My labor was fast. Crazy fast. And overwhelmingly intense. Contractions on top of contractions and two and a half hours later I was on all fours and my mind was in a place only a woman on the cusp of motherhood can come to know. And with the deepest screams all of that pain birthed purpose and they slid you between my legs and we locked eyes and I stared, in shock, at this stranger who I couldn’t wait to get to know.
In that instant you changed everything, and in the same moment changed nothing at all.
Know, first and foremost, that I love you deeply. And in the same breath know that I love God more.
That’s important for you to know. I can only hope one day when you find your words and you find your way you’ll look me in the eyes and tell me the same. In the meantime I’ll work, every day, to love you in such a way that you’ll come to know The Father through your faith-filled and deeply-flawed mother.
In two short months you’ve changed everything, and in the same amount of time changed nothing at all.
You’ve changed our lives. Our routine. Our home. You’ve changed our conversations and our priorities and our volume. It’s amazing how strategic you’ve made our to-dos. Tiptoeing and whispering and diving on top of our dogs so their barks won’t wake you. You’ve changed my heart. My capacity to love. My patience and my compassion and my empathy. You’ve enhanced my eyes for children, for adoption, for the hurting and the sick and the unloved. You’ve caused me to feel so deeply, I ache for the world to know this kind of love–this good, rich, dense love that makes me want to move mountains (as quietly as I can while you nap.) You’ve changed things in me I didn’t even know needed changing. You’ve brought the black-and-white to technicolor and gifted me with a respect and love for my own body that I never knew I lacked. Even with these squiggly stretch marks that slide across my stomach and tell a story of your growth. And with this pancake booty I haven’t known before. Every day I watch in awe as my amazing, imperfect body perfectly nourishes yours and I realize you’ve changed everything.
I remember when I came to know Jesus. It was just as intense as your delivery. I hung upside down in that mangled, shattered Jeep and in a moment of complete pain and vulnerability I felt a presence that was overwhelming. Crushing, even. And I placed my faith in a King who spoke so clearly to my heart that He had plans for me. And purpose. That I was forgiven and redeemed. That He desired for me to go forth and make disciples of all nations so that other wandering, broken hearts may come to believe.
My focus hasn’t wavered since that November night in 2009. And in six and some odd years since I answered His calling I’ve seen Him transform my heart, transform my life, grow a ministry, gift me with a husband and bless me with you. And in six and some odd years I’ve gone, and made disciples. And seen thousands come to believe. And, even though I’ve stumbled, I’d like to think I’ve walked my calling faithfully.
At times it’s been hard. At times it’s been easy. But it’s always been my sole focus and required all of me. But now, now you’re here. And, darling, you’ve changed everything.
Now more than I could have ever imagined of myself is required by you. My body. My time. My energy. My mood. And while every ounce of me wants to curl up and snuggle you and forever close off the hard and broken world and endlessly shield you, that’s something we simply can’t do. Because the world needs to be nourished just as much as you. The world needs the Word, it needs to be nursed by its life-giving Truth.
It’s important for you to know that before God called me to be a mommy, He called me to go and make disciples through His Truth. THAT calling hasn’t wavered or changed. THAT calling never will. You may have changed everything, but in regards to THAT calling, you haven’t changed a thing.
So, my love, the very best I can do is set the example for you. It’s going to be hard–it’s meant to be hard–balancing the two. Our mission field as a Christ-follower and our mission field in our jobs and titles and roles and all we “do”. But it must be done. Because I don’t think the mission field of mommy NEGATES the mission field of evangelism, I think it ENHANCES it. And I don’t think my mission field as an evangelist NEGATES the mission field of mom, I think it EMPOWERS it.
I can’t wait until you can travel with me and see me on stage sharing the Gospel and see that as normal, because it is. And I look forward to you seeing me, in the same night, curled up in the hotel room praying and crying over the people we met and the stories we heard and how this world is too crazy and overwhelming and hard. I look forward to pulling you onto my lap and explaining that this is life and this is loving people. The messy, the broken, the stressful. It’s all vital. And it’s good. In our weakness we’re made strong. Stretching ourselves to the point of weak is what we’re called to do.
I think you’ll learn from my mission field for work, and I think that work will be enhanced by my mission field with you. Because, at the end of the day, that’s how we must approach life. All of us. Understanding that there is a symbiotic relationship that must exist between the us of the world and the us of God’s story, and that He makes a way for balancing the two. That I may be your mommy, but you and I both are also daughters of the King.
And living out the Gospel is what we are all called to do.
So see, you’ve changed everything, but really you’ve changed nothing at all. Because I love you more than I ever even knew I could love someone, my angel. But I will always love God more than I love you.
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