Thursday, October 28, 2010

Mommy Idols

"What do you want to be when you grow up?"  - A question that is asked of children throughout their lives.  My answer was always the same, "A mommy!"  There was never any doubt as to what my life's purpose was.  I have always known that I would be a mother and that has always been my ultimate goal.  Little did I know what a challenge it would be to get to that point and then what a challenge it would be once I was there.  
We tried for two years to conceive and it was a painful road.  We did all the fertility testing and everything came back "normal" - unexplained infertility they told us.  We waited and prayed that the Lord would bless us with a baby.  This was my first of many lessons in patience and trust.  I was forced to lay it all in the Lord's hands and trust Him.  We tried everything (naturally) that we could to become parents and it just wasn't happening.  I was forced to give up my trying and let the Lord do what He wished. 

After finding out we were PREGNANT I knew right away that I was having a girl.  I don't know why, but I just knew.  I had always wanted a boy first (again, I don't really know why, I just did).  But the day of our gender ultrasound I was not surprised at all to find out we were having a girl.  However, I was disappointed.  We had tried so long for this - why couldn't I at least have the boy that I had always wanted?  The Lord taught me to trust Him more.  He had a plan and a little girl was part of that plan.  Again, I was forced to trust His plan, not my own. 

Throughout my pregnancy I knew I wanted to have a natural (un-medicated) delivery.  I did a lot of research about the possible side effects of an epidural and other drugs used during labor.  I didn't like the idea of using medication, so I prepared as best I could for a natural labor.  We prayed for Hannah to come a few days early or at least on her due date so that I wouldn't need to be induced.  Her due date came and went.  Come on Lord, can't I at least have this baby the way I have planned and prepared?  Once again, my heart was tested.  Do you trust me Sabrina?  Do you truly believe that I have the perfect plan for you and Hannah?  There was nothing I could do to make Hannah come according to my plan.  Again, I was forced to trust that the Lord was in complete control.

While preparing for the arrival of our sweet little baby, I read every book available about caring for a newborn.  I spent hours (thousands of hours) making lists, taking notes and planning out what to do and when.  I had a plan and a back-up plan for my plan!  I knew what I was doing.  Well......AGAIN, I was forced to give up MY plan and realize that the Lord was in control, not me.  My baby didn't follow any of my plans.  She didn't do anything by the book and all those hours were wasted.  Lord, why couldn't I at least get something I wanted?  She doesn't sleep like the books say she should, she doesn't eat like she should, we have tried to let her cry it out for 4 months straight and it's still not working!  Why Lord?  What are you trying to teach me?  And again, the Lord was showing me that my plan is not His plan - He is in control, not me!

I could go on and on giving illustrations of what my plans were for Hannah and how they crumbled (didn't want her to use a pacifier and now she is addicted, wanted her to follow the Dr. Denmark schedule but she wouldn't, etc.)  Motherhood has always been my ultimate goal and hope for my life.  I had placed motherhood on such a pedestal my entire life.  Now that I had reached that goal and it had become my reality, things just weren't what I had expected.  Motherhood was my idol and when it started crumbling around me, I began to see my desperate need for Jesus.  I couldn't live up to my own expectations any longer.  I was failing as a mother, in my eyes.  So now what?

It has taken several years to realize what an idol I have made of motherhood.  I never saw it as a bad thing (and it's not, in and of itself).  But I had placed such value on being a "good" mom and having the "perfect" family.  I wanted everyone to think that I had it all together.  I wanted other moms to say, "Wow, Sabrina is such a great mom."  How selfish and ugly that desire was and is.  It's not about me.  What good does it profit me to hear the praises of others?  And to appear to have it all together.  It may feel good for a moment, but it has no eternal value.

Have I conquered this idol?  Absolutely not!  It is a struggle I deal with on a daily basis.  And the Lord will continue to shatter my "plans" in order to teach me that He is enough and that He is in control.  While the road has been painful at times and extremely frustrating, I can truly say how grateful I am for each trial - they have brought me to the end of myself and into a deeper relationship with the Lord.  I am so thankful that I don't have to live up to my standards as a mom, but that I can rest it all on His shoulders and trust that He will guide me down the right path.  What freedom there is in that! 

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