Marshall, you are an amazing son, brother and grandchild. I had no idea the incredible blessing that was YOU when God knit you together in my womb. I was so afraid of your life and the responsibility that came with it and yet I think my biggest fear was that I would fail miserably at being your mother.
After college and in the first part of marriage I was living all for myself. I could eat when I wanted, sleep when I wanted, lay on the couch all day if I wanted, go walking with my own thoughts, read in silence, hop in the car on a whim to go shopping or meet up with a friend and otherwise indulge almost all selfish ambitions that I had for myself and my life. I’m disgusted writing this list and yet, I know this is just the beginning of the self centered world I had tried to create.
As I look back, I can see that God was working beneath the surface,
and most of this work was painful for me.
I prayed before getting married and going on birth control that the Lord would somehow let me know if I shouldn’t be on birth control. I just had this nagging feeling that it wasn’t the right decision for us, but, I couldn’t back it up with anything other than a feeling. I was in the camp of waiting 6-8 years before having a child, so it was easy to push down this feeling as nothing and proceed with the plan of how to not get pregnant.
I have brothers two, eleven and thirteen years younger than me and I was well aware of the responsibilities, time and attention that it took to raise a child. And by the way, I wanted time and a quite house to myself, so bring on the birth control!
It only took a month before the headaches started, and over time they got worse and worse. I went to see my doctor about how to stop the pain and we tried everything; changing my diet, increasing my activity in case it was stress induced and seeing a chiropractor. Nothing was working, and as my dad put it, “you are becoming disabled because of these headaches,” which would come every day. Over time, they started earlier and earlier to the point where by 10am I was having light and noise sensitivity. I would try to hang on until 5pm when I could leave work, and then head home for the bed. This was our fourth month of marriage.
Eventually, my doctor told me I had to stop taking the pill. Within weeks I was feeling like a new person. It was several months later that I realized God HAD answered my prayer, he did tell me about whether I should take the pill and the answer was a resounding “NO.”
When I stopped taking birth control, I also had one specific prayer.
“God please just give me one year of marriage without being pregnant.”
In August, on my birthday, we found out I was pregnant. I had become pregnant in our thirteenth month of marriage!
As I was selfishly living my life, shooting up prayers and not really expecting an answer, my faithful heavenly father was trying to talk to me. I have been known to be hard of hearing and the way I listen to God I guess is no different.
My loving father gently and patiently reminds me that He has a story and He is inviting me to join in, and most times I do so very begrudgingly.
I was not thankful for a pregnancy. I’m not kidding when I say I wanted my life to be quiet, convenient, comfortable and predictable. Babies are none of these things and I knew that. I was so confused and frustrated with God. I thought he should have know that what I said was thirteen months but what I really meant was eight years. I even have it on our wedding video that I wanted to wait eight years to have kids!
Again, God patiently listened while I bluntly let him have all my thoughts and feelings about this disruption. I didn’t want this story, the one I had planned out was a good one thank you very much.
As I mentioned in this post, my pregnancy was rough, my labor traumatizing and my baby-SICK. I was the first one of anyone we knew in our peer group to get pregnant, and I felt so alone. At the same time, I was in love with my baby and could not believe how God could make something so beautiful? I cried myself to sleep one of the first nights in awe of this life and the beauty surrounding this precious bundle I had been entrusted to.
Two years later I think I was finally beginning to recover. That was almost three and a half years ago and since then the Lord has continually surprised me and I hope I am becoming a better listener.
I am now praying to live a good story and hoping for MORE children. If you had told me I would have three kids by the time I was thirty I would have thought you were crazy, and yet God knew this was a good plan and that these specific children that would fit into my family and would need ME as a mother.
Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you
hope and a future.”