I didn’t play with dolls as a little girl, I played with live crawfish and a pocket knife. I never dreamed of my wedding day, I dreamed of jumping on a circus train and when being a circus star got boring, I’d move to Africa and work as a missionary and tell orphans exciting stories of my past life under the Big Top.
I distinctly remember laying in bed as a teenager, asking God in ernest, “Please don’t let my life be boring.” And His response was, “Love Me. Follow Me. It will not be boring.”
I say this because I am often told things like, “You were born to be a mother,” “Motherhood comes so naturally for you,” or even, “Don’t you ever feel overwhelmed as a mom?” And while I usually smile and thank them and give a compliment right back (because after all I am from Texas and thats how conversation works) I’ve begun to give a more honest answer.
God made me into a mother. Actually, God made me into a wife, first. I was a child myself when I married. Looking back at our wedding photos I think, “Dang, I was young (and tan!)” That first year of marriage was rough. My husband and I were both selfish, we were newbies. We had separate hopes, separate expectations. We were mostly two people being married. (We did have one joint bank account at least, but it had a total of $79.34 in it.)
I believe that in marriage you lose a piece of yourself. (Is that too shocking?) Your identity changes and you become his wife, his partner, his helper. But you gain a provider, a protector, a leader, a life-long lover that places you higher than any other person or passion in his life. (Well, thats the goal anyway.) Man and wife. Our first year of marriage was a refining process like how clay is molded. Spun around and around on that wheel thing, and pieces are cut off, and then scraped, and it looks like a glob of gunk spinning and spinning. Until finally the clay is glazed, and heated in fire, and it comes out as a jar, or vase, or a fruit bowl.
After about a year, we had finally become a fruit bowl. God had molded us into one. I was finally a wife. A wife that wanted my husband to succeed more than I wanted success for myself. A wife that felt happy to make him happy first. We were a married couple that prayed together and laughed together, and really LIVED together. And then we moved to Switzerland, where I didn’t have friends, I didn’t speak the language, and where I needed a winter coat 3/4 of the year… and God said, “Look how un-boring this is!”
Just when you think you’ve gotten the hang of whatever task God has asked of you, He ups the ante. Like a super annoying Crossfit person who does 1,000 push-ups a day plus runs to the airport and back before breakfast. Just when you think, “Ok, I guess I’ll put-up with this yay-who and get into Crossfit, too.” Then, BOOM! They go Paleo on you, or full vegan and you’re left thinking, “There’s MORE?! Are you crazy? Do you actually have an 8 pack instead of a 6 pack?!” Thats exactly how God gives you new callings.
So there we were living in Miami, fitting into marriage, and then God moved us to Switzerland. And then, yet again, when I had finally figured out the Monopoly money that they use over here, and how to get around on the public transit, then BOOM! God said, “I’m going to make you into a mother.” Thankfully, it was a challenge my husband and I were excited to take on, because by then we had learned that the hard part IS the fun part. We had become those yay-whos that run to the airport and flip over tractor tires just for the heck of it. We were ready to be the clay spinning around and around not knowing what we were gonna be made into. We were finally a married couple that said, “Alright God, we’ll do whatever it is that You ask us to do, because over and over again it has been very, very un-boring.”
No, I wasn’t born to be a mother. Through prayer, tears, sweat, blood, labor, language difficulties, cultural differences, set-backs, and a 7 hour time difference from my home, God made me into a mother.
Also, I do not do Crossfit. I am not a yay-who.