The other day, I was thinking to myself randomly, “Why did we have a baby?” This is not a begrudging question towards my offspring at all, but an honest question to my own heart.
Why does anyone have kids these days? Because that’s what married people do? Because they think it will be fun??? Do we think it will be rewarding and exciting? It is those things sometimes, but most of the time being a parent is hard work. These little people are put into our care by God so that we, as mature adults, can teach them and disciple them into adulthood. What a daunting task that seems…
In some circles today, having kids is seen as a hindrance, a burden, or an obstacle to having the “dream life.” Having kids means taking away our adult freedom to do whatever we want whenever we want. To be perfectly honest, I had a hard time adjusting to that fact that I no longer fully controlled my life and schedule. My daughter trumps everything I plan because her needs come before mine. Talk about self-sacrifice. I had never had to do that before. I am at her beck and call 24-7. And most days I still struggle with some form of selfishness to want to do what I want. But I disagree completely that she is a hindrance, a burden, or obstacle. If anything, she is a greatest task God has given me. There could not be a more important job for me to do in this season, and I wrestle with that fact every day I am her mom.
So, why in the world did I have a baby? Well, I knew I always wanted to be a mom. The title and job sounded so beautiful, and I have a wonderful mom who made everything look so easy. I thought it sounded glorious to be a mom, and babies are just so darn cute! Maybe I had the illusion that parenting would be fun–that this cute little person that looks like me and my husband would just follow our lead all the time. She would go right along with our schedules, our agendas, and just keep up with us. But parenting doesn’t work that way. Your whole life changes in a mere second when this human being enters the world and needs you ALL THE TIME.
Sometimes I try to remember what Josh and I did before we had Corra. I think to myself, “What DID we do? Did we just sit around all the time? Did we have long conversations about something besides what our daughter ate for lunch, what her poop looked like today, and how many times we’ve read the same book to her?” I’m convinced we didn’t really do anything very important before we had her because I can’t remember most of it. She has changed our lives so much we can’t remember life before her, and I don’t want to imagine my life without her. I love her. I love her deeply. God put her in my life to show me how to love like Jesus. I think, wow–this is what unconditional love feels like. I love Corra even when she is not doing the right things, on our hardest days together. She is the sweetest and most precious girl in my eyes, just like God sees me as His daughter (and Corra also). Even though I will never love perfectly like Jesus did, I see God using my relationship with her to teach me to love others better than myself (Romans 12:10). That is HUGE.
I believe we had a baby because that’s what we felt God next step was for our little family. It is beautiful amidst the hard. God knows why we had a baby. To refine us. To grow us. To grow our family and glorify Him in the example we set in our relationships with one another. Are we perfect parents? No, and we never will be. But I pray that God’s grace will shine through in the way we rise our children. That people will see Jesus through us–through our mess, through our authenticity, and through the grace He shows us.
Grace to you and all your peoples tonight.