Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Motherhood: The Journey of Dying to Self

The beginning of the journey-
 I find myself reminiscing more and more about my experience of giving life to my 2nd child as we quickly approach his first birthday. Jase is such a handsome, sweet, adventurous child and I could never be surer of the perfect fit he is in our little family. However, I’m embarrassed to say I have not always felt that way….
I have not shared with many people the emotions, feelings and experience leading up to and during the birth of my little Jase. Maybe this is because I was shameful. I would not want anyone to think poorly of me. Maybe it’s because at the time I did not know what to do with these emotions and feelings. Either way I think it is time I share. I share not to be a “downer” in your day or to discourage your from having more babiesJ. I share because I know I cannot possibly be the only one who has felt this way. I pray that my honesty and experience can be a blessing and encouragement to you.  
So, let me take you back to that day, April 12, 2013. The days and months leading up to that day had been pretty miserable ones. This second pregnancy greeted me with a lovely dose of nausea, vomiting, heart burn, and exhaustion throughout almost the entire 9 months! For those of you who have ever experience long term physical illness you will probably recognize that after a period of feeling miserable and not like yourself physically the devil will begin to attack you spiritually and emotionally as well. This happened. Needless to say by the week of my due date, I was done! I, like most women who are 9 months pregnant, was MISERABLE. Seriously. MISERABLE. I was not sleeping. I wasn’t enjoying eating. My body ached. And mostly I just wanted to cry. The days following up to the 12th along with everything else included very consistent contractions almost 24-7.
So, in one sense I was more than ready to get this monster of a baby out of my body! But, there was a part of me that didn’t feel ready AT ALL. Rather than being filled with joy and excitement that morning as we headed to the hospital, I found that my heart was filled with something else, something really ugly. Mainly, the big S… selfishness.
As we entered the hospital my heart and mind were filled with a lot of questions and concerns. All of my “what ifs” floated to the surface and merged in a mess of emotions. I was about to experience a life changing event. Somewhere between concern, anticipation, and discontentment I found myself with many deep rooted questions. “How will I do it?” I can barely take care of one child, how will I manage 2?” “I don’t think I have enough to give, what if I don’t?” “What if I don’t love him like I love my first baby?” “Who is going to help me?” “What in the world have I gotten myself into?” “Why did I do this?” AHHH!
I literally felt like screaming and crying. It was too late. I was having a baby today.
My nerves were completely shot and to be bluntly honest, my heart was heavy. I was grieving. Once again, I was grieving the loss of self that motherhood requires. I thought about what this life change meant for MY home, for MY family, for MY business, and mostly for MY self- MY dreams, MY desires, MY goals, MY time…
I was not really prepared for the events that transpired that day. Giving birth to a child is always a little scary, but this specific delivery met us with what in the blink of an eye became an emergency situation. One of those moments where you look back and realize that you literally could have lost your life. And the life of that precious baby.
Thankfully the Lord was watching over us and both Jase and I made it through the delivery. The hours that followed consisted of stitches, blood transfusions, and pain meds. As I laid exhausted, sore, and already weary of the uncomfortable hospital bed, my heart changed. Suddenly like the breath of life given by the warm springtime breeze, the Lord breathed something new in me. AMAZEMENT. I was amazed, stunned.
The old saying “Momma knows best” translated into what I felt about my Heavenly Father. All along He knew. As I held that tiny, handsome, miracle to my chest I felt joy. As I glanced at his intricately designed body, tiny fingers, tiny toes, I felt blessed. All of the doubt, fear, selfishness, and pain drifted away in the blink of any eye.
How great is my God, that when my heart is confused and my selfish desires are overtaking me, He knows what is best and he lavishes me with far more than I could ever deserve.
Of course the journey of dying to self does not end there. It only just begins. There are many days of motherhood where the ugly S word rears his head up and tries to take over, but that’s a story for another day….
I’m thankful today that God was working on me that day almost a year ago; and He continues to do so each day along this journey.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24

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  1. Made me cry, Sarah. I'm sure there is someone out there who needs this. Keep writing!

  2. I am proud of you! You are a very strong and amazing Momma! I miss you!! :( You are definitely not the only one that goes through this. I was the same way, when I was going into the hospital (for 5 days) with Clay! When Ashleigh was born she was very sick with Pyloric Stenosis until she was almost 8 weeks old. It is hereditary and I knew that my son was gonna have it too. I was scared to death! And I was only 20 with a 2 year old and a new born. Knowing I was gonna have to do everything all over again! Thank goodness I had an amazing Doctor that actually listened to me (because I was only 20!) she was amazing! I also had an awesome and supportive husband and family.(just like you do!) When we are going through all of these crazy and scary life changing events we tend to get selfish.... Don't even feel ashamed!! The Lord never puts anything in our path that we can not handle. He knows we are strong amazing women of God! Although sometimes we do not feel very strong! LOL!! It takes life changing events to make us stronger!! Love you girlie....

  3. Hang in there! I wasn't a happy pregnant person with my girls but God has always taught me so much about who he is through each of my pregnancies! And children!! Praying everything goes smoothly and quickly!! Congratulations and blessing to you!