by Chris Carter of The Mom Cafe, MOMtor Regular Contributor
The last nine years seem to be a long sleepless unpredictable and to be honest, terrifying blur. From the moment my first baby was born…came fear and helplessness and utter defeat. She came into this world in a panic, as the doctor said… “I can’t promise you anything”.
Those are never words a mother wants to hear.
Every moment since then has been full of those words… and constant questioning on how to care for my daughter. She has had so many medical issues I stopped counting. I still ache and stir over those long, exhausting and torturing years. I had no idea what caring for her would entail. I was desperately pleading to God for mercy and guidance…
It was one trauma after another with every new sickness and diagnosis. Each day introduced new suffering. As she entered this world…she completely stripped mine of anything predictable or peaceful. It was one hopeless and helpless journey of crises filled with angst and questioning. With each new season came more battles and more sickness and more doctor appointments and more medicine and more frustrations.
When my son was born, within weeks I was admitting my daughter (only two) to the hospital isolated respiratory unit. It was the nightmare that continued to unfold both with her and my son who was very sick as well with severe reflux and asthma. I couldn’t escape the darkness, and I was trapped in an endless merciless battle of fighting for my kids to survive each day…
I was living on my knees with desperate pleas and seeking solace from a life of constant turmoil. And as motherhood peeled away my layers of confidence, it also slowly stole my two loves:
Teaching and writing music.
Two passions that identified me and gave me purpose.
And as I grieved the loss of both, I found the sacrifice to be liberating in many ways. The energy I used for those dreams was now redirected toward my children. I knew this season of Motherhood needed everything I had to give. There was no room left for my plan, it was defined and driven by the relentless needs of my children.
I sacrificed it all. I jumped off my dock of all I knew and all I did… and dove into the motherhood waters flailing in the deep sea with the intensity and urgency of a drowning victim.
It was about saving us all… with no equipment or knowledge how to do just that. I embarked on this journey completely unaware of what it would reveal and swam in the cold dark waters of survival.
This school year has been the beginning of a “new normal” for my children and for me. All the surgeries and the specialists and all the procedures and medicines and diagnoses we have learned through the years… have finally taken us to this miraculous and beautiful place of wellness.
My son has grown stronger every year and my daughter constantly amazes me with her new health. Both are celebrating a new way of life of consistency and stability. I am celebrating each day with joyful tears and thankful prayers. There is not one morning or evening or moment in between that I am in awe of this wonderful and cherished blessing bestowed on our family.
I feel resurrected. A new hope. A new life.
God has restored me. He has used each trying day for His good and for mine. I am stronger. I am wiser. My faith has magnified in the depths of those waters. Our family is unified. Grounded. Grateful.
This year has been a year of new beginnings. New dreams. And I am dancing in the light of each day that I wake to live in them.
I am writing again… my music is a faded memory, but as time and my path have changed me- I find joy in creating my words in silence. A quiet I can’t recall since giving birth. It’s a quiet I crave and long for in my new solace. I embrace the essence of true peace in the stillness of the day…and the night. Something I lost for nine years, has now returned with a desperate thirst as I drink it in day after day…night after night…
As He pours His Grace freely onto me, I am drenched in His Love. I am nourished in the quiet peace of fulfillment. I hear Him say,
“Rejoice my child.”
If you are enduring struggles in your motherhood journey, and feel stripped of your own dreams and purpose… Please know there will come a time for restoration. And there will come a time for new dreams to unfold, as each season of motherhood changes and transforms us into something new and purposeful.
God will use your every day and every turn in your mothering journey. Have faith in His plan, while you face your moments of trials and lose yourself in those murky waters. There will be a new season. A new purpose. I know this to be true. How deeply I know this truth.
Have hope in that promise, dear friend.
There’s a season for everything and a time for every matter under the heavens. Ecclesiastes 3:1
Before having children, Chris Carter worked as a music therapist for several years in Chicago’s inpatient psychiatric hospitals. She also managed creative arts and recreation programming for four group homes. In that time of her life, she learned and grew to know the pain and suffering of so many people. She is now a stay-at-home mom and currently spends her days running kids to and from school four times a day, volunteering and keeping the house in some sort of order! She has a thriving blog, The Mom Cafe, where she regularly shares her mothering experience and wisdom.