Twenty one years ago I was twenty one.
And after a brief bout with infertility and a miscarriage, after numerous shots, sonograms, hormone monitoring and bedrest, they handed me a six pound baby girl in our (then) small town hospital.
Truthfully, she looked like a frog.
Her huge lips and loud wailing let us know that she probably looked the most like me and her lungs most likely were as loud as mine too. Within an hour as she had stopped crying, been bathed, and her little eyes opened I came to recognize this new life as my own daughter…my own flesh and blood.
I loved her enough to give my life for her from the moment she was born but falling in love with motherhood took me six weeks of breastfeeding horror, jaundice, every kind of postpartum infection you can name…as well as a few nights of sleep.
This child changed my world. No longer was my life my own but it was now dedicated to making sure she (and every subsequent sibling!) would have the best shot at life. I tried desperately not to screw it up, but I learned that inevitably as parents we all make mistakes, and God’s grace and wisdom can make even our worst blunders into something beautiful.
This daughter of mine was the inspiration for me to dig deep into Jesus. She drove me to trying to become the best version of myself so she could have a good example. Because of my children, I strove harder in my marriage, wanting them to see that true love and hard work are worth the effort. Having this child was a paradigm shift and still is in many ways for me today.
My oldest daughter, Daly Kay is 21. Yesterday, she spent her birthday going to church with her friends, having lunch with her family, doing a TV commercial for a local business, attending a forum with an expert on Chinese economics, and helping her sister get to an internship meeting. Next weekend we’ll be celebrating with her friends and she’ll be the belle of the ball.
But for today, I marvel that I have now spent half my life in parenthood and even after 21 years on the job I just fall more and more in love with these amazing gifts God has given us. I’ve learned to rely more and more on His wisdom and infinite grace to accomplish His will. May you all be encouraged in your parenting that if I can do it, you can too.
Keep marchin’ moms and dads. There’s a beautiful prize at the end of this effort. It is all completely worth it.
[bctt tweet=”Keep marchin’. There’s a beautiful prize at the end of this effort. It is all completely worth it.”]