01 May Momspiration Monday // Lindsay’s Story
From Glory to Glory
I’m a mom.
Sometimes I still can’t believe that’s my reality.
I knew I wanted to be a mom at a young age. Getting married and having kids was something I was convinced would be a part of my story. It’s funny actually, because I had this idea that I would be married and having babies by the time I was 21 (insert all the laughing emoji’s).
Get married. Have kids. Be a Boss Lady. That was my life plan.
My life has been predictably unpredictable. Isn’t everyone’s? We plan our lives to be one way, but they never really end up going the way we planned. It’s always something, isn’t it? Job loss, student loan debt, an unexpected pregnancy, divorce, a house fire, death, taxes, illness, a miscarriage, infertility; I could go on. Life has a way of bringing us to our knees. If it’s not one thing, it’s another.
A few years ago, I was working full-time as an administrative assistant at my church. I really enjoyed my job. My husband and I were still relatively new to Dallas, but we were living the proverbial dream. We were working full-time, enjoying our first few years of marital bliss, living in an apartment right on White Rock Lake, and we had just been approved to buy our first home. LIFE.WAS.GOOD. And then, in January of 2015, we found out I was pregnant. SURPRISE.
We weren’t trying to get pregnant. I mean, well, I think you know what I mean (ha!). We had been married for 3 years; our goal was 5 years before having the talk. I was happy with our life. And kids? It just didn’t seem like either of us were ready. I had a lot of growing to do before I could be a parent. I mean, my favorite foods were macaroni and cheese from a box and powdered donuts. #yesiknowtheycausecancer #itswhatever
I spent the first half of my pregnancy making my way through the 5 stages of grief: denial, bargaining, anger, crying (lots and lots of crying), and acceptance. And weaved throughout every stage of grief was guilt. Oh, the guilt. I’d often say to myself,
You’re a horrible person. You have too many friends who are struggling with infertility, miscarriage, or waiting to adopt. They would give anything to be in your situation. Why aren’t you more grateful? STOP MAKING THIS ABOUT YOU!
The negative self-talk was steeling my joy and the ability to appreciate the gift of new life. To those who knew me and walked with me in that dark season: thank you. I know I wasn’t easy to be around.
On September 11, 2015, Tony and I welcomed the most precious baby girl into this world: our sweet London Rose. She was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. I love her something FIERCE. It’s not a sweet love; it’s a burning, painful kind of love, the kind that makes you weep if you think too long about losing the source of this love. I know you know what I’m talking about. It’s a love that can’t be described, only experienced. I don’t have the right adjectives to attach to it; it just is. The day London Rose arrived in the flesh was the day our dreams came true. Apart from serving Jesus, she is our greatest joy.
London had not been with us more than 6 months when we found out we were expecting our second little babe. I distinctly remember laughing out loud when I saw the positive pregnancy test. I kept thinking to myself, “This has to be some sort of practical joke!”. The first 6 months with London were hard. Adjusting to my new normal was no easy feat. I couldn’t possibly wrap my brain around having a second baby at the end of the year. It seemed like an impossible thing to do.
On November 26, 2016, our dear Ruby Lynn made her grand (and extremely quick) entrance. What a beauty! I didn’t know I could love London more than I already did. Watching her be a big sister is a gift. She loves her little Ruby deeply. And I didn’t know I could love Ruby as much, but differently than I do London. It sort of feels like they each have their own kind of love that’s unique to them. I love them the same, yet different. Ruby is our rare gem. She has been the perfect addition to our family.
My girls show me every day that there is profound beauty in this world. I consider it a great honor to be their mom, and I don’t take my responsibility lightly. But my journey into motherhood hasn’t been everything I expected it to be. It’s been more beautiful, yes, but it’s been significantly harder, too.
I was talking to a dear friend and mentor several weeks ago, and I was sort of explaining this deep sense of loss I had been experiencing since having my two girls. It’s interesting to be an individual and to know who you are, and then to experience a loss of self after having kids. I always thought motherhood would come more naturally to me, after all it was something I wanted. But it didn’t. Instead I found myself mourning who I used to be: a person with freedom. And I mean freedom as it relates to whether or not I get a hot shower that day or making a quick run to the grocery store (there’s no such thing as a “quick run” anymore) or getting to drink a hot cup of coffee or peeing without little eyes staring at me or putting makeup on or working out when I want to or painting my nails or ANYTHING! Everything comes at a cost, and it’s ME who’s paying. My friend so gently said to me, “It sounds like your faith is being tested, and you have to decide if what you say is true about God is what you actually believe to be true about God.” I’ll never forget the silence that followed. She was so right.
The more I’ve pondered her words and gotten on my knees in prayer, the more I’ve discovered that the root of my “issue”, my so-called “loss of self”, isn’t really about freedom, it’s about control (or lack thereof). My issue is less related to the fact that I can’t take a hot shower every day or my coffee is often cold when I drink it and more related to the idea that I’m drinking cold coffee because I had kids; If I didn’t have kids, I’d be drinking hot coffee. Do you see how dysfunctional my thinking has been? Because I did not choose either conception, insofar as my husband and I were not mutually trying to get pregnant, I had convinced myself that my so-called “motherhood woes” wouldn’t exist if it were up to me. Somewhere along the way I started actually believing that my cold cup of coffee was cold because I didn’t choose things to be the way they are right now. If it were my choice, I would’ve waited longer to have children. Waiting longer to have children = a hot cup of coffee today, RIGHT NOW. And, of course, my cold cup of coffee represents everything. It represents days without a shower, not putting my makeup on for weeks, sleep-deprived seasons, spit-up stained clothes, saying “no” to date nights or a girls’ night out; the list goes on. These things are a result of having children. I didn’t want my life to look like this. Not right now, anyway.
It’s amazing how the enemy works. Until my friend said those words to me, I hadn’t even recognized my destructive and twisted pattern of thinking. These thoughts weren’t so poignant that I could detect them; they were the opposite. They were quiet, subtle intruders. They slowly started taking root until the frustration of my lack of control started coloring everything. It even colored what I believed to be true about God. I say He’s good. I say His timing is good. But do I believe He’s good? Do I believe, in my core, that even when life takes its unexpected turns, that I serve a God who sees the days ahead and is GOOD? I’ve had to ask myself these questions almost daily. And I’ll admit that for a time my answer was no. I’ve had to recalibrate and recondition the way I think about these messy motherhood moments. It has been a process, but the journey has been so beautiful and joy-filled. It turns out that desperate dependence on Jesus does result in unexpected joy. #spoileralert
I recently attended the women’s retreat at my church. Jenny Simmons was our speaker and worship leader, and she said something that has been with me for weeks. She talked about this idea of waking up with “holy awareness”. It looks like waking up and making a choice to submit and surrender ourselves, so that we can see the Spirit at work in small every day moments. And this awareness requires that we choose it, otherwise we miss it. We miss everything. I’ve been missing it; I’m tired of missing it.
I’m amazed that all it takes is willingness. The moment I decided to embrace this unexpected season of motherhood is the moment I realized that my life is far more beautiful today than it would’ve been had I been in control. I would’ve missed out on all the beauty, grace, love, and teaching this season has yielded if it were up to me. My cold cup of coffee still represents everything; it represents 20 tiny toes and chubby fingers; it represents poopy diapers and 2 little bodies that function beautifully and properly; it represents unexpected joy; it represents breath and life and LOVE. So much freaking love. How did I ever miss it?
I can only imagine how annoying this post may seem to the mom who’s had miscarriage after miscarriage, or the couple who’s been struggling with infertility for years, or the parents trying to adopt, or the single mom trying to get by, or the mom who delivered stillborn. Your pain is deep and wide. I don’t know it the way you do. And I definitely don’t have the right words for you. I only know two things for sure:
- God is faithful. He’s faithful. He’s faithful. And He’s faithful. You decide what that means for you and your current season. (Deuteronomy 32:4; Romans 4:21; 2 Timothy 2:13; just a few among many)
- His way is the best way. (Isaiah 55:8-9)
I know how trite this might sound. How is this (insert your season/struggle) the best way? The truth is that I don’t know the answer to that question. I only know that God is good, even in the midst of our pain, and He has something for you in it. And no, I’m not suggesting that God is the reason for your pain, so that He can teach you something. I don’t believe that’s how God works. Your pain/dysfunction/brokenness is the result of a fallen world. I do, however, believe that God leverages our pain for His glory if we let him. Will you let him?
I am praying for you, mama. My prayer is that you’d wake up each day asking for holy awareness. I pray you see the Spirit of God at work in you and through you in spite of your pain and your mess. I pray you’d experience the restoration and renewal that comes from believing in a God who sent his Son to die for you, so that you might be with him for all eternity through the process of sanctification. “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:18
From glory to glory, my dear sisters.
Lindsay is a wife to Tony and a mom to London Rose and Ruby Lynn, living in Dallas, TX. When not at home with her girls, Lindsay serves alongside female, Christian professionals through Polished Dallas. Polished is often-times described as the YoungLife for professional women. They provide resources, community and support for women of faith in the career-focused seasons of their lives. For more information, visit their website here.
Do you want to share your story of motherhood with others? Do you have a momspiration you’d like to nominate to share their story and encouragement? Tell us about your Momspiration Monday by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org!