This is Not Hallmark

Shortly after bringing my babies home, I remember seeing pictures of other mother’s newborns on social media.  The sweet photos that everybody oohs and aahs over.  Especially those precious moments when you see and hold your baby for the first time after giving birth.  I remember feeling so sad and cheated.  I did not have any photos of those moments.  I did not even get to see my babies for several hours after their births and everyone else had already seen them by the time I did.  I did not get to hold them for days after they were born. 

I did not have any of those cute staged newborn photos.  My babies were covered in wires, IVs, feeding tubes, and tubes to help them breath.  They were laying there helpless in an incubator.  I could not even see their little faces the first time I looked at them.  All of our first pictures included all of these apparatuses. 

This may sound selfish but there were moments after we got home that I was sad and cried because I missed out on those moments so many other mothers get to experience.  I had waited for so long to become a mommy and I felt like I was cheated out of those precious first moments and memories most mothers are blessed to experience. 

I remember talking to God about this one day.  Not out of anger, just feeling hurt and sad. After pouring my heart out to Him and just laying it all out there, I remember clearly hearing in my spirit these words, “This is your story and you are not alone.” 

I then realized God was reminding me that I am not the only person this has happened to and some did not have the outcome I did.  This is my story, even the parts that hurt or were disappointing.  It is my responsibility to encourage other mothers who may also be going through this same experience. 

Sometimes our God-ordained path leads us through the wilderness of “unfair” and down the path of “not what I had planned”.   When faced with these situations, we should first remind ourselves of this: 

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.    Romans 8:28 (NIV)

Go ahead, cry out to God.  Tell Him you are hurt and disappointed.  Lay all of the emotions you feel at His feet.  He can handle it, even when we cannot.  It is okay to feel this way.  We are human and we have human emotions.  None of this is a surprise to God. 

However, it is not okay to sit and wallow in our sadness and disappointments.  At some point we have to pick ourselves up and give it over to Him.  If you are like me, you will probably pick them back up or retrieve them from His hands and roll around in them once again.  But, hopefully you will give them back to the One who can handle them once and for all.  If you let Him, I assure you He will do it.

I know it is easy to plan out the special moments of our lives like childbirth where they resemble a “Hallmark” moment.  Unfortunately, they do not usually turn out in that fashion.  For some, maybe they do, but for most, they do not.  Do not beat yourself up when they don’t.  It doesn’t make the moment any less special and it’s certainly not worth subtracting from the special event by mourning the fact it didn’t occur the way you had planned it in your mind.  (I am preaching to myself here also.)

Life is not a string of pretty, picture perfect, choreographed moments.  It is, however, beautiful, especially those moments with our children, even with the ugly, tear stained, frustrated, fist pounding moments all of us as mothers face.

Dear Lord,

 Thank You for the many blessings You provide to us.  Thank You that Your mercies are new every morning.  Forgive us when we fall short and forget to praise You and instead complain or feel disappointed because they did not occur the way we had envisioned.

 Help us to see each glorious gift You give us for exactly what it is . . . a gift from You.  Even when it doesn’t happen the way we might have planned or in the time frame we would like.  Help us to realize and accept that You are in control and You know what is best for our lives even though we may not understand in that moment. 

 Grant us the ability to accept the timing as You see fit and not how we think it should be.  Give us eyes to see Your hand at work, no matter the circumstance.

 In Jesus’ name ~ Amen

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