If I were to choose a mothering mantra, it would be “If God puts you to it, God will get you through it.” (A close second would be “Git ‘er done,” but that’s a post for another day. . . .)
Motherhood is the most challenging chapter of my life thus far, but if it’s taught me anything, it is that absolute trust in God is the most important element of my faith and my life as a whole. It’s also probably the toughest thing for me to accept. And I suspect I am not the only one in this situation—mother or not!
Although faith means believing in what is unseen, God has graciously given me plenty of reason to trust in Him over this past year. When I was nervous about being the only pregnant person I knew in New York, He plopped us down in Brooklyn, where I have made many wonderful friends, almost all of whom either have babies or are expecting them. When I was scared about leaving my job, He gave me opportunities to offer my skills in a freelance business from home, offering me the best of the work and stay-at-home worlds.
But it’s not only in the big things that God has made Himself known, it’s also in the littler, day-to-day bits of life that He is encouraging me to trust Him. Reminding myself of these little moments of grace help me to forge ahead when I am doubtful and to continue to be grateful for all we have when I am discouraged. For example . . .
The first full day after Jacob was born, he was so sleepy we couldn’t wake him up to eat. The nurses told us not to worry; he had enough food in him left over from being in the womb, that he didn’t need to eat if he didn’t want to. The nursing books will tell you to nurse right away or else your baby may not want to, and then he won’t get the best milk, and then he won’t be as healthy as he could be, and all will be lost, and monkeys will take over the planet. Okay, I exaggerate a little. But seriously, we learned that there was this kind of grace period built into our little guy, so that he already had what he needed that first day. Pretty cool.
More recently, John and I have started to ask our friends to watch their language around Jacob. He can’t speak yet (unless you count “gaaaaaah” and “eeeeeeeet” as talking), but he’s already taking things in, I’m sure. Our friends have been excellent about this, but even when they slip up, it’s not that big a deal. Even though he’s right next to us all the time, we have some time to adjust to this little boy’s presence. And I think that transitioning is a special kind of grace, too.
I don’t know how I would do this motherhood thing if I didn’t have my faith (I don’t know how I’d do a lot of things if I didn’t have faith!) Thank God for the incredibly blessed year we’ve just had. And I pray that immense gratitude continues to accompany the trust I am learning to sustain in the Lord.