Prayer is a powerful tool, Amen. While I was dressing today, I realized how prayer has really transformed many of my life events. My most recent prayer was to escape the confines of my ever oppressive boss….and then I was fired. Prayer answered. Needless to say God has a way of keeping us on our toes with answering prayer. I began to timeline my prayers and how God is working in my life and that of my children. Only thinking about this topic as my grandmother posted a wonderful article to my Facebook timeline and from my recent attendance at a women’s conference. Over the years I never really stopped praying. Despite the fact that I did not welcome the divinely love of God and his son Jesus, I still managed to say prayers here and there, you know, being spiritual and karma and all. For years I prayed to become a mom, asking God, very specifically to allow me to become a mom and to be pregnant with twins so that I can “get it over with.”
As I mentioned earlier, He has a way to keep us on our toes, and specificity plus repetition equals passion. Oh did I have a lot of passion to become a mother. For three years I prayed. I prayed and prayed, I threw pennies in wishing wells, baited those same pleas on falling stars, you name it. Until one day in 2007, many years after I had prayed and after I had already birthed my oldest child, God answered my prayer to become pregnant with twins. God also answered me to become a mother.
I know this makes no sense considering my oldest was toddling and on the verge of entering kindergarten by the time my twins arrived in 2008, but I did not feel like a mother despite carrying him in my belly for ten months and delivering him in 2003.
For those early years I struggled to still be me. I struggled to be a mother. What is being a mom anyway? I changed my sons diapers, I fed him, rocked him, I loved and still love him with all my heart, I provided for him. Somehow I did not feel like I was a mother, I did not feel like mom. Going about my day-to-day I did not dwell on this feeling, but I know it nagged at my soul. Praying for strength, praying for wisdom, praying for the crying to please stop so I can sleep and praying for him to be potty trained so I could stop changing diapers. But those prayers went unanswered, for a bit, because I had the specificity and repetition to ask to become a mother. I asked for twins. I asked to get it over with. As I said, I asked for years because I struggled to get pregnant. God answered my prayer, my many prayers within a prayer.
In 2008 I delivered Seth and Sara via c-section in the throes of cold and flu season. My stint in the hospital was lonely, even though The Chad came to visit I did not have G with me to share in the love and experience of his new siblings. I could not talk with him and I could not share with him all of the happenings. I could feel his fear and sadness on my heart. At that moment I knew I had become a mom. I could feel the love transcend time and space for all three of my children. I knew my place in their life, I knew what they needed, I knew how they felt, I knew their voices, and I knew I was a mother. God answered my prayer to become a mom and to have twins, admittedly one boy and one girl and when I prayed to “get it over with” well that landed squarely on The Chad when he got a vasectomy.
Short of sounding crazy, delivering my twins changed my life in many ways; I stopped acting like a mom and became one. I was so busy trying to act like a mom and trying to be a mom. I was not grasping that being a mom, wife, and woman was all one person. I thought I had to sacrifice a part of myself , sacrifice one of those people to be the other. We talk about sacrifice as a parent that we would do anything for our kids, but a selfish part of us cannot let go completely. The sacrifice is that we let go of who we used to be, our former selves before parenthood. My evolution allowed me to let go…completely. I let go the ideal that this was about me and what I did for them and I accepted that this was about Him, them, and what I did for all of us in the name of love. Inconveniences of the kids bickering was not about their fight, but more about what was at the root of the argument between my children. The whining was no longer an inconvenience to my mood, but about showing my kids to speak assertively, stating what they needed and I was here to help fulfill their needs. Respect was no longer about what was right and if they liked the individual, myself included, but respect became about love, that respect is love.
God had a plan for me. His plan was more about self discovery, sacrifice, and above all else love. Today I pray for my children and their plans. I pray that He guides them in His divine plan and that He shows them the same humor he has bestowed upon me. I also pray for other moms. I pray for dads. I pray for those mothers who want to be moms without holding onto who they think they have to be rather than who they are becoming. I pray for those dads to become fathers and love their children without regret. His plan just happened to be different from my plan and the way I prayed to be a mom.