A word for the waiting…

 

The moment I laid eyes on my son for the very first time I felt God’s grace in a way I had never known. His love washed over me as my love for Grant began to seep into the deepest corners of my soul. I now knew his unconditional love for me in a way I’d read about, sung about, and clung to for so many years… But that day was the first time I had felt it in such a real way. His presence was there in that delivery room as the nurses handed my son to me and our eyes met. Only 6 months after Mother’s Day.

You see all week I’ve been trying to write a blog to encourage those women who are waiting and all they feel is an empty, shallow pain during Mothers Day, as they are reminded of their barren womb. I stared at my computer screen several times watching the cursor flash and the words just wouldn’t come. “But God… I want so bad to blog on my first Mother’s Day!” I prayed… Yet still no words came. He was silent.

As I sat in traffic on Saturday evening, I glanced in my rearview mirror, to check on Grant, and it hit me. All of the emotions came crashing like a wave breaking… and God gave me the words.

I would love to tell you to stay faithful or that His promises are true. I would love to encourage you with another blog about your waiting. But I’m not going to. I’m going to simply say what He placed on my heart tonight for the young woman facing another Mother’s Day without a baby, having to explain your tears to your husband knowing he will encourage you but never truly understand. This is for the girl who thinks secretly that God has forgotten her and tried to tell herself that maybe she just isn’t called to be a mother. Lean in and hear me whisper this and know it comes from a Father who loves you so very much.

It is worth it.

I know you’re thinking “that’s it, that’s all she’s got?” Yep that’s it… And I wanted to just shrug it off too, but God wouldn’t let me. He was persistent because He knew one of His girls out there needed to hear it. So there it is, my Mother’s Day blog, not at all how I envisioned it. Know this… I’ve been where you are. I’ve felt all of those feelings. I’ve hated Mother’s Day. But this year I look at my son’s reflection and the words that consume my heart are simply, it was worth it. I would do it all over again. I would sit through all of those Sunday sermons honoring mothers. I would bear with all the first Mother’s Day posts on social media. I would feel that empty, shallow feeling that no one understood what I was going through again and again, if it meant I could experience the love I’ve known the past 6 months.

And the more encouraging reminder today is that Jesus would too. He would do it all over again if it meant the same results. For Him, it was worth it too.

Trust Him. Lean into Him. Let Him fill your void until He’s ready to give you a child. I couldn’t imagine a more beautiful love story He could’ve written for our family in His very perfect timing. Jesus hasn’t forgotten you. He’s heard your prayers. And He IS faithful.

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Photo Cred: Abby Funderburk Photography http://www.abbyfunderburk.com

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Mommy’s want…

A letter to my son…

4 months—that is how long I’ve known you, but I’ve known the promise of you my whole life. When I looked down at my very first baby doll I felt the want for you for the first time, though I didn’t understand it completely. With every boy I dated I secretly imagined the kind of daddy he would be for you, and sometimes that is the very thing that made me realize he wasn’t the one for you and me. The day your daddy got down on one knee and asked me to marry him I said yes because I loved him and wanted to spend the rest of my life with him—but I also said yes for you, because I knew he would be such a great daddy!

The next few years passed by and my want grew stronger. Sometimes I would catch a glimpse of what our life would be like if you were there… visiting with my aunt Jill and watching daddy rough-house with her boys, and his patience each time he had just sat down and was called to play again. The teachable moments he created with every kid he interacted with. Each time a baby was sat next to us at a restaurant, your daddy would go out of his way to make funny faces and then encourage the mommy and daddy by telling them how precious their gift of parenthood was. Those were the days I started to see his want for you.

That rainy day the doctor told us you were impossible was the day I felt my heart break into a million little pieces. I ran out of the office and your daddy was right behind me. He hugged me tight and reminded me that Jesus is faithful and that He would give us you in His timing. We both cried and that’s when I saw daddy’s want was just as big as mine.

February 17, 2014 (mommy’s 26th birthday) was the day Daddy and I announced to the world that we believed God’s promises to us were true and that He would give us you. We stepped out in faith and claimed the calling He gave us to adopt and started praying for the special woman who’s tummy you would grow in. Our want was multiplied on that day.

Those next nine months were the longest months ever for mommy and daddy as we pursued, waited, and prepared to meet you. Your whole family was so excited, but none of them could begin to imagine just how big my want for you was.

November 10, 2014 at 3:30 in the morning we got a phone call that you were on your way. So your Daddy and I jumped in the car and drove to the hospital, anticipating meeting you the whole way. We spent the next few hours dreaming about what you would be like and couldn’t believe how close we were to meeting you. At 1:23pm the nurse placed you in my arms and instantly my heart was put together again. That want for you I had known since I was a little girl was met with a peace that only Jesus can give and a full heart unlike I had ever felt. The moment my eyes met yours I knew Jesus had created you perfectly for me and daddy. All of those years of waiting were so worth it when I saw your little smile for the very first time. And watching your Daddy light up as you wrapped your tiny hand around his finger was magical… nothing can describe the love we had for you in that moment.

I share this story with you because there will be days in your life that you feel a strong want, something deep inside of you that you won’t quite understand at the time. That want will grow stronger and stronger with time, and there will be a stormy day where that want will feel impossible. When that day comes, know that mommy and daddy have both felt that hopelessness that drowns a want or shatters it into a million little pieces, and we will be there to hug you tight and remind you that Jesus is faithful. Hear me son when I tell you that Jesus IS a promise maker and a promise keeper and He will give you that want, but before He does He will grow you in ways you cannot imagine. He will write a beautiful story through that want and then use it to encourage other people’s wants. And one day, when you least expect it, after months or maybe even years of Jesus preparing you… He will provide your want. And you, too, will feel that peace we felt when God gave us you.

My prayer for you is that you will grow up never doubting Jesus loves you and how His want is immeasurably more for your life than you could ever dream or imagine. That you know the love your daddy and I have for you and that we wanted you so so much. That you will understand the impact your story has already had on so many, and that you will continue using it to glorify God in such a way that no one can deny His hand on your life. Your life is an example of how faithful our God is and that He keeps His promises.

I love you my little one and always will.

“And if we know that He hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of Him.” – 1 John 5:15

Photo Credit: Abby Funderburk Photography http://abbyfunderburk.com/

Photo Credit: Abby Funderburk Photography http://abbyfunderburk.com/

 

Why I don’t want to be a perfect mom…

Becoming a mother has always been a dream of mine. Since Jesus answered that prayer on November 10th, I have never felt more full of love! It’s so true that The Lord wants His children to experience joy “to the fullest” and I know firsthand He gave me my little G to glorify Him with that abundant joy. The thing is, while motherhood has been the most rewarding thing I’ve ever experienced, it has also been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Becoming a mother has taught me selflessness in a way I’ve never known. I’ve had to set aside food, rest, showers—yeah even showers. Yet I can’t wait to wake up again each day and do it all over again, all for the look my son gives me as I watch the corners of his beautiful mouth stretch into the biggest smile I’ve ever seen. And I can’t help but think… what a perfect picture of God’s love for us. He gave the ultimate sacrifice for our sin, and yet He can’t wait to shower us with blessings just so He can watch our cups overflow with joy. During my short time of being a mom, I have discovered one not-so-sweet thing that I think all mom’s have experienced a time or two… and that’s the standards of motherhood us girls use to measure our worth.

For those of you who don’t already know, our son was born with a cleft lip and had been back and forth to appointments with our plastic surgeon leading up to his cleft lip repair surgery. At our first appointment as we were waiting to get on the elevator,  a woman stopped to ooh and ahh over G and how adorable he is. As she started toward the door she spoke up and said, “you are so lucky you lost the weight that fast! It took me months to get back into jeans and I still don’t look that good!” As I bit my lip to keep from letting the first response that came to my mind slip out, it hit me that there are way to many women out there who focus more on what society deems important than on our calling to motherhood. My intent here is not to throw off on her not being sensitive to the fact that I did not birth my son physically… because 1. she had no way of knowing and 2. I don’t want my son’s life to be defined by his adoption… he is ours and we are his. The thing that really breaks my heart is that instead of uplifting each other as women we are constantly reminding each other of our inadequacies. Even if I had carried G 9 months inside of my womb and delivered him, walking away with stretch marks and a body that was shaped differently because of it and being critical of that body or complimenting someone else’s lack of physical changes is not what Jesus wants us focusing on. As Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media outlets continue to grow in popularity, our idea of perfection blur the lines of reality and cause us to form ridiculous expectations of what today’s mother should look like. What if we start celebrating what the Lord has called us to, instead of hyper-focusing on what the world has? What if mothers start encouraging each other instead of playing the comparison game. What if we refused to give into the “perfect mom” complex and instead embraced our lack of perfection and the beauty of our need for Jesus to mold us into the mother He wants us to be—as opposed to the mother we want to be. Comparison is a slippery slope friends and I believe Jesus wants more for us as mothers, or mothers-to-be.

Why not try to look for ways to build one another up with support, advice, guidance, and love—starting today? Why not display what your real “mom life” really looks like instead of trying to touch-up the imperfections before posting online. We are sisters and all daughters of the King and I just think it’s time we start treating ourselves that way…