I remember when I was in college and sitting in the middle of a charismatic church service. I was raised Southern Baptist, but had been going to this church for a couple of years. I was at a time in my life where God was so real I felt like I could almost reach out and touch him. I was seeking and finding. I was in a season where I was being healed from things in my past, and also where I thought I was being prepared to go overseas and work with the poor. This whole season of my life and why I ended up not going overseas is a story for another day. But during that church service I heard God tell me something. I was use to hearing God a lot. So I accepted it and put it on the back burner. Because to me this request was really far off. He told me to have as many children as he would see it fit. I had a vision of me with a big family. Maybe not your TLC kind of big family, but a large one still. I had always wanted to be a mom and this request felt like a happy one.
This story is a long and rather complicated one, and I am mostly bringing this up as a way to continue to tell more of my own story. Not to present my own family's ideas or theology. I think the real story is not as much about what I believe or what I think I was told by God six years ago, but what I am doing now.
See, the thing that has been getting me lately, and I have even written a bit about in the last few weeks, is that God wasn't preparing me to serve the poor overseas. At least not right now. He was preparing me for the thing I put on the back burner. Motherhood.
I met Addew that same year of college. We were engaged less than a year later and then married the next summer. We were pregnant six months after getting married, after letting go once again of my own plans. Two months after our first anniversary we had a newborn. And by our third anniversary we were pregnant with Rosemary.
I have loved having my babies. I love that they are fairly close in age. I have loved not having any hormones in my body and spacing naturally with breastfeeding. But in the last couple of months I have discovered a lot. I often fear and dismiss what God has for me. Because it is hard. And tiring. And extremely frustrating. And when I think about these things, and my own selfishness and how I want more time to myself and less time serving my children and family... I know this call is from God.
It was only in the past couple months that I think it really hit me that this is what God has for me right now. Motherhood. I have learned that the easy way out to a problem is to say I'm done, but true growth is to persevere and listen to God.
My true belief in God and Jesus is because it is a story of sacrifical love. And I have always believed that I am suppose to learn to accept that love, love myself, and turn to those around me and love them the same. I had ideas of myself being Mother Teresa but just being a mother to first one and then two is enough to turn my world upside down. I often react out of anger and tiredness and rarely put myself truly last. As a young college student I thought being great was doing something the whole world could see, but maybe it is being behind closed doors changing diapers and putting babies to sleep.
I had always heard of people being called out of their every day American lives to being placed as a servant in a third world country. I didn't imagine I would want to go to a third world country and God would put me in the suburbs. I thought motherhood was far off or could be fun for awhile and then I would get my old life back. I would get the old me back. But the truth is the old me isn't worth going back to. The old me was more selfish. The old me wasn't very humble. The old me didn't really know what working hard even meant.
I am writing all this to remind myself of my current calling. I am called to motherhood. I have been given the most beautiful and most common job. Everyone has a mother. And there are many mothers out there that know so much more than me.
Every day I try to figure it out. How to help everyone at once. I have a hard time letting go of my mistakes and remembering my victories. But the truth is that it is hard to live a life of love when I hate myself. If I do not think I am worthy of love, then my own children who look and act so much like myself will receive those lies as well. I am loved. They are loved. God help me to rise to my calling. Let me love and rise to the daily job of motherhood.