Last Thursday was a difficult morning, just rough trying to get us all out the door; a little rough trying to get the girls into their preschool; and then a little rougher after some tacky comments were made to me on the way to my car. As I headed back down the highway toward my house, choking back a tear or two from hurt feelings, I glanced out my window. The sun was peeking from behind the rolling pastures alongside the road. Love rays streamed across the hills and a large heard of cattle began running, full speed across the land. I’d never seen a big group of cows run like that before. Their crisp black color contrasted with the pale grassy distance behind them; they ran so fast. I was amused and slowed my speed a little to watch in wonder of their destination. From the front of the heard to the back I traced them with my eyes. I thought I had neared the last cow in the group of my gaze, but as they all ran on, someone lingered behind–a mommy and her baby strolled slowly after the rest.
I sighed with bittersweet emotion for that mommy cow. I thought of how she must wish she could run ahead with the rest of the pack like she might have in the past; yet motherhood is so precious and irreplaceable, she certainly wouldn’t trade running with the big dogs (so to speak) for this different way of life with her new little calf. How relevant those same feelings can be to mothers of all circumstances. Motherhood, planned or unplanned, may sometimes leave you feeling left behind. I know I lost several friends during my unplanned pregnancy. They didn’t know how to react or act around me, so many of them ran on without me.
I thought about how precious it was to see the mommy cow just walking at the same pace as her calf. She didn’t nudge the baby or pressure it on, but allowed her patience to grow at the same speed of her developing little one. I heard God whisper, “You’re doing a great job!” I let out a sigh of relief. I use to get offended when people commented on having a baby young and how we would grow up together. But now I have come face to face with the blessing of growing at the same time as my children. I have grown in different ways, become more mature and healthy in my spiritual life, as well as seeking healthy relationships, including friendships. My growth serves as an example to my daughters. No matter how old we become there is growth to experience. God wants to take us as far as we’re willing to be stretched and developed. And the reward in discovering who He is and who He created me to be is rich and satisfying. I long for my children to discover the infinite treasure God is and created within them.
Feeling the separation from what you have always known, compared to everything changing once you bring a new life into your world can be difficult to process. Sometimes hanging out with your old friends just doesn’t fit in with the schedule or lifestyle of having a baby. At the same time, you may have never felt more love or joy toward a human so small in your whole life. A baby really does change everything. And your dreams are still completely possible after having a baby, regardless of how extreme the change may be.
The approach to achieving your dreams and goals might look unlike your plan before becoming pregnant, but those dreams remain entirely doable. Sometimes new dreams are birthed in your heart after having a baby, and old ones morph into something you had never expected to desire so much. Whatever the dreams, they matter to God, because the same love you have for your little one, He also has much more for you. In moments of difficulty like watching your friends graduate from college and move into careers, while you are sleep deprived and un-showered, or as they fit slimly into a dress for prom and your belly has overtaken your ability to see your own feet, remind yourself that as long as you are achieving your dreams at the pace and direction God has encouraged you to go, you will get there. You could not get there at anyone else’s pace or with anyone else’s abilities or circumstances. The way He takes you to your dreams is unique and tailored to you and your baby.
You have been entrusted with a most precious treasure, to grow within your body, to cuddle and love, and experience life with along the way to your dreams. When you feel like you’re lagging behind the rest, know that God sees you and He is proud of the care you take in tending to your treasure. Soak in the love rays from heaven pouring from the sunshine as you stroll slowly behind the running heard ahead of you. And in the bittersweet moments of missing your faster pace, remind yourself that you chose life! You’re doing a great job! You are a great mom! You made the bravest decision ever and God will see you through to your dreams at the perfect pace.
by Jacqueline Fox