Eight years ago my life changed in the most unexpected way.
I grew up with dreams, such as becoming a missionary, becoming a writer, maybe being a musician and I hoped I might be a librarian one day. I lived as a single woman for several years. During that time I learned to be thankful for that life even with the loneliness that accompanied it.
I never dreamed of becoming a mother.
I avoiding babysitting at all costs. I really didn’t like being around babies. They frightened me and stressed me out. They were just so… needy.
On many levels I loved my single life. I did struggle with the loneliness, but I loved the freedom. I loved the fact I could come and go as I wished, and pretty much do whatever my heart wanted. The only real requirement on my time was my job.
I had no idea that I was cultivating a life of selfishness and indulgence.
When I got pregnant for the first time I was shocked and not really sure how to respond. I didn’t even know how to feel about being pregnant. It was such a foreign idea for me, I had no real understanding of what was coming.
Once my daughter was born, the refining process began. At least it felt like a refining process. I felt like God was taking sandpaper, and a grinder to all my rough edges. I was now responsible for the life of this little person who seemed to cry all the time. I wasn’t sure at all how to be a mom to this little girl. I was terrified, and found myself growing resentful towards her. She demanded so much from me. I wanted to get away from my daughter and yet when I did, I hated being apart from her. It seemed such a strange thing to me. I could no longer find the rest my heart craved. I had been forever changed.
I had become a mom.
I remember expressing some of my feelings to people around me, but I didn’t fully know how to express what was happening in my heart. Those who tried to understand really didn’t understand because they had never really experienced the independence that comes from living alone for years before becoming a parent. I felt even more lonely and isolated than ever before.
The bottom line was that God was using motherhood to get rid of some of my junk I had hidden away in my heart. The selfishness and deep desire to focus on what I wanted was quickly being scoured away from me. It was a painful process.
Last week I read the book, Hope Unfolding by Becky Thompson. This book reminded me of those dark days of early motherhood. Becky walks with the reader through many of the struggles that we as moms have gone through since we gave up our singleness and dove into the life of dirty diapers, messy floors, and mountains of laundry. There are so many emotions that come with the journey of motherhood it can be so hard to even fully understand what exactly it is that we are struggling with, all we know at times is that we are weary and overwhelmed.
Hope Unfolding is a beautiful book that puts much of that struggle into words, while at the same time pointing us as moms to the ultimate source of strength and healing.
Are you a mom?
Are you in the dark, lonely days of motherhood? Do you wonder if you are all alone in your struggle while you look at other moms who seem to have it all together? Do you feel like you are doing everything wrong? I love how Becky Thompson reminds us that we are not different from one another, and grabs us gently by the shoulders, looks us square in the face to say …
“You are a GOOD Mom.”
We need those words some days don’t we? When I read them from her, tears immediately sprang to my eyes. I think we all need to hear those words.
Are you in need of some encouragement today? Maybe you are past the diaper stage, and are knee-deep in teenage angst? This book is a great reminder for you too. It doesn’t really matter at what stage of motherhood you find yourself, if you are in need of refreshment, go grab a copy of the book, Hope Unfolding by Becky Thompson. I think this book is such a great reminder where our focus needs to be when the days of mothering are hard and the nights are long.