Saturday, June 18, 2011

Parenthood 101

I had such big lofty plans for parenting. When I was pregnant with Alicia, I prayed, planned and even plotted to teach her lessons of identity, responsibility, manners ... etc. I thought I still had time to organize our clutter and tell Campbell to move this and that. I had plans. I had control. Or I thought I had control.

One word to describe how I feel as a parent:


I feel powerless. I feel so out of control. My heart hanging outside my chest. There is nothing I can do to help her. And so I try to do what I can. I eat well. I try to rest well, so I can give her the best milk from me. I wake up at 8ish. Eat breakfast. I pump. I deliver the morning batch to her, praying as I pump for God to bless the milk. I see her. I speak to her. I sing to her. I pray. My heart hanging outside my chest. I come back from the hospital. I eat lunch. I pump. I nap. I eat an afternoon snack. I pump. I eat dinner. I cannot wait to see her again. I go to hospital at 6:30 p.m. I see my darling. My heart hanging outside my chest.

It makes me wonder how the Father feels seeing his Son on the cross. I wonder if He ever feels powerless. I don't think so, because He is never powerless. On the other hand, every time He commits Himself into a relationship with us, He puts Himself in a position where we can choose. He humbles Himself and restrains Himself to be in a relationship with us.

I never thought being a parent could feel so out of control. When I saw Alicia the morning after her surgery, her face in pain, little tears forming--AH, my heart hanging outside my chest. Baby, what can Mommy do? I would do anything to have you not feel pain.

The journey of powerlessness leads me to the Father. That afternoon when the doctor called us to come in to discuss Alicia's surgery, Campbell relaxed under the pressure. He felt the assurance that this surgery would help Alicia. I fell apart. I cried and cried. My heart hanging outside my chest. As I struggled with the Lord, He led my heart to His experience with Lazarus. Even though Jesus knew Lazarus' death would glorify the Father and the Son, He still wept. The Lord is not removed from feeling our pain. He feels the pain of powerlessness, of loss, of defeat, of sadness. Jesus wept. As I wept, Jesus wept with me. As I struggled against His embrace, He cried with me. His heart hanging outside His chest.

Funny. Now that I am a mother, I am understanding more and more of what it is like to be a child. To press into the heart of the Father and let Him carry me. I also know more acutely how easy and how much a parent gives.

God reminds me that though I feel powerless, the little I can do for Alicia no one else can do for her. I know this in my heart. I am her mother. Linda, welcome to Parenthood 101.

As it is the eve of Father's Day, I also want to write a tribute to the best fathers I know.

To my Heavenly Father:

Thank you for your infinite love and patience. Thank you for your tenderness and mercy. Thank you for holding me.

To my own father:

When I think of him, there are no words to describe my gratitude. Because of his constant presence in my life, because I know I can depend on him, it was so easy for me to know who I am and my value. I am confident because he will always support and love me. Just today, when I talked to him on the phone, I described how powerless I felt, and he said, he understood. I felt comforted because I knew he knew. Thank you, Daddy.

To my father-in-law:

It's a privilege to be a part of your family and to be your daughter, not just daughter-in-law, but a true daughter. Thank you for praying for me even before you knew me. Your fathering to Campbell makes him the man that he is. Thank you for your example of love and faith.

To the father of my child:

You are the anchor and the sail of our ship. Thank you for steadying my heart and leading our family in faith. When we are together, I know we can face life together. Thank you for serving me. (And friends, I will write an entry devoted to just lauding Campbell. He raises the standard of manhood.)

Thank you so much, friends. I am still resting a lot and the day flies by with my routine of eating, resting, seeing Alicia and pumping milk. I will try to get back to each of you soon. Thank you so much for your love, prayers, support and thoughts. I don't think Cam and I can walk through this time with such peace without your covering of prayers and love. Thank you for being our family. Thank you for loving Alicia. She is one blessed girl.

And to all the fathers out there, Happy Father's Day! May you all be cherished because you make a difference.

1 comment:

  1. Linda, it is so great to hear from you! I know our situations are different, but I know all too well that pain of feeling powerless and leaning into God for strength. My journals are filled with letters to God and letters to Josiah during that time. Maybe you could start one devoted to her. I'm sure she would love to read it when she's older. Happy Father's Day, Campbell! Love, Tree