Long before the infertility diagnosis I remember begging God for the opportunity to be a mom. I fondly remember my “never conversations” with God and wonder if he was laughing at my ridiculous ignorance of parenthood and myself. I clearly remember praying profoundly dumb things like, “I promise to never take a moment with my kids for granted,” or “I will never be a mom who yells,” or my personal favorite, “I will LOVE EVERY MINUTE, even the dirty diapers and attitudes.”
I was such a liar. Not on purpose mind you, it was well intentioned, but they were absolute lies. I truly had no idea what I was saying. It was the uttering of a mad woman in the bargaining stages of grief.
While others are precious about their stories of parenthood, sharing all that they love and how baby Q was potty trained in utero. I will speak to that which is my reality…
Sometimes parenthood sucks. Sometimes it feels soul crushing and unrelenting.
There are moments when I have cried so hard that my eyelids have actually fused together in solidarity, willing me to stop. I have lost count on the number of times I have raised my voice or at the very least mentally fantasized about duct-taping them to the wall for a well earned time out. I have actually asked God if he made a mistake, sometimes being certain I was more fit for the mental ward then motherhood…though sometimes I wonder if they are one and the same.
Parenthood has broken me in ways I could never have imagined and it has taught me more about the love of God then any other experience I have had in life.
It is also so amazingly good I could weep a thousand years at Jesus’ feet in gratitude.
This month marks my 13th year of actually parenting my village. And lest you more chronologically seasoned then I should scoff, take note, mine is not a traditional story. 13 years ago, one week apart, a baby and two teens arrived in our home. Separate stories, now forever intertwined. For the first, I was mom number 3, for the later, mom number 5 and 6. If we were an old school Facebook relationship status it would read “It’s Complicated.”
For these children I prayed, right? So it should all play out like the life saving fairytale it is…
Real life is far too dang messy to be a fairy tale. I don’t care if you have birthed, adopted, or hatched those you parent, it will change you and them.
So as I reflect back on the last 13 years, and all of their drama, here is what I know for certain:
You were never meant to do this solo. It requires dependency on God. In fact, it requires so much dependency, that you need him for every.single.step. If you don’t allow him to be the navigation system on this journey of love that costs you everything then you will be wrecked and they will miss out.
So, here I am, 13 years later, not living the fairytale, praying this prayer instead:
God, keep my eyes so fixed on you, my ears so sensitive to your voice, that I will know exactly where to place my next step. May I be so dependent on you that I would not be tempted to think I can do this on my own, for that was never your plan. And may I be ever present of the truth, that if I don’t go to you, the source, that I will have nothing to give, that is will wreck me, and that my loved ones will miss out on the gift that was meant to be….true love. Help me to never forget that this journey, my purpose, is ALL ABOUT YOU, not me. Amen.