The Stories We Share

By: Ms. O

I am not sure why we do it….it seems to come so naturally. Perhaps it is to let someone else know they are not alone…that you have shared that same struggle…and survived. Maybe to let it be known you are a survivor…you have earned your stripes…part of the “club”. What I have come to realize is that as we “share”, the joy is at times lost…in the story.

The happening… sharing…. takes place when someone has a baby. The story swapping of sleepless nights, colic filled hours, potty training disasters, terrible two’s, tiresome threes….the list goes on. The tales flow from our lips….commiserating the battle we fought to raise our children…and come out with half a brain and most of our nerves intact. We speak freely of spit/vomit/poo soiled clothing….trading a fashionable purse for a functional diaper bag….clothes that never fit the same again. I can’t even go into the teenage years…

What I have come to realize is I was missing the forest because of the trees….so caught up with the hurdles that I forget to mention the fact that of how much I miss the scenery along the way. There is much joy in the journey…which makes it all worthwhile… everything we go through as parents.

I can still “smell” the scent of my babies snuggled under my chin, looking for the safety that only a parent can give. I loved those times that I had when only “mommy” would do…when I was their do all end all. I miss their little voices calling my name…seeking me out…touching base to make sure I was still “around”.  I have long ago gotten rid of the maternity clothes but I still remember the feeling of carrying my children in my body….that sweet joy of knowing you share breath and life.

There were times that I felt my heart would burst with pride as I watched my children graduate….go on to college…live on their own…find their own way. Sure, I have been part of their packing and moving but I also know that they are separate entities now…what is supposed to happen…and I got to witness it. The struggles were there…but those moments caught in time remind me that parenting changes “faces”…it is still…parenting.

This blessing we are given as parents is so utterly humbling. God trusts us to raise “His” child…His gift….and His desire is that we not just “get through it” but more so remember the moments…the joy filled moments…that linger only when we make a point of reminiscing.

“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18

To put it plainly, I would do it all over again…and again…because it showed God’s character…in me. I am in awe of what I got to experience…those captured moments of accomplishment that served to reveal God’s faithfulness.

God has more confidence in us that we can ever imagine. He has made us to endure the tough times but even better than that…He softened our hearts to take in the joy of the moment as we “fight the good fight”. I am amazed when I look back and take in the full picture…realizing that there is a season for everything but no season is lived alone.

As God assured me that I will make it through long nights…. whether it was with an infant who would not go to sleep or waiting for my teenager to make it home safe…to take in whole picture….the joy of knowing I was part of it all. God revealed to me that He created me for the long haul….and to enjoy the struggle because I won’t pass through it again….it is a season…and it’s gone.

It is fine to share our stories…it connects us…assures others…ourselves….that God is in control. There were times I wondered if I would make it…and I look back now and laugh at my very “young” view….because He fashioned me to not only make it…but also to rejoice in it all.

One day I will sit at my Saviors feet and I will share my joy in the journey we walked together…knowing that it is the mix that makes it so wonderfully worth it. Praise be to God from Whom all blessings flow.  Amen.