Too Fast! The past 18 years went by way too fast! One of the main reasons I chose to get back into writing was to process the departure of my first-born child. Let me tell you, it was so much harder than I had thought or anticipated!
When Daniel was born in December of 2000, I was working full-time at Hewitt Associates north of Chicago while taking full-time classes at Moody. I was managing all this as a young, married gal, and fully enjoying all the perks of the DINK (dual income no kids) life.
At his birth, I still had no real desire to be a mom. I had watched plenty of moms when I was growing up, and their lives seems horribly boring! They had to deal with bratty kids and horrible teenagers (and I was one of those horrible teens). Nope, no way, kids slowed you down and kept you from realizing your dreams. I wanted no part of that.
Then came his first night home. He wasn’t at all happy to be out of his warm cocoon and being a first-time mother, I had opted for induction which forced him out of his happy place before he was ready. He screamed the entire first night home! I will be eternally grateful for my own mother and mother-in-law who were there in our tiny apartment! They took turns rocking him and dealing with him, only waking me when he needed a feeding. I was in tears the next morning. I told my mother, “I can’t do it, mom. I can’t do this mother thing!”
Daniel didn’t sleep through the night (for more than 3 hour chunks) until he was 18 months old! It was a long time to contemplate the struggles of motherhood. I suffered from postpartum depression and almost nightly I would chant to myself: 18 more years, just 18 more years and he will be gone.
In those 18 years, God did major reconstruction on my heart. The sanctification process was brutal at times, but that’s how the hard, stubborn ones can be. A person cannot have their idols removed from the throne of their hearts without major battle scars being present. As I look back on those battles scars, I find them to be precious reminders. Reminders of God’s faithfulness to finish the good work He started in me. A reminder of my self-centered life being exchanged, or killed, for a life serving others. A reminder that my ways are not His ways and my thoughts not being His thoughts. A reminder of the beauty where ashes once were on the altar of my heart.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right Spirit within me.Psalm 51:10
The first time my complete change of heart hit me square in the face was 2009. We had recently moved near Fort Riley, KS and I was pregnant with baby #5. Homeschooling was a bit hectic that day and lunch was the farthest thing from my mind since this pregnancy I was pretty nauseated the whole time. Daniel offered to make lunch for everyone. He proceeded to pull out a pan, fry eggs for his siblings and for me. I stood outside the kitchen stunned as the feelings of “no, it’s too soon, don’t grow up yet, it’s too fast!” He was only 9 years old. I had no idea how often I would be chanting “too fast” as I watched him grow from this point on.
Too fast, the next ten years went by too fast. There is more to read concerning my ‘too fast’ reflection, stay tuned. But I will leave you with the song that inspired the reflection, and the torrent of tears, as I contemplated my son growing up too fast:
This is the first part of a series, Too Fast. To read the second part, click here.