Sunday, May 11, 2014

What Being A Mother Means To Me

When girls are young they have dreams, expectations, fantasies, and ultimately delusions about being a mother.  They envision a reality that seldom exists outside of their mind's eye.  Typically what we hope will manifest in our lives becomes a driving force for our heart's desires.  If we choose wisely, I believe we can all find our utopia of satisfaction and fulfillment for what connects the dots within each of us.

Along the way however, we are not always the ones choosing.  We are the recipients of the choices of others as well as our own.  Those are our defining moments, the cultivator of our character and out of the mouth our hearts often speak, but occasionally we catch glimpses of what we are ill-equipped to handle and have to swallow hard in times where the injustices of life speak for us.

It is not a secret that my own journey has made certain life altering choices for me.  Of course I have made choices within that have shaken me in every way and while I have held my head high for what has mattered most I have also hung my head shamefully as I have struggled to become whole within it all.

Along the way, I have not rested, but have always trusted that God would produce a more improved version of His original intent for me that was stolen as a result of many choices in the lives of others and how those affected me.  The wounds of my own childhood hindered the call upon my life in some ways, but in others created the perfect palate for a more complete me.  I never claimed to have the most important component in excess: Love, but I definitely possess a wounded heart which desires more of it…I just have had trouble learning how to receive it as well as give it and I know this is because of the lack of it in my own life…again, due to the choices of others.

For all of us,  those battles exist.  Some manifest quietly, without a strong force behind it to reveal, but for others, the resistance and challenge is so great, that we must confront it for a greater level of living and accomplishing what comforts our soul.  While the greater theme has moved me forward, the resistance within it seemed to become a trap for my own struggle.  I could easily find excuses for holding on to my pain within it and not releasing the unending burdens with a finality that would truly set my heart free.  I knew my heart wanted a choice that my head struggled to receive.  The theme that has released me to the next level of living in my life has been surrender.  And the way that I can describe what that means for me is this:  when the pain of holding on is greater than letting go…release it…whatever it is…and trust God with the rest.

I finally had to confront that I couldn't do enough or be enough in order to accomplish enough of what I knew my heart desired.  I told God just that…through effort, words, apologies, conviction and confession.  I realized I did not possess enough.  It was at that point, when everything was in His hands, that I began to experience a new attitude and approach that wasn't being revealed through my wounds but through my words that were attached to my faith.  I finally made a mental shift that could remove my emotion from any equation but it takes a consciousness to do so…and I trusted God for that consciousness.

As a mother of 5 kids, ALL unique and challenged but equally troubled and talented I have begun to learn a new dance.  I finally feel as if I am becoming the emotional support for the leaders that are within each of them.  I have learned that letting go of injustice is where true tolerance and joy lives.  Appreciating the privilege of being trusted to be a mother of 5 under such circumstances has finally released in me a new hope…one that could not have been accomplished any other way…and because of that I can look to "Jesus, the author and finisher of (my) faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame…." Hebrews 12:2

Regardless of what we confront as Christians, and we each do confront challenges that we didn't expect or even see coming, we can either recoil or stand firm in our faith and press God to show up for us in ways that can present an honorable gift to the challenge for which we are called and not remain in the damaged state as we have an opportunity to emerge into the butterfly that has been living in its restrictive cocoon.  While the latter often causes dissection of our very heart, it produces a gift not just to ourselves but also to those we desire to impact the most.

This is what being a mother has taught me.  
“When you see people only as personalities, rather than soul s with life missions to fulfill, you forever limit the growth and possibilities of what God has in store for another person.” ~Shannon Alder

“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next.
Delicious Ambiguity.”  ~Gilda Radner

PS.  I had, since I was a little girl, said I would  have 5 children.  I never expected to actually have that many when I didn't have my first until the age of 30…and when my family became one with 5 children, I quickly reminded myself of my heart's desire and once again, the reminder that what God plants He also waters :)

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