“Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?”
-Matthew 16:24-26 (MSG)
Eat. Play. Sleep. Eat. Play. Nap. Play. Eat. Sleep.
My son’s schedule?
My schedule. To be more specific, my weekend schedule…before becoming a parent.
Having a baby has brought about a rather sad realization: I’ve been a baby for approximately 28 1/2 years of my life…and now it’s not all about me anymore.
Sure, on the outside and in my interactions with others I may appear mature, put-together, sound, and even selfless on occasion. An “old soul” some have called me. “Possessing wisdom,” others have noted.
Yeah…no. At least that’s not how I feel as a mom most of the time. Often I feel completely clueless (because I am) and ridiculously humbled.
Now don’t get me wrong, getting married was a wake-up call for me, first. My oneness with my husband acts as a mirror to help reveal my weakness, and hopefully develop humility, patience, and the like. Yet our time together before our son was frequently carefree, and dare I venture to say – self-satisfying.
Now somehow over the course of what seems like no time at all, my evenings have gone from cooking and relaxing with my husband, to singing “Skidamarink a dink a dink” like a loon while attempting to avoid a meltdown during dinner preparations. There is no longer space or time for sitting around on a Friday afternoon picking my cuticles while watching the news, awaiting my husband to arrive home in order to assess which restaurant we’ll go to for dinner.
I find myself frustrated during the start of this new season more than I anticipated I would be, as this internal struggle wages on within me – my flesh which persists, “what about you?” versus the Spirit in me which gently prods me, “let go.” I find that I am faced with these conflicted dialogues regularly as I slowly learn to navigate motherhood. A constant dance of holding on to myself, and letting go…holding on, and letting go.
This precious boy of ours is the best thing to ever happen to us. We love and adore him beyond understanding. Yet I see how God is simultaneously utilizing him for my refinement, because He knows just what I need to become who He wants me to be…and His “me” is much better than my “me.”
It’s no surprise that I’m finding far more peace in the letting go.
And honestly, now that I’ve departed from the patterns of the first 28 1/2 years of my life, could I ever go back? Do I even want to?
Losing my life that I may find it in Christ is not just a concept, it is a practical reality. He has called His children to give up our very selves along with our childish confusion of our wants and needs, and trust that letting go is actually picking up. Losing is gaining. Giving truly is receiving.
And I’m picking up something far better. Fullness, freedom, peace, and purpose. As I implement this on a moment-by-moment basis in my everyday with my husband and boy, I recognize that life centered on me is no life at all. What’s more, letting go and demonstrating grace is one of the best things I can do for my son’s faith and development.
I can’t wait to enter my 29th year as a mother with a beautiful child in my arms for the first time.
And I am so glad that this very new season of life won’t be all about me anymore.