I'm a romantic at heart. This won't come as a surprise to anyone who knows me personally. My childhood was filled with books and classic movies. I loved reading and watching stories unfold. Life always seems to end so perfectly in such tales.
Reality is different. Heartache, sickness, brokeness.
I'm starting to exerience the reality of this broken world more and more as I get older. One experience, in particular, has really taught me a lot about myself, and about God. I'd like to share a bit of my daughter's birth story with you today. Don't worry, nothing graphic, just some of the ways God's been working on me in the last year and half.
You see, I thought the birth of my daughter would happen one way. The reality brought my romantic heart crashing to the earth.
I dreamed that her birth would come about quickly. She would be born rosey cheeked and immediatly latch on to the breast. Our transition to parent-hood, while sleep deprieved, would be a realitively easy one. But life didn't happen that way.
My daughter come out small, scrawny and un-interested in eating. What followed was a five day hospital stay, weeks of 2 hour incriment feedings, and months of pumping. I was exhausted and grieved the fact that my daughter wouldn't nurse. Almost daily I found myself weeping, feeling helpless and alone. God didn't feel very present and near.
I was doubting.
This reality didn't make sense to me.
On top of this, I didn't even feel all that in love with my daughter.
In my exhausted, depressed state, it was hard for me to feel much of anything.
I had dreamed up a perfect little life that just didn't seem to be there.
But then, God slowly began to open my heart. He pointed out my husband, faithfully by my side, taking care of me and my daughter day and night. He pointed out the friends who were nearby, helping us through these early days of parenting.
While this life was different then the image I had conjured up in my brain, it was a beautiful reality, just the same.
God was using the very weakest points of my life to make me stronger.
To be honest, I haven't figured out the full picture yet. I can't explain why certain things happend at my daughter's birth (There's more details then what I'm sharing here). But I know He's working. He's healing. He's taking the imperfect pieces and making something even better.
Through my experience, I can now empathisize with other women who were struggling. I could tell them that they aren't alone. That others have been in a similar boat.
I could use my sittuation to love and encourage others.
And I can trust that God's plans really are better than my own.
"But He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.' Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may reside in me. So I take pleasure in weakness, insults, catastrophes, persecutions, and in pressures, because of Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong" (2 Corinithians 12:9-10, HCSB).