I need to share this picture with you. Are you ready for it? Not sure I’m ready, but I’ll do it anyway.
This is me. Me with the first baby that made me a momma. By no means was he the last, there were many more to come. But that first baby holds a special place in my memories. It was the first time (of probably millions) when I was on the verge of the most obvious thing that I never saw coming:
I think that may be the best way I can possibly describe what it has been like for me to be a mother: Each moment is sitting on the precipice of the most obvious things that I never saw coming.
That young woman there… she had grown a baby for 40.5 weeks… puked her guts out, saw all the ultrasounds, read all the books, went to child birth class, wrote about and prayed and prepared for the moment when that baby would be born. Obviously that baby was going to be born but I never saw how the struggle, the pain, the humbling-eye opening-fear wrenching-life changing, empowering moment would actually happen.
And then: I was a momma. A most obvious moment I never saw coming. Because I didn’t see how much I’d worry, how convinced I’d be that I was doing the whole thing wrong, how much I could love his big dark eyes, how little sleep I could actually survive on, how amazing he would smell, the crazy things I would find so cute, how much I’d love him and how hard I would struggle.
This motherhood thing, let me tell you, is the most obvious thing I never saw coming.
It had been happening all around me, women being mommas that is… but for as much as it was there… well… how little I could see. How little I could hear. How little I could understand. Each day, it seems, was another day of the most obvious things that I never saw coming. From having more babies, enduring each developmental stage, relishing the sweet moments, rushing away the hard times… It didn’t matter that statistics say 1 in 4 women experience pregnancy loss. I couldn’t see that coming until I lived that day. And the most obvious moment that I never saw coming hit as that loss forever changed how I trusted God. The days gave way to tomorrows and babies filled our house while another strange creature snuck up on me: school-age children… and so it continued for years, each day was something I couldn’t see coming until I lived it.
Time is a funny thing, you know, some minutes seem to last an eternity but the years fly like lightning. And here, this Mother’s Day, I sit on the edge of the most obvious thing I never saw coming: being the mom of a High School graduate. Oh, I knew the reality that he’d grow up. But that young-me had no idea what it would actually feel like to look upon my newborn baby as a more man-than-boy-child…
No matter how much I “knew” what was to come, I couldn’t understand the weight and beauty of the experiences until each moment rolled on like the tide… always bringing the ocean in, rising and back out again, low.
And the most obvious thing that I never saw coming is that I would look back at it ALL… all the good times, all the hard times; every easy moment, every bit of struggle; each fleeting moment, every seemingly never-ending-eternal second; the experiences of shear abundance, experiences of the losses; so many mistakes, every surprising success; all the things I learned, all the things I still struggle to understand; my hopes and dreams I’ve seen fulfilled, my greatest desires left still undone…
And here I come to it: I’m thankful that God didn’t have it any other way for me. I sure haven’t enjoyed every bit of it. Definitely wouldn’t have chosen so many of the moments I’ve endured. But the most obvious thing that I never saw coming is that, right here, right now, I give honor, praise and glory to God on this Mother’s Day for every bit of God’s plans for me because He alone is worthy and this journey has been better than I ever could have imagined…