The Desires of My Heart Fulfilled
I have always loved babies. I have always loved kids. I have always loved babysitting them, playing with them, laughing with them.
From the time I was a child, I had two main desires that pulsated in my heart. I wanted to serve Jesus, and I wanted to be a mommy. Even though I pursued other interests growing up, (mainly in the form of the Arts) my goal was always to be a wife and mommy. Marry a good man, have lots of kids, and raise them to serve and love Jesus, too. Since those were my main desires, I devoured all the books there was to devour about being a Christian wife and mom. I went through that stack pretty quickly, as there isn't much of a market, or rather, there isn't much to choose from when it comes to this genre. I thought I had a pretty good understanding of this subject- until I got married to a good man (goal one- check!) and started having babies. (goal two- check!) There was so much I didn't realize, didn't understand, and didn't know.
They told me that being a godly wife and mom would be hard. I didn't realize how hard. I didn't realize that it would take dying to self- day after day after day, messing up, trying again, and doing it over again the next morning. I didn't understand the meaning of being stretched thin. I didn't grasp the feeling of being overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the responsibility that now rested on my shoulders.
From the moment I said, "I do," my body was no longer my own. I was now one with my husband. From the moment I saw two positive lines on that stick, my body was, once again, no longer my own. I now had to worry about growing another human being. Every bit of food was to be considered, every supplement taken with care. Every week, the milestone was noted in my books.
They told me that it would be tiring. I didn't realize how tiring. I had never felt the bone-deep exhaustion that comes from nursing a newborn around the clock, or being up all night with a sick child. I didn't realize that I could function on sleep so little it would be considered a sleep deprivation study.
They told me that it would be painful. I never knew I would be passing through the valley of death with each child or miscarriage I had. I have never felt such searing pain that didn't kill me. I didn't know the human body was capable of losing as much blood as I did during each birth and not dying from it! I didn't think pain like that was possible. I didn't anticipate the amount of time that it would take for me to feel normal after giving birth. I didn't know about stitches and stretch marks and just the amount of wear and tear that it would put on my body to carry babies and birth them all- all eight with zero pain medication given.
Even though I was unprepared for all of the things mentioned above, I was also under prepared for what motherhood would do to me as a person.
I never realized that I could love so deeply. From the moment I got those two lines, I loved that baby. I loved them with such a deep, fervent love, that it's hard to put it into words. I would die for that baby. I walked through the valley of the shadow of death to bring them into the world, and I would do it again if need be.
When I lost two of my babies to miscarriage, I mourned for them. I cried at the loss that I had experienced. I had hopes for them, dreams for them, names picked out for them. Don't tell me that a baby is just a clump of cells. They aren't. They are a human being capable of feeling pain even in the womb, and they have an eternal soul.
I never realized that it would be so easy to put myself last on the list of priorities. Nurturing, sheltering, and training little humans was my full time job, and it was one I was happy to do. I had babies that depended on me for their very survival, and I took the job very seriously.
I never realized just how weak I was. I never had an anger problem- until I had kids. I never had a problem with patience- until I had kids. I never had a problem with being easily annoyed- until I had kids. Having kids revealed how much growth I needed to do in all of those areas, and how important it was to walk in the Spirit and not the flesh.
I never realized how much joy my kids could bring me. Even in the midst of a crazy, busy day, the babies will do something that is adorable or hilarious, and it brings such joy to my heart. Sometimes I wish I could remember these days forever and cherish the memories in my heart.
I never realized how blessed I would be, being a Mama. No amount of accolades, no trophies, no successes in life could compare to being a mom. God has granted me the desires of my heart.
I am living today what I dreamt of all those years ago.
When I am having a hard, stressful day, I stop, look around, and tell myself- THIS. This is what you wanted all those years ago, Cassandra.
You wanted the tiny arms hugging your skirts.
You wanted the smudged windows.
You wanted the sleepless nights and the sleepy cuddles and the tired bedhead toddling into your bed at midnight and the early mornings.
You wanted the sloppy kisses.
You wanted the jelly smudged table and the sticky floors and the crumbs in the corners.
You wanted the toddlers running in circles saying "Mama! Mama! Mama!" over and over again.
You wanted the small bank account but the large grocery bill.
You wanted the never ending demands of music lessons and new shoes and dental appointments.
You wanted the sons and the daughters spilling onto every available seat in the house.
You wanted the house busting at the seams.
You wanted the never ending laundry and clean up.
You wanted the bickering and the noise and the laughter of wound up kids.
You wanted the full house and the crazy and the chaos and the sheer exhaustion of it all.
And I did.
God gave me the desires of my heart.
And while it may be hard, it's the best hard I have ever done in my life, and I wouldn't want it any other way.
Happy Mother's Day to all of you living out the desires of your heart.