Wednesday, November 21, 2012


On our way home for a family Thanksgiving dinner before flying out for Ethiopia tomorrow morning, Cary said to me, "Every mile we drive gets us a mile closer to our boys." And I sank one inch deeper into the reality that I will finally get to hold the sweet little people God is entrusting to us, that in a week they will legally be ours. A little anxiety swept over me. What if I'm not ready to be a mom? What if I realize I'm not the mom I want to be? What if I can't do this? And then the whisper of a memory came to mind and it filled me with joy...

Not long before I was born, my mom was in the hospital. She knew it was time to deliver, but an unexpected rush of emotion swept over her - despite the joy and expectation she'd carried for 9 months, the excitement about meeting me froze. My mom slipped into the restroom where she actually intended to hide. She felt increasingly sure she did not want to have her baby anymore; that she'd rather just keep (me) inside. The fear continued to grow, and my mom began to talk to God. I can't do this. If this baby is going to be born, You are going to have to do this. She felt peace having given me to God, and very shortly after, I was born.

Of course, my mom has always been a super mom. She read and sang with us, kissed hundreds of boo-boos, packed thousands of lunches, encouraged and pushed us when needed, celebrated wins and coached us through fails... Her OB-GYN actually calls her "the child whisperer." But greater than all of that still, is the attitude my mom had from the start. Her fear wasn't for herself, it was for me. And so, she gave me to God. Her prayer for me was that I would get to know and love God like she did. There is a song that sums this up, and so, became special to us as I was growing up. If you've never heard it, listen to it here:

You're a little piece of heaven
you're a golden ray of light
and I wish I could protect you
from the worries of this life
But if there's one thing i could tell you
it's no matter what you do
hold to Jesus, Hes holding onto you

The world will try to tell you
that might is more than right
and beauty's on the outside
and being good's a losing fight
but remember what I've told you
'cause the world will make you choose

Hold to Jesus, Hes holding onto you

Hold on to Jesus, and cling to his love
rest deep in his mercy, whenever things get rough
and don't lose sight of his goodness
and don't ever doubt this truth -
that when you hold onto Jesus,
He's holdin' onto you

Hear me dear Jesus,
rock this little one to sleep
keep her close when she's scared
and give her grace when she is weak

I know she'll stumble, but i know she'll make it through
if you hold onto just like you said you do

Hold her Jesus, so she'll hold on tight to you
-Erin O'Donnell

God answered my mom's prayer for me. He's always had His hand on me, and now I'm holding on to Him. How thankful I am for that. Today I am especially thankful for the joy of thinking (hoping) I see similarities in the beginning of my maternal journey that were present at the beginning of my mom's. As the reality of meeting my babies grows near, feelings like the ones my mom has described to me about the beginnings of motherhood stirred. (Even if they are feelings of fear and insecurity - I'm just thankful to recognize a parallel.) The Lord has been showing me a lot recently about how much we pass from one generation to the next. And since that's the case, thank you Mama, for the example of the most precious thing I can pass on to my boys.

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