Ten years ago I became a mother for the first time.
Ten years ago life as I knew it turned upside down and inside out and then flipped a few more times when we welcomed our first daughter home from the hospital. I was thrust into a new role. Nothing was the same. Life took on a new shape.
My identity changed. I was a nurse on a surgical and obstetrical unit. I was finally settling into my career. I had told myself that I would continue on in my education and career. I would settle into my permanent position on my unit. And I was happy and content with my decision.
Three days later, my period was late and with great shock, my pregnancy test showed a positive result. I remember the moment. I went white and all the colour drained out of me, then it all rose back up and I became flushed and hot. My husband and I hadn’t quite been married for 4 months yet. He was still finishing his university degree and we had grand plans to travel the world starting with the trip to Europe we were planning.
My husband saw my face, I was about to burst into tears, nothing about this was planned. I was shocked. I had not planned on becoming a mother. Dreaming of children and motherhood had not ever crossed my mind. I had recently recovered from a two year eating disorder and was finally enjoying a happy, normal life. And I loved my life. I loved my job and cooking for my husband and having a home to take care of. I was so happy, this was not a part of the plan. Matt took me in his arms and told me everything was going to be Ok. He hugged and held me and I cried.
I cried because I was shocked and caught off guard. I cried because I did not know anything about children and I did not feel ready for this. I cried because this meant no Europe trip. I cried because I was so happy with my life the way it was, and I did not want change. I had not seen this coming.
By the next evening, my mind and heart started to change. I was going to be a mother. I remember my husband and I looking at each other and this new excitement bubbling up and we were smiling at each other.
Matt was going to be a father.
I was going to be a mother.
From that moment on, life and plans took a whole new direction; and it was good.
We welcomed our daughter Summer home in October 2009. Matt cried when he saw Summer for the first time, and my heart swelled with so much love and appreciation for my husband and our new little family.
That moment was almost ten years ago today. Today my daughter nervously and excitedly took the bus to middle school, starting a new adventure both for her and for me and for her younger sisters.
I could never have foreseen how much motherhood would change me, and change me for the better. Sitting here and reflecting on my past ten years is almost overwhelming and yet beautiful. The largest theme is how I went from living for myself to living for my family. Every day is about getting them up and dressed and fed; making sure they are clean and have clean clothes. Making sure their needs are being met, physically, emotionally and spiritually; instilling love and morals and values into their hearts and lives. From cleaning up after them, to teaching them to clean up after themselves, teaching them to cook and bake, teaching them to love others around them as Jesus calls us to love others. The moment I found out I was pregnant I was called to the awe-inspiring yet relentless journey of motherhood.
I once read a quote from an unknown source, “Echoes of your voice will be heard through all eternity.” This quote has always stayed with me. The words I speak over my children, they will one day speak to their children and to their children and to those children. Your words have power. Today is my first time in ten years that I will not have children at home with me. My oldest entered middle school, my middle daughter entered grade three and my baby entered grade one.
Knowing my words have power in my daughters’ lives, I spoke prayers of blessing over each of them separately last night and this morning. Before my Lord and Saviour, I surrendered each of my daughters into His capable hands for this school year. I prayed blessings of courage and love, and acceptance and kindness and safety over them. I affirmed each of my daughters that they are loved by God and loved by their father and me. I affirmed that they are beautiful on the inside and on the outside, that they are strong and that no matter where they go, God goes with them. I affirmed that no matter how much they are afraid, God will be beside them and they can pray to him for strength and courage.
As mothers, we can speak love and courage and kindness into our children. As a believer, I will speak God’s blessing and promises over my children.