Joy, Tears, and Change

Dear Evan,

One year ago today you and I saw each other for the very first time. To say the feeling was exhilarating would be an understatement. You were breathtaking – your ample red hair, your knowing eyes, the firm grip of your tiny fingers. I could talk for hours about that crisp October night in Minneapolis – how I labored in the shower and in the tub, how I munched on pretzels right up until you were born, how your dad unceasingly supported me through it all.

Before you were born, I anticipated that an intervention-free childbirth, God willing, would be a hugely transformative experience for me – that it would bring me to rely on the Lord in ways I never had before. But God is so much bigger than our human minds can ever comprehend. And His plans are so much better! As we lie here together a year later, your soft sleep-breaths rhythmically warming my arm, I can now see that He used not just your birth story, but your entire first year of life to transform your Momma’s heart and ready her for His purposes.

There is so much to say about our first year together – our breastfeeding struggles, your need to nurse hourly, my deep vein thrombosis, your preference to be snuggled rather than left alone in a crib, the weeks of shots in my stomach, Daddy letting you sleep on his shoulder anytime you need to, your first belly laugh at just 10 weeks old, my pelvic separation, your intense dislike of unnatural things (pacifiers, carseats, strollers), me being physically unable to walk from room to room, your sweet, sweet smiles, my foray into PPD, your precocious social nature, Daddy’s new job, your adoration of kitties, packing up and moving five states away, sharing sleep as a family, your love of hummus (and all food actually!), living with Grandma G.G., the way you light up when Daddy comes home, finally moving into our new place, the way you say “brrmmm” when you see, play with, or read about anything with wheels, finding a new church family, your hugs. Oh your hugs!

Certainly the past year has been a journey filled with joy, tears, and change. Certainly it has been one of the best journeys of my life. Certainly it has been incredibly transformative.

As many who are close to me (and several who have chosen to distance themselves from me) can attest, during your infancy I began to feel called to speak both publicly and intimately about the ways in which many practices within mainstream parenting are not God’s will for babies and children. Immersing myself in prayer, in the Word, and in community with other Christians, I was given a burden for the youngest among us. I can still remember when I posted for the very first time on Facebook. It was about circumcision. I knew people would snicker. I knew people would feel I was judging them personally. I knew I would lose friends. I still hit “Post.” God had called me, and who was I to ignore His call?

Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Just like that first post, your birthday is bittersweet for your Momma. While I praise The Lord for you, for our beautiful journey thus far, for convicting my heart, for equipping me, a simple woman, for His purposes, I must reckon with the reality that you will soon enough begin to sense that the culture into which you were born believes that babies and children are somehow less than. This will stand in direct opposition to what you are learning about Jesus. May God grant your Daddy and I wisdom and strength as we strive to answer your eventual questions about why children are ignored, hit, shamed, and bullied by those on Earth that love them the most.

Love on your birthday and always,

Momma

*This letter was started yesterday, on your actual birthday. It just took Momma awhile to finish it up. 🙂

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