For as long as I can remember, I have been in pursuit of excellence. No matter the arena, the game plan was the same: climb as high as I could, as fast as I could. I wanted to make a name for myself, as someone who worked hard and achieved great things.
So when my first grade teacher gave out a coloring sheet that said “If you ran the circus, what would you be?” Other kids were writing “Lion Tamer” and “Tight Rope Walker.” I wrote “Ringmaster.” Because that was the correct answer to the question (very technical 7 year old, apparently) and because even then, I knew I wanted to lead.
In third grade I dressed up as a Principal for career day. Later, as an athlete, I strived to be both the captain and the MVP.
My dreams evolved but the lofty aspirations always remained. Eventually I finished my education, and told anyone who asked that I was a children’s librarian, but my ultimate goal was to be a public library director.
So when I decided to stay home, you can imagine all the visions of success and superstardom, dancing in my head.
Then you arrived. And I waltzed into motherhood with all the composure of a bug in a bathtub. There was a lot of scurrying and flailing and general dying.
Because for the first time, whether I succeeded or failed would directly affect someone other than me. God gave me exactly what I wanted: a perfect, healthy baby. And when I looked into your innocent eyes I felt the weight of the world come crashing down on my heart.
The first few months of your life, the phrase “Oh son, what have I done.” crossed my mind a thousand times. I would turn on the TV or pull up Facebook and the news would bring me to tearful knees.
I wanted you. I wanted a family. I dreamed of your Christmas stockings, Halloween costumes, park adventures and sunset walks. I couldn’t wait to watch you grow. But suddenly all that felt so selfish.
This earth is full of beauty, but it is also overflowing with evil. Wars of every kind sprinkle, in some places flood, the landscape. Whether you choose to fight injustice/terror/whatever on your own, or it comes knocking on your door, at some point you will encounter the ugly truths that accompany living in a fallen world. And it will hurt you.
That’s not what I focused on when I planned for you, but it’s all I could think about when I held you.
Then at the height of my inner turmoil (as I was contemplating homeschooling and work-from-your-mama’s-home careers), I found this poster for your room.
Which lead a friend to send me this blog.
What they have in common is the “You were born for such a time as this” bible reference.
Messages from heaven, reminding me that yes, you are mine and I am yours. But we were both made by God, in His image, for a purpose, first. He brought you, your dad, and I together because we each have something the others need to effectively fulfill those purposes.
So while it is my job to protect you from avoidable harm, it is not His will that I let fear be the guiding force in my parenting. You can’t be a world changer if you’re locked up and hidden from danger. As much as I love you, God loves you more. Far be it from me to block the path He laid out for you.
Motherhood comes with some heavy emotional burdens, but it also brings such hope. I don’t know yet what you were put here to do, but I know you were created for a time such as this. I promise to set aside my worry and pick up courage, as I do all I can to support you.
Godspeed, Little Man.
I love you.
Who is this angel, sent here to change me,
Sent here to take me where I’ve never been?
Long I have wandered, weary and waiting,
For something to shake me and life to begin.
Holy water from my own veins,
Come and save me where I lay.
All this longing for beauty unnamed.
It has broken me open to welcome the hope that you bring.