Underserving. Uncertain. Inadequate.
When Jim and I found out we were expecting, a flood of thoughts and emotions surged through my mind and body. Excitement and eagerness met with anxiety and hesitation. Hopefulness and gratefulness met with fearfulness and self-doubt. There was a tinge of guilt for feeling both overwhelmingly grateful and undeniably afraid. The hope and joy for this little life coincided with the heavy weight of responsibility. Parenting has always felt daunting to me, and I tend to focus on what all could go wrong rather than what could go right (hello, enneagram 6, I see you). When I reflect on my life, I’m quick to point out my shortcomings. But when it comes to positive moments, it’s difficult for me to recall. For those of you who relate, why can we easily reflect on our negative experiences and attributes rather than positive ones?
The way I view my narrative errors on the side of criticism and shortcomings, and when I envision the future, I see it through an array of possibilities. In a small way, thinking of all the potential dangers and negative outcomes feels like I may have a sense of control in avoiding them. But an overwhelmingly large portion of my thinking of possibilities is unproductive – because they never happen! I have to ask myself this daily: where does my thinking intersect with my trust in God’s omniscience and omnipotence? I can plan to my heart’s content, but at the end of the day, in whom have I placed my trust?
The heart of man plans his way,
but the Lord establishes his steps.
The day I learned I am a mom, my mind immediately went to those feelings of inadequacy. But what if I chose to see myself the way God sees me? A child of God, completely covered by the blood of Christ whose sacrifice on the cross covers all my sins. He takes my shame and replaces it with His narrative: redeemed. What if I began to reflect on my story, not as the woman who never measures up, but as the woman who is already enough? Moreover, God intentionally chose Jim and I to raise this little life. None of this is a surprise to Him: it’s been His plan all along. It’s one thing to have a head knowledge of what Christ’s sacrifice and victory over the grave means for my narrative, but it’s another entirely to have the heart knowledge.
Redeemed. Courageous. Enough.
I both cherish and despise self-awareness. I love understanding who I am, but I don’t relish in facing the undeniable self-realizations of why I am this way. But I’ve learned that, in order to move towards growth, I must have a solid understanding of who I believe myself to be. Then, I can slowly begin to replace my self-doubt with God’s narrative. I can’t change the facts, but I can change the lens in which I see my story.
Physical transformations are taking place. My body continues to change as little one grows, the nursey project is well underway, and preparations for baby’s arrival are in full swing. And while these exterior changes take place, my interior continually transforms, too. Jim and I are thankful for this opportunity to know and raise this little life to the best of our abilities, walking in confidence that, while mistakes will be made and trials will come, our narrative is covered in God’s forgiveness, grace, and redemption.