thoughts on being a mommy

I am not a mother.

Not yet, anyway.

As I've said before, Pierce and I were pretty ambiguous on this topic during both our courtship and the early days of our marriage. It wasn't until one Saturday morning late in 2010, as we were getting ready in the bathroom, chatting about things I can't even remember now, that I said something along the lines of "Well, if we have children one day, we do. And if we don't, we don't." And, with those words, ambiguity turned into something decidedly more specific.

Pierce paused and peered at me curiously through the reflection in the mirror. I noticed the sudden lull in our conversation and looked up to see my husband staring at me as though I'd morphed into some kind of mutant  (which would actually be kind of cool, but that's not really the point).

"What?" I asked, starting to grow uneasy under the intensity of his glare.

"You don't want kids...ever?"

I twisted a towel around my still-damp hair and furrowed my brows together, wondering who had snatched my husband while I wasn't looking and why this was suddenly of great concern to him.

"Maybe," I said with a shrug. "Not now, of course, and maybe not ever." Still the stares continued. "It's not like it's ever been a big secret."

Pierce made a "pffst" sound and looked away, leaving me to sprint through all the conversations we'd had on the topic to make sure I'd never heard him wrong.

"Hmmm...nope," I thought, counting each and every memory I could conjure up."I'm not crazy."

Up until that moment in our relationship, Pierce had felt exactly the same way. Or so I thought. The problem was that I had misunderstood him, thinking he agreed with my sentiments. Without my knowledge, he had always translated my words to mean something like "If we get pregnant now, then we do what we have to do. And if we don't get pregnant, well, that's good." We weren't ready then. I was (am) on the pill. I didn't want children at that time (and still thought I might never want them) but I knew God's timing was right on the money and no pill would stop Him from creating a life inside my womb if that's what He wanted. I understood, or tried my best to understand, the dichotomy of the following truth: I have free will...but God is always and forever bigger than my plans. And He could have very well asked us to be parents back then. It would have scared us breathless, but we would have done it. And I believe God would have fully prepared our hearts and given us everything we needed to welcome a life into the world and love it as He loved us.

But this little disagreement over semantics led to a huge fight between Hubby and I and a whole day of not speaking to one another (which is something Pierce and I agreed we'd never do...that was a big day of firsts for us). I had never before wondered if we'd be able to get through, and I went to work deeply troubled in my heart because I knew that, although we could avoid the topic of babies for a time, eventually we'd have to make a decision. And what if we couldn't? What would happen to us then?

Over the next few days, we talked more at length. To be honest, I still don't quite get how we misunderstood one another. It seemed crystal clear to me, as it did to him. But we are our own people and we perceive things differently. That's the nature of being in a relationship of any kind. We settled the matter for a time- with prayer and lots of conversation- by agreeing that we would continue to seek God's guidance and look to Him to shape us into the couple He wanted us to be...parents or not.

I'll be honest. I hoped, on the surface, that God would take away Pierce's fierce determination to one day have children. But, deep down, He was already at work in me and I knew I wouldn't get what I asked Him for.

I realized, around this time last year, that I do want children. Desperately. And it's a strange phenomenon that takes me by surprise over and over again. I'll see a child, or remember the days of my own youth- playing games and running around in the woods and climbing trees- and yearn for motherhood. I'm a romantic in many regards, but in this manner even more so: I believe that childhood is magic, and it's probably the truest form of intimacy we can experience with our Creator. And because I love my God, and yearn for Him, I long for childhood. I long for those experiences again.

And this is why I believe so many young women want to be mothers. We know what childhood should be like- even if someone took its beauty away from us- and we long to give it to someone else. We long to create and shape and dream, and that's what being a parent is all about. It's childhood all over again except, this time, we're able to ensure its beauty! We're able to give our babies the best of what we had and protect them from the worst. We might not always be successful, but we do our best. And our best is what allows God to move mountains and change lives and reveal His glory in us.

At its very core, being a mother (and being a father) is worship. It's discipleship. And it's a part of who we are because we are a part of Him.

1 comment

Daniel, Amber, and Naphtali said...

Wendi, beautifully written! It definitely is one of the major joys of being a mother- you get the wonderful gift of being a child again :-) Love you guys! Looking forward to seeing little Nunnerys soon :-)