On his birthday, taking his first breath in the doctor's able hands, it seems to the Momma nothing could be more perfect than this. A newborn babe to nestle in your arms, the one you longed to hold for many months, but could only feel in the water-womb.
For three weeks straight your babe slumbers quietly and you weep as you hold him and thank God for the miracle of new life.
More awake and alert after those three weeks, your babe needs you constantly.
You're weary but smitten in those many months. Sleeping in becomes a foreign concept indeed...something you did eons ago. But your child giggles much and toddles so sweetly and his wonder at the world? It blesses and your smiles outnumber your frowns.
Things change later, for some of us.
Only God knows why...but some children? Their very presence creates frowns. They fit, argue, negotiate, push. On their best days they seem possessed. In a whole day you're hard pressed to find two fleeting moments of blessing.
Losing them seems like an unthinkable nightmare, you love them so. But everyday with them? It takes the breath out of you, it's so hard.
I want to cry with you, put my arms around you and say...I know this truth.
It's never pretty and it seems no one understands and how can a mother really say her child is a nightmare? Who says that? Visitors see a smidgen of your reality and how can they really know?
Can they understand how you love your child with an unimaginable ferocity...and yet you feel like crying through your days with him? I don't know. Because outside of this space, my anonymous Christine Doe-space, I'm strangely quiet about it. Even when I tell my husband how hard it is, I feel like I'm betraying my child. As though I'm telling God I don't want my child.
This is what we can do. Keep thanking the God of the Universe...the Person who is Peace who worked out every minute detail of our lives...of our children's lives...for His glory.
Thank Him and trust Him and know that this isn't your fault. Your difficult child is not your failure. He is an instrument to sow and reap grace...in your heart and life...in his someday-wife's heart and life.
The greatest gift of all? The one Our Heavenly Father gave us? It was Grace.
When God gives us a difficult child? He gives The Gift all over again...Grace. Called to love this child in action and word, not just in heart, we become Grace. We have to.
It doesn't happen overnight in us, this work of Grace. Our responses shame us before they surprise us. They grieve Him before they honor Him.
By the time our difficult child walks out the front door as a welcome visitor and not a daily resident...by the time he walks down the aisle with his beloved...will we resemble Grace then?
I think yes, friend.
If we keep our hearts open to His chiseling. If we focus not on how hard it is, or on how long it is, or on those who say we're to blame.
We must know Him intimately, focus on Him, cling to Him. Let Him bestow peace in our hearts, even whilst turmoil boils in our midst.
Prayer Time: Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of my son. Thank you on behalf of all those mothers who know what I'm talking about. Few things change us more than a difficult child...more than motherhood itself. Let us submit to you fully in all our days, and give thanks in all things. May we wake up and learn of you and be an instrument of your love and grace. May we forgive ourselves for our ugly responses, as you forgive us. May we reject the notion that it's our fault and know that it's Your will. Remake us, Lord. We want to resemble You.
In your Son's name I pray, Amen.