Thank you to all the beautiful souls who joined us over the past few weeks for our Anchored Souls series. I loved seeing God stir and connect hearts in ways only He can. As we count down the final days until Christmas, I want to share with you how God moved in my heart as we faced a big transition of our own: the welcoming of our third child. In the midst of the sleepless nights and the healing, He showed up. He always does, when we’re willing to invite Him in.
The Gifts We Miss in the Transition
She entered this world screaming. Arms flailing, mouth open wide as the first taste of air entered her lungs, she grasped for something safe and familiar. The cold, metallic environment of the OR was no match for the warm cocoon she was pulled from, and she was mad.
She screamed for five minutes straight as the doctors prepared to close my incision. I laid on the operating table with my arms spread wide, waiting for them to bring her to me.
She quieted at the sound of my voice. I kissed her cheek and willed myself to lift my hands to her, but they were still numb and tingly. I kept my face turned toward her and took in the softness of her features, the curve of her nose and cheek until the nurse took her away.
I looked at the clock and watched the seconds tick while they sewed me up.
Later, as I lay in the hospital bed cradling my new daughter in my arms, the nurse told me her second night would be the worst. More crying. More fussiness. I remembered the sleepless nights with my boys and nodded.
In my groggy state, I thought about how we grow up but our behaviors don’t really change all that much, do they? I mean, we may not scream like a newborn but we all fight against the unfamiliar.
We long for the safe, warm cocoon we were torn from as infants, and when unexpected change comes, we struggle.
Over the next few weeks as I entered life with our third child, I became like my crying infant. My body was healing, but I fought those who tried to help me. We stayed home during the first few weeks to protect our newborn from germs, and I complained about the holiday celebrations we were missing.
Images of Christmas fun on Facebook invoked jealousy. Even when I was tired and running on fumes, I thought about how it was the first year I couldn’t make our annual trip to the tree farm.
One night as I sat in the rocker nursing our sweet daughter, I felt God whisper, “You’re missing it.”
I didn’t even have to ask what he meant. I already knew. I breathed in the soft scent of her and felt my body relax and little. She smelled like Dreft and baby powder. Her hair felt like silk.
This was the last child I would birth. I could focus on what I was missing, but then I would miss her.
Her first smiles and coos. Those big eyes that looked up at me in the wee hours of the night.
When we fight through the transitions of life, we miss the blessing God is giving in the midst of it.
We miss the joy and the sweetness. We focus so much on what we’re missing that we don’t see the gift right in front of us.
As much as I hate to admit it, most holidays I’m struggling under the weight of other people’s expectations. The presents, the cards, the travel- it all adds up to someone’s hurt feelings or disappointment.
But this season God gave us a precious gift and said, “Here. Slow down. Stay in. This is all that matters.”
As the days pass and I watch our daughters features change like clockwork, I know he’s exactly right.