Do you know how hard it is to die to yourself? Impossibly difficult. I mean seriously. I have a fresh perspective. I now, through having a baby, realize who Jesus really is and what "death to self" actually means. And it took all of me to realize it.
We think marriage does that. Yes, there are hard days, but most of us dressed up in a gorgeous dress, got a pretty ring, and have a few disagreements and moments where we surrender even if we are right and choose the way together, not our own way (for the record, my husband is nearly always right, I learned this early). But for the most part, you mainly get glimpses and not the full reality...until being a mom comes into the picture.
If you don't know Him and are a mom, here is a quick connection you now have: Jesus was God incarnate (meaning the last thing He ever needed to do was to become human, mortal and be beat up, abused, scoffed/mocked, spat upon, etc). He chose to die for us because of the joy that was set before Him in being able to make us right with God (we are all sinners...well at least I haven't met a perfect person yet:)). And this is where the mom thing comes in:
It is the GREATEST thing in the world. But also the HARDEST. Truly, in order to be great at it, you have to die to any desires you have and pour EVERYTHING into it. EVERYTHING. I remember going through labor thinking, "This is the only thing in life I cannot quit." If you have been through labor (and I was induced...icky), you know what I mean. It is the worst pain in the world and there is no going back. At all. It's not like you can just say, "I will wait til' tomorrow, k?"
That's Jesus. He knew the pain He would suffer but knew we were worth it. WORTH everything. Worth life.
This is how I feel about my daughter. She cried for two straight hours last night and I was beat. On the floor crying actually because I had no idea what else to do. So I started singing, worship music. She fell asleep.
I died to myself, once again, and her beauty and rest arose from it. Just like what happens when we realize that Jesus alone is the one who died for us and loves us UNCONDITIONALLY.
It was the end of Himself that led to the abundance we get to live. And I pray I am the exact same for my daughter. Our daughter. Our beautiful promise of a little girl.
Ruth Charlotte, you rock. And I promise to continually put you above myself.
I love you, baby girl. And Jesus loves you more (it seems impossible but I know it to be true).
And to the darling girl in Georgia who emailed me, you blessed my heart beyond measure. Oh how the God of the universe spoke to me through the encouragement of a 22 year old :)
Love, Anna N