Thursday, February 09, 2006

What a Difference Nine Months can Make...

Ultrasound of a baby at five weeks gestation.
(Not our ultrasound as my scanner is offline, will replace later with our own ultrasound)

Elsa Marie Bernadette, nine months since conception - April 23 2005

Nine months since birth, 18 months old!
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Over the weeks as I have been watching some of my younger children gain new skills, and become more proficient in others, my thoughts have again been drawn to God and my relationship with Him, and the lack thereof that I have suffered through at times in my life.

As Elsa struggled with learning how to crawl I was drawn to the memories of my first baby, also a daughter, learning to crawl and I was struck by the difference in my feelings about the two achievements. Amanda actually learned to stand before she learned to crawl and I was so amazed that I grabbed my camera and posed her again, so I could photograph it for posterity – my first baby – already standing. I was such a proud mama!

Now, as I watch Elsa crawl away from me towards a toy – my pride is mixed with a tinge of sadness as I now know that this progression is also the first steps to independence. Soon she will be a toddler and then a child and before I know it she will be packing her bags and leaving for college and adventures unknown.

My little tinge of sadness as I watched Elsa crawl away made me wonder how God feels when we first start to toddle away from Him. It caused me to realize how different, in this way, our relationship with Him is from us with our children despite the frequent comparison of God as Father that is made with us human parents.

As an earthly mother, it is my job to raise my child to independence, but God is actually continually calling me back to Him and telling me to never forget that I am dependent on Him for everything. He will ‘allow’ (not make) evil to fall my way – so that I might find good out of it – namely, my need for Him.

These past four years, I have been continuously reminded of this through our severe needs and trials. Even when we came to the very precipice of despair over the fear of losing everything, God came through, showing us over and over that we only needed to lean on Him and all would be okay. Not easy, not necessarily fun – but okay. We began to be able to still feel peace – even when three months behind in the rent.

I remember how as a child, walking to school I would always chat with Jesus, my constant companion since I had been introduced to him when I was 9 by the Gideon Society who had brought New Testaments to school. I shared with him my problems, especially my troubled relationship with my mum. I told him when I was happy, when I was worried and especially when I was angry. That ten minute walk to school was very fruitful. I would arrive at school, refreshed and my problems forgotten until I returned home in the afternoon. Then I became a teenager and my attention was drawn elsewhere. I still had one eye on God, but no longer both on Him, and it made a difference.

Because my parents did not have a strong faith life at that time, I was not taught that as my dependence on them lessened, my dependence on God needed to grow and not decrease. Had I been taught this most valuable lesson – I might have been spared much heart ache. It is a lesson I have resolved to share with my children. I want, as my husband and I ultimately rejoice in the maturation and development of our children, that God is not saddened by it but instead is able to celebrate a corresponding dependence on Him.

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