Every time I have contractions, it sends me into a flurry of thoughts. So much is about to change as I walk into a new role of unknowns. Before all my thoughts shift to keeping my new-born baby alive, I needed to journal my final reflections on the life I’ve lived before I am born a mother.
I can already tell I will be obsessed with my daughter. I am the oldest of four children and am extremely protective and maybe sometimes motherly over them. There have been nights I couldn’t sleep until I knew my sister was safe at home. There have been moments I almost stopped being a Christian to mouth off to someone who hurt them. When they are around, I have a bad tendency to neglect Kris and to make sure their needs are met first.
When my sister Julia competed in pageants, I was like a crazy pageant mom in the audience jumping up and down waving around a big sign to make sure she could see me. I didn’t even care whose view I was blocking. When she wasn’t on stage, I thought I was going to throw up with nerves and excitement. When she didn’t make the top 15 at Miss USA, my entire body froze and I went numb for about 30 minutes. When my other sister went to the ER with a kidney stone, I rushed there at 3 AM. I hunted down nurses to get her shivering body a blanket. I demanded to know why she was left in the hallway on a cot unattended and unmedicated. I remember thinking in some of these moments, “How in the world will I be able to have children of my own if I’m losing nights of sleep over my adult siblings?”
I hear stories about children becoming a mother’s world and other things like marriage and ministry fall to the way side. I saw a post on social media recently that said, “First and foremost, I am a mother.” That sentiment sounds noble and praiseworthy, but I think it could be dangerous. I know I could easily fall into that, so it’s been important for me to pray and reflect to get the right, Godly mindset before she comes.
First and foremost, I must remember I am a daughter. I am a daughter of the King. Secondly, I am a wife and thirdly I am a mother.
I don’t think we have to forego our callings and marriages when we become mothers. I don’t believe children are to replace our callings or the love of our husbands, they are to compliment them. We’ll see how well I do at maintaining this thought.
Because I had a fear that children could take away opportunities at dreams and travel, I did as much as I could before. Maybe fear served its purpose in that way. Although, we will always desire more and another goal gets added with every goal checked off…we can be content about any dreams that were accomplished.
I wanted to be Miss USA, get my college degree, marry Prince Charming, travel the world, write a book, host a TV show, live in NYC and LA and be financially stable. Of course, I still dream of so much more and there are more places I’d love to explore. But reflecting in my final days before being born a mother, I can feel satisfied that childhood dreams have been realized before I start this new chapter of selflessness.
Kris and I will celebrate four years of marriage with the birth of our daughter this June. In that time, instead of detracting from one another’s callings, we ignited them in each other. God gave us a vision for our blogs at the same time. Kris has grown his LA Men’s Group, grown his retreats and published two books. I just celebrated one year of my women’s group, have published a devotional, a guided journal, produced a retreat and a conference. We have played together, traveled and ministered together. We have sharpened each other, cheered each other on, edited each other’s blog posts, comforted each in other in moments of stress and panic, prayed for each other and celebrated together.
Just like marriage has enriched my life, I can’t wait to see how our daughter, infused with both our qualities and some of her own, will ignite the life we’ve built together.
More than fulfilled goals, I think I’m the most glad I’ve been able to grow more and break free of heart and soul bondages. Bondages like over-sensitivity, insecurity and a critical spirit. As the day gets closer that I will meet my daughter, I am becoming more and more aware of how serious the calling of motherhood is. I want to be as spiritually whole as possible before she gets here, so I can effortlessly impart Godly identity into her. Memories of my own childhood have flooded my mind. God has given me eyes to see into how I can either shape and mold her for Kingdom living or wound her with thoughtless words and actions out of my brokenness. My reliance on Him and daily seeking to live out of my heavenly identity is crucial for her healthy development.
I feel such a major responsibility to steward this precious life God has entrusted to me. I know He is going to teach me so much about depending on Him and following His lead. I am excited about how my heart will grow as a mother. I am excited about the new things God wants to reveal to me. I am excited to watch my little girl grow and see the world in wonder and awe.
I am scared, too. I am scared I could have a breakdown in front of her that will make her feel unsafe. I am scared I won’t be able to provide the best life for her. I am scared provision will run dry. I am scared I won’t be able to manage a grocery store run, strapping her in and out of the carseat without feeling incapable. I’m scared I won’t be the best example to her. I’m scared that managing strollers, tummy time, diaper bags, feedings, nap times and pack n’ plays will be too overwhelming for me. I’m scared I won’t understand her or know how to guide her properly. I’m scared God could ask me to give her up like Elizabeth had to do with John, Mary with Jesus and Hannah with Samuel.
When I’ve gone to God in prayer about this, I hear him say…”I have assigned this daughter to you because you alone will know how to raise her into the woman I have destined her to be.” I find comfort in this. I pray this is true. I only have a limited skill set and knowledge basin. I pray it fits her.
Ultimately, I think the reminder that will get me through the learning curves is that I am God’s daughter first. Before I’m a wife, a mother or a minister…I’m His daughter. My daughter is God’s daughter first too…before she is mine. He chose to entrust her to me for a reason, but He is in control and my parenting and her growth is dependent on Him.
I need to keep my perspective in Godly order about my identity so I don’t lose myself in the lost cause of perfect parenting. It’s hard for me to be okay with the thought that I could harm her because of my own shortcomings. I pray God makes his power so strong and perfect through my weakness. Lord knows, I will need it. She will need it.
Here’s to the end of the first book of my life. A book filled with challenges overcome, hurt feelings turned into the ability to quickly forgive, rejection into redirection, depression to joy, approval- seeking to security, feeling overlooked to becoming Miss USA and heartbreaks to marrying my prince. Here’s to a book of God-sized dreams realized, relationships restored in family, travel adventures, isolation from others to connection in meaningful friendships.
It’s amazing to see all the transformation God has done in me as a woman to prepare me for the calling of motherhood. The preparation for important roles always occurs years and years before they are within reach. I’m waiting in the wings…about to walk on stage with a new role.
I remember that moment in the wings the night of Miss USA. I said a final prayer before I was crowned. I remember praying at the back of the aisle on our wedding night. Kris put a ring on my finger and I became a Mrs. Now, I’m praying in the wings before I deliver a princess. She will crown into the world and I will become Mother.
I whisper my final prayer before I step out…God, shine bright through me.
Here’s to the first chapter of the new book, when I’m born a Mother.