All I’ve ever wanted my entire life was to be a mother. I’ve always been a big book nerd, reading and writing constantly and in one of my very first journals I kept as a young teenager, I wrote about how much I looked forward to being a mother one day, and the type of mom I wanted to be.
When I had my first daughter, I was still working full-time as a Registered Nurse in the Emergency Room. I worked three 12 hour shifts a week, and it was a perfect arrangement. I treasured my time at home with Aubrey and enjoyed my work, the challenge, the adrenaline and the camaraderie that came with being an ER nurse.
Things changed quickly when in a few months time, my husband accepted a job in Savannah, Ga., and I found out I was pregnant with my second child. Child care expenses for two kids were barely going to be worth me having a job, so we decided that I would finally get my dream of being a stay-at-home-mom.
We moved to a new state, where I went from the rush of saving lives three days a week, having friends to make play dates with when I wasn’t working and a regular roster of babysitters, to being at home, 6-months pregnant with only an 18-month-old to keep me company.
Anytime we had moved in the past I was working, or in school and always had a way to meet people. Because I wasn’t working and staying at home to avoid day care costs, I knew no one. My pregnancies have never been easy, and because of that I’ve always had a “no exercising while pregnant” policy.
I had exactly what I had always wanted, and I have never felt so alone in my life. I loved not having to leave Aubrey to go to work, but we had nowhere to go, nothing to do and her vocabulary was limited to, “Momma,” “ Dadda,” “Elmo,” “cracker,” and “poo-poo.” There were only so many conversations we could have without me losing my mind.
I became so desperate that I started going to the mall, bookstores and playgrounds in hopes of meeting other moms. But I didn’t want to be that pushy mom you meet and after only five minutes is having diarrhea of the mouth, complaining about motherhood, discussing her labor and delivery and generally scaring off all forms of human life. I wanted genuine friends. People I could talk to and bond with, and I didn’t think I was going to pick them up at the mall.
My attitude was awful and I became tired of being bored and lonely all of the time. I don’t know if it was sheer insanity, but I began talking to God- out loud, almost all day, every day.
Instead of standing at my kitchen sink moping about how much I hated washing dishes and that I had nothing to do all day, I’d start my day with a conversation with God, “Father thank you that I have dishes to wash and food to eat. Thank you for the lagoon in my backyard. I love standing here watching the cranes fly around. I am so blessed to have what I’ve always wanted. Help me to have a good attitude, Lord. I am so lonely and bored, and I don’t want to waste this time I have with Aubrey. Make me what I need to be for her, and for Zeb. Help me to make friends.”
I occasionally confused Aubrey by seemingly talking to myself all of the time, and from time to time I would catch her babbling away. “What it is honey?” I’d ask her.
“Oh, I pway Momma.” She would explain.
But God slowly began changing me. My insecurities about being rejected by other moms and not finding a place begin to fall away and I started really pursuing my interests. I joined a moms group and Bible study at a local church. I started a regular exercise routine for the first time in my life. And by the time my second child was born, the emptiness and loneliness I felt were gone.
The rest of my time in Savannah was spent building some great and enduring friendships but the people around me hadn’t changed. I had.
Our relationship with God is like our relationship with anyone else in that it requires constant communication. Have you ever had friends you’ve grown apart from? Once one person stops talking to another person for any reason, the relationship begins to drift. The less time spent communicating, the less you have in common, the less you know about one another.
God took a time in my life when I felt like I had no one, and He became everything to me. All it took was an attitude of gratitude and a willingness to talk to Him, and I finally began to see that He was all I needed.
Psalm 138: 1-3 (The Message)
1-3 Thank you! Everything in me says “Thank you!” Angels listen as I sing my thanks. I kneel in worship facing your holy temple and say it again: “Thank you!” Thank you for your love, thank you for your faithfulness; most holy is your name, most holy is your Word. The moment I called out, you stepped in; you made my life large with strength.
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