Friday, May 11, 2012

More Than I Could Ask or Imagine

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
~ Ephesians 3:20-21, NIV ~ 

In my formative years, I always wanted to be a mother.  I can't tell you why I had that desire.  I had no preconceived notions of what it would be like.  But I wanted to be a mom.

In my adult years, it seemed this desire would never become a reality.  My first known pregnancy resulted in a miscarriage.  Shortly after, my young marriage unraveled, and I found myself single again.  When I remarried, I also sadly miscarried.  A number of infertility issues were also discovered.  While God used these circumstances in my second marriage to draw me to a place of salvation, I would get on my knees every morning with pain in my heart praying, "Lord, if it is not your will for me to be a mother, please take this tremendous desire away from me."

Little did I know that through the trials of loss, waiting, and medical chaos, God was preparing me to be the mother of three tremendously unique children.  Had I not suffered in the ways I had prior to becoming a parent, I would have never learned that God was still faithful despite the incredible loss, that He would help me persevere, that He might have a plan that far outweighed my sadness.  I would have never learned to be more self-less, to be my own best medical advocate, to search for more answers - creative answers to difficult questions.

When I finally became a mother, I relished it in ways that only a person who had to struggle for it could.  I knew what a gift every day was.  I soaked up every little moment as they were babies.  I developed my own style of parenting.  And I was resolute in knowing why I wanted what I wanted for my children.

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would face the many heartaches of special needs when I became a mom.  Foolishly, I thought that given such suffering in trying to build a family, God would spare us any further serious challenges.  I had not yet learned the lesson that when God calls, He equips.

Through parenting children with a variety of special needs, the Lord has grown me into someone I never imagined I would be.  He knew what He had gifted me with and made me for.  I've found my "sweet spot" in following Him through the trials.  Never would I have imagined my capability at putting an IV needle in one of my children three times a week or more.  Never would I have seen myself as competent to medically assess my children and make major decisions based upon those assessments.  Never would I have seen myself exploring options and separating fact from fiction when using Complimentary Alternative Medicine (CAM) to treat my child with severe allergies.  Never did I think I would be teaching my kids at such a young age the faithfulness and purposes of God in the midst of life's sorrows.

As I reflect on Mother's Day this year, I see that God has, in fact, made this desire come true in my life in countless ways that I never could have asked or imagined.  The anguish of motherhood is greater than I ever could have anticipated.  I am not the perfect, crafty, activity-engaged mom that so many others I admire are.  Instead, I am the discerning, chaos-controlling, prayerful, don't-sweat-the-small stuff type of mother.  That's certainly surprising to me.  And the joys, laughter, and friendship with each of my kids are far beyond what I ever could have requested.  How often I watch them in amazement as I see how God uniquely formed each of their personalities, thoughts, and capabilities.

Yes, even without preconceived expectations, motherhood is far more than I could ask or imagine.  And this Mother's Day, I thank the Lord that He made me fit to serve Him and my family in this role.  Motherhood is such a precious privilege to me!

Pray:  Lord, never let me take parenthood for granted.  Through the good and the bad, open my eyes to the exceedingly abundant ways you are at work.

~ Barb Dittrich

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