How cute, right? Um, not so fast. I'm not in the picture. Instead, I'm seated to the left of Emmy, who is holding the baby, eating horrible hospital food.
Wesley had just cried for her milk. Emmy dominated the brand new baby holding.
We lived in Tampa.
Pretty sure my meds had not worn off yet. Thank God.
Because I just had that little kid without drugs. BY ACCIDENT.
The drugs kicked in AFTER it was all over.
Now that I am thinking clearly, a full 18 years after Will's birth, I can admit:
1. We had no idea what we were doing.
2. I hoped the hospital people let me stay an extra day. Who was going to take care of ALL of those kids? Chris was on call. I was alone. We were 10 hours from home. Please. Somebody HELP!!!!!
3. Why did someone steal my shoes?
When we moved rooms, someone took my wedges.
To my chagrin, the sandals, which the nurses said made me look like I was NOT in labor even though I had delivered less than an hour later, were gone forever.
Our kids are older now. 22, 20,18,15.
It's still hard.
We still wonder what we're doing.
I want to tell you that it's ok if life finds you in that place.
The God who sees, El Roi, see's you.
And this offers immeasurable comfort.
Not only does he see, he gently leads us.
Even in our mess.
That reality smacked me about 17 years ago when I pulled into my garage when we lived in Tampa.
It was Founders week on Moody radio.
The guy speaking said, "You will never get this just right. You are not perfect. You never will be.
"But God is."
I was a relatively new mom. I read all the books that were supposed to help as we parented.
My kids refused to follow artificial rules people made up then sold in a book. The audacity!
Plus. Chris was shoulder deep in his GI fellowship. I was impatient, lonely, and exhausted.
In the garage, though, on that night? Conviction of my sin - my striving - descended, then a massive weight fell off my shoulders. My heart took flight.
There is only one who is perfect, and it's not me.
I remember telling everyone I saw for the next few days.
"Hey. Did you know we will never get things just right?"
What if we filtered all things through the light of His excellent word? What if I turned there first, not last? What if I admitted that Chris and I did not have the answers? But focused instead on the ONE who did?
Then, what if we pointed our precious, curly-headed kids to the one who knew them, created them, and pursued them?
That night in the garage sticks with me still.
It feels like 5 minutes have passed since that picture.
Today, I want to tell you what I needed to hear then.
I want you to know that you will make it.
I know. I hear you! How?
How will this shake out? Because this is hard!
When else have such tiny things humbled you? Little dumplings that share your last name and your 3-year-old self's temper?
When have you been felled by little voices that say the craziest things IN PUBLIC? (insert a giant dose of humiliation here)
When you'd like to melt into the ground, but you HAVE to get diapers and dog food?
Did you ever think someone could poop in the grocery line and THEN HAVE POOP FALL OUT OF THEIR PANTS?
Have you ever lied that "YES, of course, they are potty trained" when you filled out your preschool forms?
And we remember this, too.
God made you for your children.
His word tells us that He gently leads those with young.
Aren't you thankful for that? Especially on days when weariness leads you to the nearest room, to hide for a second? When tears are what's next because nothing else works?
I could go on. And, perhaps I will. But not now.
Instead, I want you to remember that you're not alone.
El Roi, the God who sees, see's you.
He is with you.
Which is why you ARE up for this.
You will make it.Amie Beth Shaver is a speaker, writer, and media commentator. Her column appears every Wednesday in 1819 News. Shaver served on the Alabama GOP State Executive Committee, was a candidate for State House 43 and spokeswoman for Allied Women. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information to [email protected]