Today I want to share a little about when I gave birth to my first daughter. I was 20 years old when I had Ariana. Yes 20!! -that’s my youngest current age! Although young, my hearts desired was to be a young mother, and what a gift it was to have a daughter.
I remember when Ariana was born I had no idea what to expect, since I’m the youngest in my family. I didn’t have the experience with many newborns. All I knew was that I was responsible for her. The day we were scheduled to leave the hospital I needed to change her into her outfit, and I remember not knowing how to dress her, so I asked one of my ex-husbands aunt if she could help me? I remember looking at her and telling her “I don’t know how I’m going to do this?” in which she responded with words that spoke life into me.
“don’t worry, it will come naturally, and you will be a great mom”
I didn’t know it at the time, but those words helped me trust that God had given me everything I needed to be the mother my daughter would need. Fast forward to 11 months later, I gave birth to my second child, Ana. Yes ladies, I had what I later learned are called Irish twins. At this point not only was I still a new mom but now I was a single mom with 2 girls under a year. More about this on another post… Although some may say “See this is why you don’t have children at a young age” or “this is why you shouldn’t get married early in life”. Going through a divorce and having 2 children by the age of 21 made me realize that life was difficult. Fast-forward 21 year, guess what? life is still difficult… Yet, what has changed is perspective. What I know at this point is that when you fall you get back up and keep moving along. This doesn’t mean that the scars from the fall go away, or that you will never fall again, but these moments teach you that there is something inside of your being that was created to be more than you ever thought you were.While I was still pregnant with my second daughter I signed up for college. I truly don’t remember what my first class was, but I knew at that time that I needed to work towards something. At this point in my life I was starting to become extremely self-sufficient and relying on my own strength, with the exception of my parents help to care for my girls while I worked and went to school. At some point (I don’t quite remember dates as I was living on the go at this point) I completed the per-requisites for the nursing program and submitted my application to be accepted into the program, while waiting I worked in the banking industry and went to school to complete my general education. During this time the girls grew up, spending time with their father every other weekend. This was not easy for them nor me but this was where we were at. I was finally accepted into the nursing program, and it was time for me to quit my full-time banking job and fully commit to nursing-school. My parents too had to commit to taking over the girls and supporting me so that I could complete the program. 2.5 years later I completed the nursing program (I failed one class and was kicked out of the program for one semester-this was so challenging to overcome), however it made me see just how much I really wanted to become a registered nurse. I finally got back to the program and completed it December 2011. At this point the girls were 8 and 9 years old.
9 years as a mother and many times I felt like I failed, because I missed most if not all of their milestones like sitting for the first time, walking on their own, their first tooth falling. I had nights where I missed putting them to bed because I had to work on some school paper. I missed getting them ready in the morning for school because I had to be out the door by 5 am to get to clinical out in San Clemente by 6am. When mom’s say “the struggle is real” boy, do I understand those words. Life was the busiest I had ever experienced. Yet somehow all of this seemed worth it, I wanted to teach my girls that women can work hard and achieve whatever they set their minds to. I wanted them to know that being dependent on anyone was not the way to go. Like I said on my previous post, life has a way of showing you the things you are wrong in. Here I sit reflecting on how God has a way of displaying how infinitely wise He is, by allowing us to go through life thinking we have control over all these little and big things, only to teach us that He has been the one to sustain everything we have in life.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,Isaiah 55: 8-9
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
“what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?”Psalm 8:4 NIV
Today Ariana turns 21 and Ana just turned 20, they are both in college and working towards getting an education. I don’t want my girls to think the way I did back then. I don’t want them to become so independent that they think they are in control. I want them to know Who sustains them, Who provides for them, Who showers them with grace and mercy. I want them to know that
“The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and its gone, and its place remembers it no more. But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear Him, and righteousness with their children’s children-“Psalm 103:15-17 NIV
So my sweet friends, you may be feeling the struggle of being a mom or the struggle of your season as a young woman in college. You may feel like you are running out of time, running from one place to another and can’t keep up, you may even think that you are failing your children, your husband, or your purpose. I want to encourage you the way I was encouraged at the hospital when I couldn’t even think of how I would take care of my new born. Here are some life giving words: Today is a new day, today the truth can set you free from feeling like you are less than what you were meant to be. Let God’s truth, His words be the ones to wash over you and define you.
“Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.”Lamentations 3:22-23 NKJV
Yes, He fails us not! He is able to renew your mind and strengthen you. Give this day back to the Lord and see how He carries you through what lies ahead. May we allow God to step into our life and change what we think are failures and use them for His glory, may we be women who speak life into those who haven’t heard what great mothers they are or how great God created them to be.
Leave me a note of how someone encouraged you and how that made a difference in your life.