I remember the first time my heart knew compassion. I heard a cry from the other room and I went to touch her forehead which was blazing and I held her. It was the first time I held her to comfort instead of just holding in hopes that I could calm her long enough for her to fall asleep so I could too climb back into my bed and drift off.
It was about her comfort, not my convenience. And it was the first time.
And I remember the feeling because it was so un-natural to me. In a life of striving and pushing and attempting to not be bothered by the needs of these three little humans God had given to me in a hurry, I moved quickly by so many of their arms stretched out to be covered in comfort. What if I didn’t do it right? What if I broke them? Was ignoring their needs better than trying and failing? I didn’t know…so I pushed back the parts of me that would feel them as part of my own flesh. I didn’t have a clue how to receive someone like that. A lot of mama’s already knew it as their baby grows within them, but that’s not what I felt. I wanted to so badly. I wanted to feel them as my own. Instead, I remember feeling as though I had failed with emergency C-sections, scarce milk supplies and setting my baby girl safely snuggled into her car seat on my mother-in-law’s kitchen floor and whispering “I don’t even like her”. And every part of me wanted to run and never come back. Just leave her there because I didn’t know how to love her…and she needed me. And I didn’t really know how to do that. I didn’t know how to have someone need me.
But God…He kept me there. Whether it be out of pride or expectation or something so less admirable. He did. And I didn’t run. And every day He filled me up enough to pour out. I watched other moms dote on their babies, longing to hold them and smell them and touch them and I prayed I’d want that too. I prayed my heart would know how to love. And everyday I still have to seek Him, ask Him if He’d fill me, so that the overflow would spill on each of them what I am still so lacking daily. So if ever someone whispers applause for anything I might have done to love my babies well, inside I cringe grateful. Knowing it is all grace. An overflow of what He is capable of when I am laid down for Him pick up. For I know, I am only capable of giving what I lay down at His feet. I will never be patient enough, kind enough, sturdy enough to pour out myself without filling with Him first. And I cringe grateful daily because I don’t know how. The lacking that I have that requires to always need Him so deeply.