I've been a mama for 4 years....
|Jeremiah on his birthday, October 8th, 2009|
I was about 7 months pregnant when I broke down, water streaming, in the hottest shower I could stand. I was terrified of motherhood. Terrified that I would be a mom like my mom and my step-dad. Terrified that my baby's life would be the same as mine.
Last night, as we got home from church, and I had just put Jeremiah to bed early for hitting his brother and another kid in the nursery, I knew....I knew that his anger came from my anger. This secret part of me that I hated. And as I cried to Trevor in the kitchen, after having knelt down beside Jeremiah's bed and talked to him, weeping and telling him that my daddy was really mean to me when I was a little girl, and it makes me a very angry person sometimes, and that he didn't deserve my anger. That I was sorry, so sorry, and will you forgive me baby?
And Trevor looked at me and said, "The difference between you and your dad is that you are trying to change."
|Jeremiah, 2 weeks old|
It's sorta cliche to say, but I'm going to say it anyway, because it's darn truth. I wouldn't be who I am today if I hadn't gone through the fires I did. Motherhood has been the same. I would not be who I am right now if I hadn't been through what I have been the past 4 years.
Motherhood has taught me selflessness like nothing else in the world could. It has taught me empathy and compassion for someone who doesn't always appreciate it. It has taught me that "I'm sorry" are just as important words to a child as "I love you" or "Let's eat cake." It has beaten me down and ground me into the dust. It has expanded my existence to encompass these 3 little miracles, expanded my heart a thousandfold, my mind to it's outer limits, and my body, well, that's been expanded many a time.
I am a good mama. I know that now. I didn't always believe that. But I know that my love and compassion and gentleness for my boys far outweigh any anger that comes up. I am not like my step-dad, because I have the Holy Spirit. I've written about what my dad used to do to me, and there is just no comparison. He is an angry person who's never dealt with his anger, still wears it like a cloak. The one time I was ready to talk to him, tell him I had forgiven him, that I was the only person in that room who didn't want him to leave, he pretended like I didn't exist. He is blinded by his anger, and I am nothing like him.
|The day before Jeremiah was born|
As we celebrate Jeremiah's birthday tomorrow, I celebrate my motherhood and how it has grown me and changed me. And I'll look at the future with my boys with excitement, because God is doing a new thing in my life, a brand new thing in my mama heart.
|Jeremiah and Mommy, right after Judah was born|
Disclaimer: I write out in the open about my heart, my struggles, my triumphs, not to glean pity or sympathy, but to testify to the incredible power of God to change lives and redeem the broken places. He has a message for me to share, one of brokenness and pain, but also of being set free and being at peace. I write about the ugly, the stuff I'm afraid to write, so that you can see it is not by my power that I can stand up and say I am changed. It is only by the power of God in me. And I don't have to voice that I don't beat my children, but just in case any of you were wondering, I don't.