As I always do I put off cleaning until the next day.
I took down the streamers, deflated the balloons, disassembled the sign of pictures from his first year. Each picture a memory. A reminder that this year has passed in the blink of an eye.
A reminder that my son is growing up.
A reminder that he doesn't need me for nourishment anymore.
A reminder that this has been the best but fastest year of my life.
And that's when an all-too-familiar feeling came back. I knew exactly what it was because I felt it a few days after delivery. Almost a year ago to the day. Why was this happening again? I have no reason to not be happy. I am so blessed.
My mind started to run wild. I pictured Graham going to school, leaving for college, getting married. My mind started to fear. What if something happens to him? What if something happens to me and Josh and we can't take care of him? How much time will I have with my son?
Worry. Anxiety. Fear.
These are the things I didn't truly grasp the depths of until I became a mom. What little fear I had before I became a mother became amplified. I thought I would worry less once I finally had my baby in my arms but I was wrong. Most of the things I used to worry about became meaningless and minuscule compared to the significance of raising a child.
I used to worry about my weight. Now I worry that I don't eat enough to produce the milk he needs.
I used to worry about advancing my career. Now I worry that I spend too much time at work away from him.
I used to worry about not being a good enough friend. Now I worry that he'll miss me when I'm having a night out.
Worry. Anxiety. Fear.
I just wanted these feelings to go away. That's when I turned to the #1 person in my life who I knew would understand: my mom. And what she said will stick with me forever. "You worry because you love him so much. You're a good mother."
All of a sudden the heaviness began to lift.She reminded me that I'm not alone; all mothers feel the same way. If we didn't love so much we wouldn't care. The depth of our love can create depths of worry & fear.
Sometimes I wonder if we're supposed to have these feelings, almost like our motherly instincts. But then I remember that His Word says, "there is no fear in love." (1 John 4:18) Christ came in the form of perfect love and as it is written in 1 John, "perfect love drives out fear." We don't have to be afraid, worrisome, or frightful. We can trust in God to lift us up when we're down.
As a mom I often try to fix things on my own without asking for help. But I know the peace & strength I need can only come from Him.
The strength to enjoy each day with my boy without anxiety.
The strength to make sacrifices in my life to enrich his.
The strength to let him learn from his mistakes.
The strength to share my struggles with all of you.
My hope is that my openness and transparency blesses your life. I want my experiences to be an encouragement to you. And I hope and pray you will encourage others. I want us all to be blessed and to learn to trust in Him, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, at all times.
And always remember - you're a good mother.
With love & gratitude,
"Cast all your anxieties on Him because He cares for you." (1 Peter 5:7)
"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." (Matthew 6:34)