For two years, I've been blessed to be your mama! That's 24 months; 52 weeks; 730 days.
What a gift you are!
Birthdays always make me reflective. As I look back over the last two years, my thoughts can't help but drift to those first few weeks of your life in my womb. And how woefully unaware I was of the gift you would be.
Because to be honest, sweet son, I was too overwhelmed by my circumstances to take in the overwhelming blessing of being gifted with you.
Your brothers were still so little when we found out about you: Noah two and half and Elias fourteen months. They were a handful! I was frazzled. At least that's how I felt inside. Life was already so full with the demands of diapers and discipline, wild climbers and miniature wrestlers that I knew anything else added to my juggling act would make me crumble. Anything else pushed in would add perilous pressure.
So when I saw that little pink line that my nausea and fatigue already told me was coming...
My bubble burst.
The breath sucked right out of me and I was filled up with anxiety.
How am I going to do this?
How am I going to handle three little people three years old and under?
How am I going to meet everyone's needs and still maintain my sanity?
How am I going to nurse the baby and potty train the toddler while making dinner when Daddy's out of town?
All the "How am I?"s filled my anxious heart and mind. It became hard to determine in those early weeks if I felt sick because of the pregnancy hormones or because I fretfully bemoaned every unknown.
Then one day I was reading my Jesus Calling devotional and the words leaped off the page and into my heart. Written as Jesus speaking to the reader, I read:
"Anxiety comes from envisioning the future without Me."I breathed it in again as if the Holy God was talking just to me:
"Becky, your anxiety comes from envisioning the future without Me."
The pang of conviction and power of hope washed over me.
All my, How am I's were about ME. I felt so insufficient for the journey ahead. But in His grace, God affirmed that I was totally right. I AM insufficient on my own. But with Him, I am able to walk whatever path He leads me on.
Every anxiety-filled picture of life looming with three small children left out the One big God.
I'd like to tell you that after that epiphanic day I was forever perfectly at peace. But that wouldn't be true. For the next 9 months of waiting for you, Jude, my anxiety ebbed and flowed. I still doubted my ability to mother you and your brothers well. But God continually reminded me that as He was forming you in my womb, He was reforming me, too. Whatever difficult terrain we encounter along the way, He'd be there to guide us through.
And He has.
730 days of seeing God's faithful hand, God's beautiful plan in giving me you.
Not every day has been easy.
Not the three months of soul-piercing colic screams. Not the thirty days you couldn't poop. Not the countless times I lost control of my anger because I couldn't control you or my three-boy crew. Not the trips to the ER with late-night croup or a banged up face and bulging bump on your forehead.
But I've learned that a lack of ease doesn't mean a lack of blessing.
Every day I've been blessed by your baby coos and giggles that have now become astounding words and pure-joy laughter. Blessed by your tiny arms that hug so tight and all your unsolicited kisses. Blessed by how you love your big brothers and adore your Daddy. Blessed by your coy smile and endless curiosity.
But for all the blessings that YOU are for just being you, the greatest blessing I've received through you is God drawing me closer to Him.
You've made me see more clearly my need for the One who sustains.
You've made me reach the end of myself faster so I could fall into the beginning of His grace sooner.
You've made me understand that my plans, my ways are always worth laying down for the sake of taking up His.
It's your birthday, Jude, but I'm the one who's been given the greatest gift:
Loving Jesus deeper because of loving you.
You are my joy, my blessing, Little Man.
Love you always and forever,
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Sharing my heart with my Jude and the sweet communities at #TellHisStory and The Weekend Brew.