Mother’s day is about two weeks away, so I thought I would write a few post about motherhood and what it is to me as we count down to that very special day for moms and people who treasure them.
Last Sunday, I sat in the front seat of our Church with a camera in hand recording my two eldest children (girl-8, boy-5) singing Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone) together on the platform for the first time.
My daughter sang on stage in front of lots of people numerous times, she even entered a competition once. My son on the other hand, even though he sings quite often and loudly at home, this was his first time singing with his big sister on the platform at Church.
Leading up to this performance, I was quite nervous for them, because I was unsure how this performance was going to go. Even though my son is perfectly gifted in singing in his own right. He tended to be very stubborn, and could choose not to sing or not to sing with a smile on his face for any given reason.
I wanted this performance to work out, not only for the adorable and proud mama factor, but because this was possibly going to be our last time at that Church for a while and my children’s last performance there for a while. I thought that would be such a blessed way to say our good byes.
The performance went well and all my fears and worries once again were alleviated. I was more nervous than my kids were. They were perfectly calm and confident in their task. I thank God that they have that peace that comes from confidence and lack of fear, that peace that I want but don’t have.
I regularly tell my husband that my body, mind & spirit have been in a state of fear so long, that it does not know the difference between fear and excitement, worry and joy. It practically reacts the same way. My heart races, my chest feels like someone is squeezing my insides really tight, and I could hardly breathe.
I use to be a very fearful person, lonely, lacking confidence and faith in myself. The thorn in my flesh- the one I constantly prayed and ask God to remove. (2 Corinthians 12: 7-10)
Year after year, this thorn remained. I was so afraid. Afraid to leave my home, afraid to go anywhere or do anything. This fear translated into dizziness, slurred speech, blurry vision and the inability to move (frozen with fear).
However, I didn’t let these discomforts stop me from trying to go places and do things. The days I came home without incident or managing to push past these occurrences to do what I had to do, I felt very proud. Proud that I accomplished something basic, that people do without thought every day, like crossing a busy street or going shopping.
The days where I did not overcome the situation as I would have liked to, I came home hating myself, my life and angry at God for refusing to remove this thorn.
Becoming a mother heighten these irrational fears by mixing in some rational ones. I lived in the land of “What if.” I had to overcome this in order to be the mother my children needed me to be.
I can’t let my husband carry the burden of one extra adult-child to take care of.
I struggled with these heavy burdens since about when I hit adolescence. For many years I was confused and didn’t understand what was happening to me. Why couldn’t I function like everyone else? For me life wasn’t about living it was about surviving.
I was also very alone, because I didn’t openly tell anyone what I was going through, I tried to hide it and fake happiness and confidence, when inside I was terrified and panicked.
I first shared with my husband when we got married, then eventually I shared with a few others. This in itself took away some of the burden, because now I didn’t have to carry the heavy load of trying to hide my weakness.
In the early stage of our marriage, my husband and I struggled with this because he wanted a strong, confident wife and mother, but he had a weak, hopeless, depressed, fearful woman to console as best as he could constantly.
Then he tried tough love, which did not work. It only made me resent myself and him, and angry at God even more. He wanted me to snap out of it, but these issues where deeply rooted, and I struggled to find the roots to pull them out.
This continued on for years and years. I tried using “Midwest Center for Stress & Anxiety” program, then later counseling. Which I never completed, but did help me understand some principles behind anxiety. I knew what changes I needed to make to get better.
At one point, I even started taking medication to help calm me down.
In 2011, I experienced one of my worst fears. I carried a baby for 9 months, and 5 days after he was born, he died. This whole experience by itself is a chapter book that someday I want to write.
With this experience, brought about change for me. I realized that if I can go through this and overcome through God’s grace. God’s grace would give me the strength and power to overcome anything the world sends my way.
From that time on I felt stronger and more confident. More and more, I continued to feel stronger and more confident. As my faith grew, my fears faded.
God’s grace really was/is sufficient. No man-made program, medication or councilor could break these strongholds. Only God could break these chains and he did. Not in a way I expected but His way was effective, as He knew it would be.
I still struggle with fear a little bit, but more and more it is moving away from irrational fear to the kind of fear and worry that comes with being human.