A few months ago I gave birth to a darling baby girl. That was one of the most exhausting days of my life – but definitely the most rewarding. I thought with the birth of Grace would come so much confidence in being a mom, unfortunately it was quite the opposite. I was drowning in insecurity. I felt like I was constantly being judged on my parenting style, my plans, my weight gain, the cleanliness of my home, my attitude, my feminism, my energy… I think I could write a paragraph on the insurmountable insecurities that weighed upon my shoulders.
I cried the night my mom told me she would come once a month to clean my house because I thought she was saying that I can’t manage it on my own.
I took a stab to the heart when my amazing family and friends commented on how much my daughter looked like my husband, questioning if I was even worth looking similar to (YES! I know!).
The doubt and pain continued to pile up, and here I am supposed to be a strong female Christian and I was crawling into myself weak and afraid. Utterly and desperately in need of a reality check, but I never called out for help.
Two weeks ago, after having a horrible WEEK of being sick and caring for an inconsolable baby, I texted my mother furious, “I CANT TALK, THIS BABY [Yes, I didn’t even refer to her as my own] WONT STOP CRYING”. Then I called her weeping about an hour later, “Mom, please come up tomorrow, I can’t do this alone.”
My husband was working out of town, I was exhausted, I was aching from random nerve pain and muscle spasms in my hip and back, and it was just too much for me to handle alone.
So I reached out,
I reached out to a hand that was waiting there,
From a body that was already kneeling humbly close by,
I reached up,
and I grasped for dear life.
One of my favorite songs proclaims,
“I don’t want to talk about you [God] like you’re not in the room,
I want to look right at you;
I want to speak right to you.”
Through all the trials above and more I have doubted that God even heard me, that he overlooked me, or that he might even, dare I say it, be laughing at me. Then I think back to these lyrics, I think back to the nativity in which Heaven came down to Earth, and my heart squeals in delight because I can do just that in my weakest moments. I can stop where I am and talk to God since HE IS very present. I can look right at him; I can speak right to him (Ps 139:7-12; Exodus 33:12-18; Matthew 28:20; John 1:14).
I stand here with three months as a mom under my belt and wish that I could go back to tell my newborn-momma-self that Satan is about to attack fast and hard – that he is about to make you feel weakness like you’ve never felt before, but behold!:
You, sweet new momma, are the daughter of THE KING! (John 1:12-13; Galatians 4:1-7; Ephesians 5:8)
You are so valuable to God. (Genesis 1:27)
You are not perfect, but he is.(Romans 5:6-8)
and you – yes in those weakest moments, within the midst those shameful thoughts – you have ALL of God’s grace, and ALL of God’s power resting on your shoulders (Romans 5:1-5; John 1:14-18)
He is the AUTHOR and PERFECTOR of this faith (Hebrews 12:1-3)
He is VICTORIOUS (Genesis 3:15; John 16:33)
He is ALIVE, He UNDERSTANDS, and he has FELT our troubles (Hebrews 4:12-16)
So I will boast about my weaknesses because I have a God who has taken my burdens of self-doubt, the pressure of the world robbing me of joy, and in exchange He graciously laid the confirmation of rest upon my shoulders.
Now I can sigh a deep sense of relief as I write this, looking up and watching my darling girl play with her hands instead of taking a nap, and I can give myself grace. I can love the fact that when I look at her I see her daddy not just in looks but in personality. I can overlook the overflowing Diaper Genie and the load of laundry in the entryway.
I can rest in peace knowing that God has drained my cup of insecurity and returned it with overflowing grace.