My husband and I married young at ages 21 and 22. I suppose what you consider young is all relative to what you know and your culture (umm, look at Mary the mother of Jesus, wasn’t she like 13 or something?), but I only knew family members, aunts, and uncles, that married in their late twenties and into their thirties.
According to the US Census Bureau (2010), the median age for a first marriage is 28.7 years old for men and 26.7 years old for women, and most everyone I knew personally when we got married had married even later in life. So right off the bat, I felt I was a young wife, like “everyone” was looking at us wondering why we married so young, despite my confidence that God brought us together and was honored in our marriage.
Less than a year into our marriage, we were
shocked terrified surprised to find out I was pregnant. After literally calling the number on the pregnancy test box to make sure I was reading the lines on the stick correctly, my husband and I sat down on our living room floor and starred at each other in total shock.
Never mind that I had no job and we had no health insurance, this baby posed a big change of plans. We were on the five year plan: you know, have time to establish our marriage, enjoy our life with little responsibility, get a dog, live it up while we were young. My daughter was born when I was 23 years old, and at the time, I didn’t know anyone my age with kids. I felt young and inexperienced, and thought others were viewing me that way, too.
Why have I vested so much wasted energy and time worrying what others were thinking, and wishing things had turned out differently?
I believe both marriage and motherhood were undeniably God’s plan for me, and He is honored in them. I see that now.
I ache to think of how many years (YEARS!) I wished away, resented, and grumbled through.
I let the hard parts of mommyhood, exhaustion, more pregnancies and more babies, strong wills, sleepless nights, and the sacrifice of myself, overshadow the blessing. Really, I did not surrender to the plan of the One who made it all come to pass and ordained every day of my life (and these little lives) before one of them came to be. I didn’t receive motherhood as a gift, but held tight my grip on the illusion of what should have been.
That baby girl that welcomed us into parenting nearly six years ago started Kindergarten one week ago. Her two younger, silly, and crazy brothers helped bring her to class that first day.
And it came just as fast as everyone says, but I never believed it would. “The days are long, but the years are short” my sweet mentor told me as I struggled through early years.
At the start of this new season of life, my heart wells up to think how quickly those toddler and preschool years did in fact pass. And just yesterday, Sarah Mae writes these words, so true, of our one shot at this season of motherhood, “…The season of the little years, the season of the tween years, the season of the teen years. Yes, the season of our children being in our home. It’s a long one, for sure, but it’s also a short one.”
I can’t help but believe there are mamas reading today that feel more than a little weighed down by the diaper changing and snot wiping and bed wetting and feeding and nursing and cooking and non-sleeping that is happening in your home.
And I just long to give you a hug because in so many ways, I’m still right there with you. Two little men, one and a half and three and a half, that need their mama for all those basic things, and an almost-six-year-old who still needs me very much, but in some new ways now.
Maybe you’re beyond weighed down. Maybe you’re resenting the role. Resenting them? Maybe you’re angry. Maybe you’re wishing life turned out differently. Maybe, ironically, your own self is the greatest hindrance to you living right now the life that is yours alone to live.
If you’ve been holding on to a picture of life that is not the gift He’s given, would you let it go today, friend?
You can let your selfishness steep and the bitterness grow and find yourself five years from now wishing you’d just accepted what was always meant to be yours,
Or you can let go right now.
Raise your hands and surrender. Loose your grip and open your palms to receive the little blessings right in front of you. Release the illusion you are chasing frantically to gain the life He’s given freely.
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Heavenly Father, we receive your good gifts today. We resolve to not wish away another moment, but to give praise and thanks to the Giver of Life for every dirty diaper and sleepless night and challenging moment. We cling to your cross and claim your grace for these long days that make up short years. Our hearts, our hands, our lives, are open to receive, not that which we believe is good, but that which You have for us. God, we’re letting go of us so we can serve You. In Jesus name, Amen.
For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. (Matthew 16:25)
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I’m sharing My Hazardous Faith Story as part of a synchroblog connected with the release of Ed Cyzewski and Derek Cooper’s new book Hazardous: Committing to the Cost of Following Jesus.
Also sharing here