Learning to Live with the Ache
Sarah Bessey’s latest post about motherhood is sure to resonate with any mom or dad who can’t get enough of the newborn-baby-head-smell. As the Bessey family prepares to part with its crib after three babies, Sarah reflects on the ache of knowing that the baby-stage is over.
“Always The Ache, right underneath my lungs, in the pit of my gut, the ache of what that means and the grief of moving on, of love, of knowing: No more babies. No more nursing quietly in the night. No more flour sack of milk-drunk baby bliss. No more gummy smiles. No more tiny diapers. No more baby clothes. No more crib. No more baby wearing. No more new baby smell. No more of the millions of moments that knit your heart so completely to another small soul.”
And it’s not just the ache of losing this particular season, she explains. Each season will undoubtedly leave a similar impression.
“It’s simply the Ache of time passing, because this is what time does, and our souls are noticing the passing of a season, and it’s okay. It’s okay to let it Ache. It means we’re living and it means we’re loving our life as it stands, loving it enough to notice a transition away.”
Motherhood means so many different seasons for so many women. At iBelieve.com, there are many stories of mothers dealing with “the ache” – their own, personal aches – in their own way.
Cara Joyner reflects on the unexpected ache of resentment she sometimes feels toward her young family, and her passion to shed it and instead harbor Christ-like love.
“Bitterness has nothing to do with Jesus. Whenever I think I know a little something about sacrifice, I am reminded of what He knows about sacrifice...and He has given no foundation for the "holiness" of resentment. Instead, He offers love that does not keep count. It is a love that doesn't roll eyes or snap sarcastic passive-aggressive quips. Praise be to God that this love is big enough to cover my stubborn heart and that it means grace truly does abound. My prayer is that I will grow to better reflect this love and that it will in-turn spill over into the way I love to my husband and children. A love that is quite literally full of grace.”
In her piece Born in My Heart, Debbie McDaniel shares the anticipation, excitement, fear, and bliss of preparing for adoption and grafting a tiny new soul onto hers.
“Though there is great joy in adoption, there is heartache as well. We walked through the pain…through the uncertain moments…desperately wanting to guard my heart but knowing full well you had held my very heart in your tiny hands from before you were even born. Whoever believes that you must give birth to a child in order to fully love a child has most assuredly never adopted.
That amazing love that comes - like it was always already there somehow.”
And yet a third kind of ache was experienced by Laura Rennie when she miscarried her son at 32 weeks after a troubled pregnancy.
“On July 13th, 2013, I was the mom whose child was no longer breathing. Andy and I had a son, who we named John Andrew. He was 11 ounces, and he was beautiful. I held him and memorized his nose, ears, lips, fingers and toes. I didn’t scream with grief like I imagined I would. The strangest thing happened instead—I felt joy. As devastated as I was over the loss of my boy, I was happy and relieved that the time I spent holding him wasn’t the terror-filled experience I expected it to be. The intense grief hit me weeks later, and it has come in waves ever since…
‘Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and body with grief… But I trust in you, Lord; I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in your hands.’” Psalm 31:9, 14-15a (NIV)
Can you relate to any of these parenting heartaches? What joy do you look forward to in this time of transition, reflection, or grief? What helps you learn to live with the ache of time passing?
Debbie Holloway is the Family Life Editor for Crosswalk.com
Publication date: January 21, 2014