I consider it one of my biggest blessings to have come from a line of Christ-followers. My parents are believers, my granddaddy is a southern baptist preacher, and it continues on down the line. Growing up, my family moved several times, but the first thing my parents sought out each time was the new church we would call home. Looking back, I can see that even though our addresses and friends changed, our faith and family of believers did not. This grounded me in ways I am just now beginning to understand as I grow my own family.
The desire to be a mother is one that has been on my heart since I was young. My mom always seemed to enjoy motherhood and her willingness to invest her life in raising us was and remains invaluable. My husband, John Michael, and I knew from the very beginning the Lord was calling us to be parents and to carry on this legacy of faith. I couldn’t wait to become a Mom! One of my favorite bible verses is 1 Thessalonians 5:22. It says, “The one who has called you is faithful, and He will do it.” This has been our cry to the Lord as we have embarked on our own journey into parenthood.
Parenting is the most humbling challenge I have ever faced. I am brought to my knees daily
Parenting is the most humbling challenge I have ever faced. I am brought to my knees daily and am reminded that it is not my plan, but the Lord’s that will prevail. We have 4 children; Adela, Luca, Myles, and Helen. Luca and Helen were each born with congenital birth defects, requiring extensive medical care, surgeries, and treatment. We questioned God and the calling we knew we had heard. These were some of the most raw, weak, and vulnerable times of our lives. Helen is only 6 months old, so we are barely on the other side of all of her health issues. Watching your child endure such hardship will leave you feeling utterly helpless. The only thing we could do was pray and submit each of them to the will of their Heavenly Father. It gives me chills just writing it. I knew that He loves them more than I ever could, so it was that truth I clung to in the moments of darkness. That verse from 1 Thessalonians still rings true, though. Even in the midst of utter turmoil and when your calling looks nothing like what you pictured.
All 4 of our children are healthy today, and we praise God for that! As trying and exhausting as the baby stages are, we are quickly learning that our challenge is only just beginning. With a larger family, it’s easy to lump all the kids as one big group rather than seeing them as the 4 separate individuals they are. They each have their own personality that must be nurtured. Even in such an early place on our parenting journey, we have learned that authenticity and vulnerability are keys to Godly parenting. We cannot ask of our children what we are unwilling to do ourselves. We are their biggest examples and they see right through our facades. John Michael and I want our kids to know the real us. To know our strengths but also understand our weaknesses. Our ultimate desire is that our children will not only know Jesus, but experience His transforming power and live in it daily.
One of the most beautiful things about our experiences with Luca and Helen is what were once some of our most trying days are now living examples to our children of God’s power to heal the sick. Helen was born with two heart defects. Our oldest, Adela, now prays for other children’s “broken hearts” to be made whole again. At just 5 years old, she is already feeling the heaviness of the harsh realities of a fallen world. She is understanding that she is human but through Jesus and the Holy Spirit, we have the power of prayer.
I am a work in progress. I take one crazy, chaotic, sticky fingers day at a time. I come from a line of believers that I hope will continue with my children, but that means nothing if I am not living in the power of Jesus every moment of my life today. The Lord has called me to be the mother of my 4 sweet children, and there is no greater joy or honor.