Back in October, those life-long dreams of momma-hood were realized when early one morning, I stood in our tiny little apartment bathroom and saw the double positive lines on my pregnancy test. I really enjoyed being pregnant. I loved watching my belly grow and adored hearing Bekah's beautiful and strong heart beat at our monthly appointments. Luke and I loved dreaming about the sweet baby growing inside of me and we loved thanking God for this amazing gift of life.
Then on June 9th, I got to hold my little girl in my arms for the very first time. It was almost like we had been friends for a long, long time rather than two strangers meeting for the first time. She's my girl and I'm her momma and I am crazy about her. She brings out the best in me - helping me give up so much of my selfishness so I can be the mom God made me to be.
I want to be honest and share with you that I was in for a big, big shock in the first few weeks of motherhood. It was really hard. There was a tiredness in those first weeks that just can not be compared to anything else I've experienced. I think moms are often tempted to be too hard on themselves, believing they aren't doing enough. Those thoughts come really early. At times, I didn't handle all of the difficulties very well. I cried a lot. I felt so frustrated with myself and in moments I felt pretty hopeless. Everything was so new and different and I didn't know if I was handling the changes well.
It was the funniest thing, because I felt all of that confusion at the same time that I was feeling unconditional, sweet, and total love for my girl. That's parenting, I guess. Those first weeks were hard mixed with wonderful. And there are still moments that are really tough - moments that cause me to whimper desperate prayers to God.
One night early this week, Luke was at work and I was home with Bekah. I am so thankful that I get to be a stay at home mom, but I was pretty tired and we had just hit the time that tends to be her fussy time. I just could not figure out what was wrong and I prayed out of sheer desperation that God would give me some insight into how to soothe her. I wondered if I was causing her pain in some way or if there was some need I was totally missing. So I just asked God for help. I don't know what kind of help I was expecting, maybe an audible answer or some kind of sense for what to do. A little time passed and Bekah and I were sitting on the couch, some extra burping helped her fall right asleep. There really wasn't a clear answer I heard from God that night and I wasn't sure what to think about that. I just felt so desperate and I knew He cared - so why didn't He respond in the way I wanted him to?
The next day, my friend Kelly came over to help me figure out a new furniture arrangement for the living room. We actually ended up just putting the room back exactly the way it was (and by "we" I mean Luke - he is so nice!) but God used our get together for so much good. Kelly stayed for a little while and talked with Luke and I. Kelly is also a new mom, and a dear friend to me. I can't stop thanking God for that afternoon, because during our short talk my heart was totally refreshed. It was a simple conversation about life as a new mom and sleep schedules - but it was like God ordered the whole thing to encourage me where I desperately needed encouragement. Kelly shared little things she had learned or heard from her mom-friends. It felt like each piece of wisdom checked off a box on my list of solutions that I needed. I received some great insight about making it through that fussy hour and how to help her (and us!) develop good sleep patterns. Last night Bekah slept six and a half hours total in her crib without us having to stay up for hours upon hours soothing her. That was a record and huge victory for our little family!
I shared all of this with you for a couple reasons. First, because it was really good for my heart to work through those first weeks. Whew! Weight lifted. ;) I also shared this because God taught me a really meaningful lesson this week. I asked God for wisdom and He gave it to me - but in a much better way than I could have anticipated. He used my friendship with Kelly to give me insight into the best ways to help my daughter. With this method came the added bonus of something I really needed, quality time with a good friend.
God is so good and creative and passionate about getting us to work together. He orchestrated my need and Kelly's abundance and together we figured out some really tough stuff! You know, before Kelly came over that day, I wondered if I should feel badly that I couldn't figure out my own living room arrangement. Looking back, I realize what a shame it would have been if I gave into my pride and self-reliance and missed out on that time with Kelly and our conversation.
So today I am enormously thankful. Thankful to be a momma. Thankful for a good living room set up ;). Thankful for my friendship with Kelly. And thankful that God cares so deeply for me that He hears my prayers, orchestrates the very best way to answer them, and teaches me through them.
How has God used relationships to answer your prayers?