The wind blew as we gathered around the graveside, and I watched this large, beautiful family say goodbye to their beloved grandmother. There was sadness and there were tears, but the most striking thing was the togetherness laced in, around, and among every emotion and experience of the day. Watching this family, buoyed by their togetherness, prompted a light bulb moment and sent my mind traveling back to my first wrestling match with a big mom fear.
“How can I possibly love my second baby as much as my first?”
“Is there enough of me for both of them?”
“Will having another baby rob the ones I already have of what they deserve?”
I had heard it said that the best gift you can give your child is a sibling. My oldest was only nine months old when I found out number two was going to join our family sooner than my master plan called for. I felt I was just beginning to get my “mom sea legs” and being a mom to two was a bigger challenge than I could get my head around. Everything felt like too much. Two in diapers—too much. Two schedules—too much. Two car seats, doctor appointments, piles of laundry—too much. Two little minds and hearts depending on me to help them grow up strong and healthy, two sets of eyes looking at me for how to see the world—way too much.
I wanted more than anything to feel only excited anticipation for this new little life. After all, we always planned to have more children; the only surprise was how soon more became our reality. Why the cold pit of fear in my chest? And more importantly, how could I make it go away?
The fear came from my age-old Achilles heel: living as if everything depends on me. As I had done before, I was importing my old way of living into this new area of my life. My default is to expect God to be transactional. I obey. He rewards. He gives mercy and power, but only when I deserve it somehow. If you asked me if this is how God works I would reply with an emphatic “no.” I know he’s not at all like that. My head understands and believes what the Bible says about grace.
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