"The past is the past and many of us need to learn how to leave it where it belongs. We all have the right and ability to lead lives that are completely independent from the dysfunction we may have been taught as children"
My daughter really was exquisite. Babies are amazing aren’t they? They have the ability to light up your entire world with just one look, that one little smile, custom made to take your breath away. It’s no wonder that women get clucky when they are around other peoples new born treasures. Even men get a softer look on their face when they are around little babies. I for one never felt this way about other people's babies. I was decidedly indifferent, in fact most of the time I was a little uncomfortable as you know what happens when a woman holds a baby; (especially if she doesn’t have any children of her own) People start ooohing and ahhing and “Oh Rebecca, you would make a perfect mother, when are you planning on having children – not too late in life I hope?” As if you didn’t already know that your biological clock wasn’t pounding ever so loudly in your ear. That not so subtle expectation and pressure from other mothers, or even worse – grandmothers, to pop out one of those little darlings was what got me running for the door every time. That and I didn’t know what the all the big fuss was about. Babies just cry and poo their pants. Everynow and then they bless you with a cute expression, but lets face it, its probably just wind anyway. Yes, I think it was safe to say that I didn’t have a maternal bone in my body. Until my girl came along….
I remember the first time something came out the other end of Faith. I say something because it didn’t look like anything I’d ever seen in my life. (Come on ladies you know what I’m talking about! – all that black and green looking tar!) We were in the hospital when it happened (Thank GOD!) and thanks to me burying my head in the sand and avoiding prenatal classes, I didn’t even know how to change a nappy let alone deal with the mess she left behind. I made my way over to the nurses station and said “Excuse me, but my baby has messed herself and I don’t know what to do”. She turned around and said, “The nappies are under the crib” and I replied “Yeah I know that but what I’m trying to say is that I don’t know how to do that”. I still remember the look the nurse gave me. Like I was some stupid little girl who had got knocked up one night and had no business having a baby. Actually I was 21 years old and I may have been stupid for not going to those prenatal classes but I sure as heck wasn’t in that category. Well I guess with all humility I must admit that it was only the age thing that she got wrong. Everything else she was probably assuming was true. I was highly embarrassed when this revelation hit me, and it did my pride in a real whopper but there wasn’t much else I could do at that exact point in time.
I remember those first few days and weeks so vividly. God must have been walking beside us every step of the way as taking my baby home to an empty house and having no idea what I was doing, was probably not the best way to start such an important relationship. I had my mattress on the ground, and my newborn baby sleeping in a cane washing basket right next to my head. I couldn’t stand the thought of not hearing her breathe. The greatest thing I struggled with during these times was the cold faced reality that I was walking this path alone without the comfort of a loved one by my side. At times I would cry quiet tears as I didn’t want to show weakness – even to a newborn baby. I remember many times sitting on the side of my bed, just wishing for someone to just hold my hand or rub my back or tell me everything was going to be alright. I guess I was just exhausted and craved comfort and reassurance. My God, my Father was awesome in that place, and I believe I would never have made it through those desperate times if it weren’t for Him. When times became too intense I would pick my baby up, turn on the stereo and sing quietly along with Hillsong, “Power of Your Love”. Those moments were so special, and I believed Faith felt the Holy Spirit ministering to us during this time just as much as I did. Her early days were filled with the sound of praise and worship because that was the only thing that fortified my life.
Well I feel like I should say something Godly or spiritual right about now just to be consistent, but well the truth is, babies are just like that. They look all innocent and helpless but I tell you the truth!! They can turn your life inside out if you give them half a chance. Give them an inch and they will take ten thousand miles. I’m just kidding (well sort of). All humor aside, children are an amazing gift from God and it is my understanding that they come not just to be taught, but to teach. It is amazing what you learn from a child. Jesus said “Let the little children come to me, Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these”. Mark 10:14. Why is this statement so true and so significant? Because the younger the child, the less likely they have been tainted by the world – or our stupid mistakes. Because lets face it, children often follow by our example. They represent innocence and have the ability to reintroduce us to that concept. They can let go of that which offends them and forgive those who hurt them in a drop of a hat. They have a kind of faith that ensures entry into the Kingdom of God. Their hearts are pure and their minds are empty vessels. We as parents have the ability to fill those little minds up with whatever we choose to and our children have the ability to demonstrate pure love, forgiveness, grace, innocence, and a heart that is desperate to please. Its no wonder why God points to children as an example that best represents His heart and His kingdom.
My baby girl always did and still does represent Christ to me. I know she is not perfect, especially as she grows older and is more subject to the world she lives in but she has many holy qualities that speak louder than any of those impositions. I can’t pretend to know exactly what God has in store for her future but whatever it is it will be glorious as her life has been dedicated and set apart unto the Lord. She belongs to Him and it is with this knowledge that I rest.