“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee…” – Jeremiah 1:5
Right now, I find myself praying, “Lord, give me the words to say.” Something eloquent. Maybe even inspiring. I want to be verbose in my description of my emotions right now. But alas, it is not necessary. Not necessary because though my intellect desires exposure, my heart has taken over. It overflows with both gratitude and wonder. Though fear hovers along the perimeter, for the most part, I am pleasantly overwhelmed. Peacefully anxious. Skeptically sure. And any other contradictory phrases that I could try and impress you with. The bottom line is…in all my years of searching rather ambitiously for both significance and success, God has chosen to honor me with an assignment greater than any other thing I’ve ever done. A title that surpasses any other I’ve held. A role that I will play willingly, if not awkwardly, but with His Guidance at every turn. What is it, you ask?
I am becoming a Mother.
I am a mother.
Granted, I’m only seven months into the interview process for this gig (pregnancy) so I don’t know much. But the fact that God decided that he could trust me with one of his precious gifts, is beyond surreal to me. And it really is about that for me. Trust.
You see, I’ve accomplished a lot in my life. I’ve written books. I’ve spoken to audiences, both large and small. I’ve had great successes and, if I’m honest, great failures. But as King Solomon said in his wisdom, “It is all vanity.” Because if there is one thing that scares me, one thing that literally drops me to my knees in submission, it’s the idea…no, the reality now…of being a mother. Not giving birth (so you—yes, you—can stop with the horror stories). It’s all that stuff that happens after I take that 5 or 6 or 8 or…Lord, Jesus…10lb bundle of joy home, stare into her eyes, and say “Now what?”
I’ve always been good at pushing the limits of my ambitions. Doing what I wanted or felt led to do. And if I failed in the process, I’d simply shed my tears, get up, dust myself off, and keep it moving. No harm, no foul.
However, the stakes are so much higher now. NOW if I fail at motherhood, I do damage not to myself but to this human being that even as I type this is doing gymnastics inside of me. I could scar her. I could dash her dreams unknowingly. And the very thought of that overwhelms me. The very thought that my precious, beautiful, smart, and savvy baby girl (Speak those things…) could become subject to my insecurities; my fears; my ridiculous need for validation; my tendency to try to control my environment and the people in it; and all of the many other dysfunctions housed in this heart of mine—well, that’s just downright frightening.
Of course, I realize that much of this will be balanced by the positive things that I can give her. My love for God. My dogged pursuit of purpose. My resiliency. My capacity to love.
And I do get that no parent is perfect. No person is truly prepared for all that parenthood brings. But I guess I’ve lived the last 36 years of my life, at least the adult portion, needing to see further down the road then my headlights would allow, so to speak. Needing to manage expectations, control outcomes, and effectively plan for the good and the bad.
And yet it seems as though all of that floated down the toilet with other like matter during my first trimester. Shoot, I’m not even in control of my own body right now. I can’t move the way I’d like, sleep the way I’d like, eat what I’d like (So desperate for a large plate of colossal King Crabs!), and carry what I need to carry on my own.
But I should know by now. God is funny.
I am being forced to stop relinquish this pseudo-control that I think I have, and submit to this process totally and fully. Embrace it even. A lesson that I, until now, have absolutely refused to learn. Fought tooth and nail against.
A great lesson to learn in this season, I suppose.
How this journey will play out remains to be seen. However, if you see a brown lady with a big, brown belly wandering around the metro Philadelphia area and pulling her locks out one by one, just refer to this blog and give her a big hug.
I think I’m going to need quite a few of those in the coming months. 🙂