Part Two of : The Hidden Blessings and Open Challenges of the World's Finest Art
On Being a Mom ~ A Tribute to Motherhood
by Sandra Carlton Duncan
Oy! What a mixed bag motherhood is! It is the highest of highs and the lowest of lows! It is a roller-coaster ride on speed! It is both glory and terror, one right after the other, often interchangeable, or even simultaneous! It is both thrilling and compelling, but also challenging and heart-wrenching! It is too much suspense, drama, intrigue, pathos, risk, spiritual responsibility, warfare and downright labor - per second! And I am talking about after they are here! Birth, as exciting and rewarding and adventurous as it is, is nothing, when compared to getting them raised!
As a young woman, having seen that "job" in the lives of older siblings, friends and family, I had loudly, even obnoxiously, declared that I did notwant that job! I definitely did not feel like I was "wife material" ("Submission?!! To those idiots?! Bah! Hum Bug!"), much less "mother material" ("Horrors, procreate with those idiots!?" lol I had a decidedly dim view of men-folk, in case you didn't pick up on that! "Bah Hum Bug!")! I was the Scrooge, the Grinch of motherhood! I seriously believed that it was NOT for me! And I think I can safely assert that all who - "knew me then" - whole-heartedly concurred with that assessment! It wasn't just a "low self-esteem complex"; I was so utterly unfitted for the job!
I had all the patience of a boiling tea kettle, the rage of an injured bull, and the temper of several drunken Irishmen - and a mouth that would make those same Irishmen blush! I dressed like a hooker, preached like a Baptist, cussed like a sailor and fought like one possessed! All I wanted, I frequently told myself, and others who mistakenly inquired, was a good education, a high-paying career and an apartment all to myself! I only wanted to be left alone! I wanted to need no one, to answer to no one! Hah! Obviously God had different ideas about that! Obviously, He won!
And in the final analysis, I am eternally glad that He did! Because, you see, somewhere, in the days before despair and devastation had utterly shattered it, there had been this lovely dream of happy family, with many children! How I had longed to experience what I envisioned as God's idea of what all this family stuff was supposed to look like! How I longed to find that ideal to replace the lonely, terrorized existence I which had! However, due to the severity of prolonged, regular, sexual abuse that I experienced throughout my entire childhood, (and the physical damage, scarring, etc. that it caused) that hope was cruelly stolen from me! Consequently, I had - quite subconsciously - developed a convincing "sour-grapes" routine to cover the pain of that altered reality, to hide the devastation of those shattered, cherished dreams - even from myself. It gave me doable, if diminished, goals to work toward, and numbed the pain for a season. It was an effective survival, self-defense mechanism of childhood, for which I am grateful, though glad to be rid of the need for it!
Naturally, at that time, I could not hope, could not possibly foresee, that God would redeem the dream, resurrect the "machinery", and put that ruined "baby factory" to good use! It was years, in fact, before I came to a place of spiritual growth, and a knowledge of what God had done for me in the atonement of my Messiah - that I begin to could entertain such hopes! It was soon after I had received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, at God's patient drawing and urging, that I began the journey to healing that would even make it possible! But that day did come and I did hope, and I did heal, and well, we can see how that has turned out!
So when I say, as I frequently do, "God's grace is sufficient!", I am not just prating out spiritual platitudes! I know whereof I speak! The amazing, though perplexing and often challenging, adventure of motherhood would have been only a wistful, far off, fairy-tale for me, if the Gospel had been only the fable that some believe it to be. As I said, it is a "mixed bag", as far as emotions, and experiences are concerned, however, it is an unqualified Blessing to be chosen as a steward in the building of God's Kingdom! But especially in to be given the high privilege of contributing to the process of reproducing, and guiding His creation! A process commonly called - "Mother-hood". A very common name for a very uncommon Art. The next part will get to some of the, "down-and-dirty", practical realities of this venture, so, please, stay tuned!