. Myself on the other hand, I wanted to have fun.
Yet, when God gave me my precious little girl everything fell into place. I understood at the moment I heard her heartbeat in my womb what being a mother meant, and I LOVED it. My husband and I would stare into her eyes and watch her for hours after she was born. We were so content. Then, when she was four months old, we discovered another bundle of joy was on his way. Sadly, I didn’t see it like that at the time. I was too busy panicking about the fact that I had a newborn baby I had just learned how to put down for a nap, feed formula, and take to Target. Content as I was with the beautiful girl God had given us, I was also deep in the depths of postpartum depression and was only just beginning to take medication to get a little relief. And in my hand was a pregnancy test with a big fat YES.
I struggled with the guilt of not wanting to be pregnant, of not wanting another baby when so many women would give anything to have one. When brother arrived, it was in a state of crisis as my placenta ripped in an abruption and his life was threatened. From the moment my C-section began until the first time I held him I had difficulty feeling the emotional connection I had with sis. I didn’t hold him as much. I cried a lot. I didn’t leave the house too often. Finally… the sister that had always been the baby whisperer in my life gave me the support and affirmation I needed to get back on medication and be the best mom I could be in whatever way I needed. It is truly amazing to me the variety of things there are to feel guilty about where motherhood is concerned. Breast-feed or don’t breast-feed, work or stay home, swaddle or not, co-sleep or crib, tummy or back, and these are just in the first three months!
Once I was able to think and feel logically again, I began to see my first son for who he was… an amazing, peaceful, content little man who was crazy about his momma. And oh how I fell in love with him. I had my boy and my girl, and we were making this thing work. My husband and I played man-on-man defense and became a well oiled machine.
Three years later, we were living in Jonesboro, Arkansas as a happy family of four. I had NO desire for anything to change and my husband and I were certain that our family was complete. Well, as God does to me every time I get to a place where I think I have things all figured out and under-control, He reminds me His plans are greater than mine. I suddenly began to feel this tug in my heart that something in our family was missing…not that what we had wasn’t good enough or that I was unfulfilled, I just began to have this thought creep into my mind that was kind of shocking. I kept thinking about another baby. No. Way. I told Him once again.
I thought the baby-making door was closed, but God decided otherwise. I approached my husband and asked him to pray about it. After sometime he said, “Ok…let’s do it.” So, we did. And nothing happened. For an entire year and a half. I was so confused and frustrated, I didn’t understand why the Lord even placed it on my heart to have a baby if he wasn’t going to give me one. I was happy with two! Now I was heart-broken. I spent many times on my knees in my prayer closet (which happened to be my actual closet) and I questioned God over and over. Oh, me of little faith…
Finally, the month of October came. I took one last pregnancy test before heading down the road to Branson, MO with my family for my oldest son’s birthday. Negative. Again. I had a good cry and then loaded up the van. About halfway to Branson we were in a car accident that landed my van in ruins, my husband and I in the hospital, and my entire family scared to death. I was silently thanking God for all of our lives and for the one that had not yet been given to me. God knew what the most likely outcome of a pregnancy would have been in that accident and he protected me and my future child from that outcome.
The next month, November 14th, I had a positive pregnancy test. Nine months later, my family welcomed its third and final member, a beautiful baby boy. It was truly amazing to see an answer to a prayer breathing in my arms. This boy is the spark that keeps our family on our toes. He loves to laugh, play, and rarely takes anything seriously. His big eyes melt my heart and he reminds me regularly that I am “his best momma.”
These are the days I will remember and wish I had back… I know this because I already have that thought deep in the recesses of my mind as they pass so quickly. But for now, I am so grateful and appreciative that my God knows me better than I know myself and has deemed me worthy of so great a joy as being the mom to my three beautiful children.