Redeemed Motherhood – Identity

I remember the day they placed my first born in my arms.  I had laboured 12 hours with the help of drugs because she was two weeks late and the Doctors felt it was time to help things along. 
It is an odd feeling, knowing that once this labour starts that you’ll be holding a child, a tiny human full of promise in your arms when just the day before it was the two of you — husband and wife. 
That moment was overwhelming, it was as if time had stood still in the delivery room.  I could hear every beat of my heart and my breath came in short and shallow bursts.  My arms were full of little girl and I was a mother. 
It was a happy time.  Lots of celebration, lots of oohing and ahhhing over her tiny fingers and toes.  There were exclamations about her size -9lbs 3oz – and her being the champ of the hospital nursery.  She was a Christmas baby as her birthday is December 12, and so the excitement was two fold, a child in time to celebrate The Child. 
Later on that night, all alone in my hospital room with this baby close to my heart I felt somewhat inadequate.  How might I motherthis life, her tiny eyes blinking slowly as she grew accustom to the harsh light of life outside the womb.  Could I possibly do what needed to be done to make sure she got the very best parts of me.  The very best mothering parts of me. 
I remember feeling fear at the same time that love squeezed my heart tight.  I felt a fear that I would mess up, make mistakes and that the very worst parts of me would be the only parts she remembered. That there would be moments when all of what I swore I would never do, never say would come pouring out with the force of a tsunami, a force so powerful I could not stop it. 
So I spent a lot of time, trying to push those pieces of me into corners in my heart.  The pieces that are part of me, I lost them in the task of mothering.  Those dreams that I had, the parts of me that came from my mother and my father, I sifted through them until I found only the best parts and the rest I tucked away, boxed up and shelved vowing that those parts of me would never been shown the light of day. 
I had no business dreaming about me, no business walking in who I was created to be, I had no business doing anything other than pouring myself into that tiny life.  
So I did.  
And I lost bits of me.   Those parts of me that dreamed and hoped got lost in the dirty diapers, and the spit up, and the never ending loads of laundry.   I got lost in the haggard, the weary, the expectations that I placed on myself and this task of mothering.  
When I became mother, my fear of failing kept me from embracing all of who I was. 
Yes, I was a mother.  But, I was also a woman, one with gifts and talents that moved beyond motherhood.  I didn’t realize it at the time but my children needed to see all of me.  All of who God created me to be.  That by hiding those parts of me that I didn’t feel fit in with being a mother meant that my children would not be able to see past the late night feedings, the early morning breakfasts, the spit up, the runny noses. 
I couldn’t see that trading my identity as Daughter of the King meant that they would have difficulty seeing how they too were created in His image.  How not being satisfied with who I was created to be meant measuring my success against the hard edge of this world and not the fluid grace of the One who calls me Daughter. 
Yes, I am a mother.  But first and foremost, I am Daughter of the King. 
In Him and through Him I do everything – including motherhood. 

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