Well, my sweet little Emerson just turned two years old this weekend! I cannot believe it. I have run the whole gamut of emotions - from happiness and joy to nostalgia to boohooing to "what in the world is happening to the time?" freakouts to more happiness and gratitude. The truth is, outside of Jesus, Emerson is the best gift that God has ever given to Trice and me. How neat that God entrusts to us this precious little boy to raise, who brings deep joy to our hearts and teaches us about life? Every day is a new life lesson when it comes to child rearing! AND WE GET TO HAVE ANOTHER ONE! Eeeeek!
But the truth is, I take this for granted. Trice and I got married on August 8, 2009, (FOUR YEARS AGO!), and we were on what we called the "five year plan." Five years of just us. Doing whatever we wanted to do. No responsibility. No kids. Just fun. All the time. If we were still on that plan, we would still have a year left of adventure and traveling and buying whatever we wanted before having any kids of our own!
BUT, God had a different idea for us. I got pregnant a little over a year after being married, and I freaked out. You see, if things don't go exactly how I plan, I have a tendency to FREAK OUT. Some would call that spoiled.... But I would call that SPOILED ROTTEN!!! I literally spent the first several months of my pregnancy trying to grasp the idea that I was not getting my own way. I fought with God about it several several times. Here I was, young and surrounded by all my friends who had not even gotten married yet, and I was being forced into a new chapter. Another new chapter. As if being the only married one of the bunch wasn't hard enough, we were now going to be THAT couple who had kids... And Lord knows that no young unmarried folks like hanging out with kids! (Later on, to my surprise, I learned that this thinking was FALSE. All my friends loved Emerson!!) Now, I absolutely cherished the sweet little body growing inside of mine, but I just couldn't get over the fact that I had to tell life as I knew it goodbye and step into this new role of Mommyhood. So I kicked and screamed. Like a baby.
Eventually, after several months of ranting on and on about not being able to go zip lining or travel to every country in the world before having kids, I finally gave up and decided to accept this new role that I would soon be entering. Pregnancy became more and more exciting with every day that passed. I would lay in bed and wait for my Emerson to kick and tell me hello. I read Psalms and Proverbs to my baby in the womb every day. I found enjoyment in preparing a nursery for Emerson and buying him clothes and getting all prepared. I read every pregnancy book out there and took every baby preparation class I could take. I finally got really really excited. And on August 16, 2011, I wholeheartedly accepted the most precious gift of a son into mine and Trice's life. I knew from the first moment that I laid eyes on my Emerson that life just got a whole lot better and sweeter. And I cherished my son.
The next several months I grew. I grew more patient. I grew more kind. I grew more loving. I learned to sacrifice in ways that I had never dreamed would be possible. I began to learn what selflessness looked like. I spent every waking hour with my boy, cherishing him, loving him, taking care of him and watching him grow. As he grew in inches, I grew in love. The fact is, although I did not "get my own way," God answered the most important desire of my heart -- to teach me how to love like He loves, to show me how to die to myself daily, and to be more like Jesus. I may not have been able to climb any physical mountains since Emerson was born, and it may take me 3 or 4 days to finish a blog post now, and I may not always get to keep my nails and hair perfectly manicured, but God has helped me to grow in ways that would not have been possible if I was living only to please myself. He has given me new purpose and new vision for my life.
I end this post with a plea for all of you who are in seasons that may not seem like the right timing (and as a reminder to myself). Be thankful for this season. God's timing is ALWAYS right. He is ALWAYS good and ALWAYS faithful. I know several people whose number one desire was to have a child and were unable to at the time, and I know several people who were not planning on having children and who got pregnant anyway. God always seems to give us what we least expect at the time. It is through these unexpected seasons that we can expect God to do the greatest work inside of our hearts. I am so thankful that God knows me better than me and that He decided to bless me with my Emerson exactly when He did. And that He has had enough grace in my life to bless me with another little child soon even though my attitude was crummy the first time around. Thank you God for the gift of parenthood, for it is through this gift that we learn more and more about how you love us endlessly.