When I had my first child I had no idea how to prepare myself emotionally.
For the first few months of her life I didn’t even feel like the same person.
I recently told my husband that during that time I felt more alone than I have in my entire life. Even when he was there I felt alone. He was always there for me, by the way. He was incredibly helpful and loved our little family well. But there was a sadness that crept over me like a blanket sometimes.
People talk about “baby blues” and your hormones being out of whack right after you have a baby. Well, I felt crazy. Just nuts. And I made really good friends with Milk Duds and Nutella. Chocolate and ice cream were my consolation.
My relationship with God wasn’t the same either. He felt far away.
Please understand, I love my daughter so much it hurts. The potential I see in this little human life makes me ache in a way that is good for my soul. This ache reminds me that I’m still alive.
I would do anything for her; walk across hot coals. Rip the mane right off of a lion. Wear a pull up for a hat (see evidence below).
When I found out I was pregnant with my second I was determined not to succumb to the same sadness. I talked to my husband and a few friends about it beforehand. I told them about my shameful love affair with Milk Duds.
And when I look at this little girl she evokes the same emotions in me, the same passion that her sister does. There is nothing quite like being a parent.
This time I haven’t felt alone like I did before. And the sadness hasn’t overtaken me like it did. Still, there is one familiar feeling that I absolutely hate. I know that God is here. He’s with me in my house. The Holy Spirit resides in my innermost being. That is what I know. But it’s not always what I feel.
I also know that this feeling will pass and I know that I’m not the only one who has ever felt this way. When I sense that I am not giving Him His rightful place in my life because I think I’m too tired or emotionally drained to care it makes me mad. Yet, He has never left me and He won’t give up on me. That’s what makes Him God and me human.
And in these moments where I come face to face with my inadequacy, I will only ever find that His mercy endures forever. It’s there. I just need to embrace it.
He will never leave us and He will never leave us without a promise. We just have to be willing.
I am not sharing this so that someone can tell me everything is going to be all right. I know that it is. I’m not writing this so someone can share words of wisdom with me. That’s not what I need. I don’t want a pat on the back.
I want to stand side by side with others who have been there because I know I’m not alone in this.
There is power in community. There is power in coming clean.
Maybe we can be there for each other. Maybe you want to share a time when God hasn’t felt that close. And we can know together that even when He doesn’t feel close He is closer than anyone ever could be. That, my friends, is enough.
And then, maybe we can run to Him like little children and fall into His mercy and be enveloped by His grace.
The incredible thing is I KNOW that even when He doesn’t feel close He would do ANYTHING for me.
He would walk across hot coals. He would rip the mane off a lion. He would send His Son to die for me, even the worst version of me. And He would do the same for you. Because He is our Father and there is nothing quite like being a parent.
We serve a good God.