(This post was originally published on my former blog in October 2007)
At one time, I was a pretty self-sufficient person.
I set out to do things and went about accomplishing them. I did well in college and became a teacher, which had been a long term plan of mine. I taught middle school students and was working with the college group at church. Eric and I were living a content married life in our first home and traveling a bit before having kids. All in all, I felt quite in control of where I was headed and how things were going to be.
I became pregnant with my first baby at the beginning of 2002. Like most things in life, in order to prepare, I began to plan the way things would go in our house after the baby came. I read books, like Babywise, that appealed to my sense of control, order, and predictability. I just knew that my baby would follow this plan I had and we were going to be so happy.
Nursing was not working. Sleep was not working. Schedules were not working. The only things working were her lungs and boy did they work well!
K had colic. The very “mysterious crying bouts” that I swore my baby wouldn’t have. Afterall, my baby was going to be well rested and scheduled and colic was not part of my plan. K celebrated her 2 week birthday by crying and screaming from 10 PM – 6 AM WITHOUT stopping, except to nurse. I was exhausted, emotional, unhappy, and overwhelmed.
Most of all, for the first time I was struggling with failure. At least, it felt like failure.
The first time I finally made it to church after K’s birth, she was over 2 months old. I ran into a lady with 2 children who were in elementary school at the time. She asked the first question everyone seemed to ask, “How is she sleeping?” After hearing how terribly things were going at my house, she responded with, “I don’t understand. What are you doing wrong?”
What are you doing wrong?
This was the very question that had haunted and plagued me from the beginning.
What WAS I doing wrong?
I went home that day in tears, completely discouraged. Later that week, my church elder called to encourage me. He had parented five children and told me how different they had each been. His main reminder was that God created my precious girl. He is in charge of her temperament, personality, and He holds the plans for her days as well as mine. He also gently reminded me that she was only 2 months old. He said many things that I needed to hear, though it would continue to take time for it all to really sink in.
I was not in control. I am not in control. BUT, my children and I belong to the One who is.
Nothing was wrong with having my plans. In fact, I am a planner by nature. It was just wrong to assume that my plans would somehow magically create the child I desired. It was wrong to assume that I could control every detail.
I also had to learn a few lessons about pride and the depths it runs in my soul. It was hard to deal with colic, but ultimately it was much more difficult to deal with my feeling of failure. It was not easy. It is still not easy at times.
I love being a mom. I love watching the amazing little ones that God has given me. It isn’t easy though. It doesn’t go according to my plan some days…well, most days…OK, so practically ALL of the days.
Daily, I must turn to Him in prayer to remember that it isn’t about me, I am not in control, and my children are in His hands. I am so thankful that they are!
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