How Have You Grown?

I was inspired to write this by this blog:
http://thingstoadore.wordpress.com/2013/03/15/and-before-you-know-it/

There is nothing like becoming a mom and being responsible for the lives of our little ones who are so vulnerable and completely dependent on us, to make us both grow, and grow up.

I became a mom at 29. I had almost 3 decades to learn how to be selfish and think about “mememe”. My transition to momhood was ugly. My life before marrying a Godly man was all about my survival, my being independent and responsible, my working hard. I can count on one hand the number of people who sincerely had my back or even cared whether I survived. Transferring that mindset into taking care of a baby, especially after not being around babies much at all, I was a huge mess. I didn’t have family nearby to help me, and I didn’t have the benefit or experience from a healthy relationship with my own parents. I did have my Grandma to confide in, and I had an amazing husband that God provided for me, who supported me, believed in me, and continually shows me kindness I often feel undeserving of.

The first 2 weeks of my first baby’s life were the hardest and scariest of my entire life, and believe me, that is saying a lot. She lost a full pound after being born a month early, and I was trying to learn how to breastfeed her. Thankfully I had encouragement from people at church to not give up breastfeeding. I am so very glad I pushed through. She finally started gaining weight at 2 weeks, and we had some rough times, like clumsily trying to feed her in public and getting a yeast infection in my milk ducts. She is 13 now, and she’s one of the best accomplishments of my life, and a reminder of how much God changed my life when she was born. When she was born, the “mom” me was born. As a mom, she and I are both 13, and trust me, we both have some seriously real “adolescent” days.

Over the past almost 15 years of marriage, God has used His Word to instruct me to not be anxious for anything, to cast all of my cares on Him, and that no matter what, I can lean on Him and He will make all of my pathways clear. He has never failed, He has never given up on me, and I know there is nothing I can’t trust Him with. I have grown as a Believer.

I have grown as a wife. When we first married, I had all sorts of expectations of what I believed a Christian marriage would/should be. I was previously married to a nonbeliever. It was a disaster, and I know it was because of God’s protection over me, in my ignorance and desperation to just have someone who would love me, that I’m alive today. He delivered me from that marriage that I clung to when my ex decided one day he wanted a divorce, but I wouldn’t grant him one. Until I read Scripture, and I heard God in my spirit tell me it was ok to let him go. So, I joined my new husband 6 years later, with God’s permission to remarry, with hopes, plans and expectations. All of those either died out or were changed by God. I learned to relax when things feel out of control, spinning ahead of what I feel ready for, because God knows everything, and I can just lean back on Him, rest, and trust. Being married to a Christian has both defied and soared beyond my expectations.  We don’t pray together about everything, we don’t sing and play praise and worship songs together all the time, we don’t always have it all together with perfect smiles on our faces and lots of Christian friends who adore us, we don’t have popular Bible studies and prayer meetings in our home every week, and we have never gone on mission trips as a family like my heart still longs to do. Yeah, my picture guess was way off from our reality, lol. I’m not “Suzy Homemaker”. I’m a military spouse who has almost no control over any area of decisions or plans, the military takes care of all of that for both of us. I have learned to be content during some pretty intense times, but I’m still learning, and I fail at “content” pretty much every day in one way or another.

I have grown as a daughter. I have a new lens on my “hindsight” indicator. I no longer look through it as a daughter, but I look through it as one who has a daughter. There are things my mom did that I have made sure not to do. There are things I cringe every time I do or say. There are things I am careful to do, and I’m sure there are things I wish I had done, though I can’t think of any off-hand. I learned a lot from my Grandma that I didn’t learn from my own mom. There have also been times when anger or tears pop in because of things I missed out on or was robbed of in my own relationship with my parents. I have had much forgiving to do, needed much grace to apply, and tempered with love much disappointment and frustration. God has helped me to be a better mom to my children than I ever could have been without His compassion and help.

It’s amazing to me when I look back over all of the events of the past decade and a half, just how much “growing” God has accomplished in me while I was distracted by my life’s moments. I still have a lot of growing to do, but wow: God sure has been busy in me!

In what ways have you grown?

5 thoughts on “How Have You Grown?

  1. jemtree,
    wow. what a life so far and I don’t know the half of it!

    i am so happy you can look back on the past and find you’ve been growing without always consciously knowing. it gives me hope. i know im growing, but i don’t always know just how much or from what or to what end.

    your “Christian marriage” sounds similar to mine. ive considered recently that although there is merit in doing things you don’t necessarily feel like doing, i am in a season of honesty – honesty about myself to my self; honesty about myself to others; honesty about my past and feelings, etc.
    i no longer “work up” the Christian feelings i think i should feel; the Christian views i think i should have. if i don’t feel or have them, i pray. i leave it in God’s hands to bring me into situations or bring a book my way or bring me conversations to cause me to feel or think certain ways he wants me to. it’s obviously my choice to take these ways on but i no longer allow myself to be in a state of “if I were a ‘real’ Christian (whatever that means!) i would be feeling, thinking, saying” and then try to work it up. im casting it all on him because he cares for me and wouldn’t want me being a robot, albeit, even a Christian one. 🙂

    loved this post. keep ’em coming!

    xoxo

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    1. It seems like you and I have so much in common.
      A few years ago I went through a season of seeking God about what being a Christian really meant. I was so frustrated and hurt by the lack of Grace demonstrated towards me from people who outwardly claimed to be so “spiritual” and close to God, hearing from Him. Them hearing from Him meant little when they wouldn’t listen to what I also was hearing from Him, or believe it was Him speaking through me. It was like a competition, except I wasn’t part of their “cliche'”, so they wouldn’t listen.
      One time God gave me a warning to share with specific people who were meeting in prayer, and I mean this warning was so deep I couldn’t eat for days, I couldn’t do anything but pray and cry. They wouldn’t listen to me, though. 2 months later something major happened, and I found the notes I had taken as I was praying when God impressed my spirit with that warning: the major event was what He was warning of. I grieved deeply for months that I missed such an opportunity for God to do something through people uniting in prayer, so many lives would have been saved, maybe the event would have been stopped. I still grieve so deeply about that. That’s when I started questioning what it means to be a Christian. If God hadn’t had a firm hold on my heart and my understanding, I would have walked away, I was really shaken to the core over that. I felt so useless for His Kingdom.
      I am so very grateful for God never letting me go. The song, “You Never Let Go Of Me” came to life for me, and He used it to remind me how much He loves me and wants a relationship with me. With me. I can wait for opportunities He hand-picks for me to be an effective vessel for Him, and He will work *with* me. He taught me through His Word what it means to live like a Christian. And, when people won’t listen, I have learned it’s not me they are rejecting, but the message He has given to me to share. I don’t take it personal anymore. I pray for God to make the way for the message to be received, through a vessel that will be acceptable. It’s the message that is important, not the messenger.

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      1. what an important lesson to learn — people reject his message, not us (always). I haven’t gone through that on a major scale but definitely in small instances with friends/acquaintances.

        how is David’s new leadership/job going so far?

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