This very special Mother's Day edition of "My Story" is written by a client who has, over the years, become very dear to me. I love sharing in Collins' milestones at each session and watching her grow. I also love seeing the bond between Shelby and Collins- so sweet- and how strong of a mother Shelby is. Here's her story:
When I was a little girl and someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I always told them I wanted to be a mommy. That was always my answer.
I think that when we are little we have this ideal picture in our head of how our lives will turn out. The older we get, the more that picture begins to change, whether it be because of our circumstances or simply because we change our minds about what we want to see happen in our lives. And you know what? For some people that picture may not change at all. Things in the universe line up exactly the way they should and those people’s lives end up following the same picture they had planned since they were kids. Mine didn’t turn out like I planned, but it turned out better.
It was all super simple, really. I would go to college, meet my future husband, be stupid in love, graduate college, get married very soon after that, have a fabulous job, a beautiful house and then some major cute kids. I mean, what else is there?
Some of that happened. I went to college for a little while. I met a couple of guys I thought could be my husband. I got burned out. I came home from college. To my parent’s house. I promise this story gets better. I went to cosmetology school and started doing hair, and I loved it. I met a wonderful, handsome guy, and we got engaged. Finally, my life was starting to look somewhat similar to that plan I’d had in my head all those years. Until I decided I didn’t want to be engaged anymore. Turns out my Mr. Wonderful wasn’t as wonderful as I thought, and he wasn’t ready for the responsibility of something as sacred as marriage. Here’s the kicker. Are you ready? The very same week I told my family that there would be no wedding-I found out I was pregnant. The very same week.
When you look up the word “devastated” in the dictionary it tells you that its synonyms are “destroy, sack, ruin”. Those words pretty much sum up how I felt. Now, let’s get something straight. I was not devastated that I was having a baby. I was not devastated that my entire world was about to be flipped upside-down. I was devastated because I knew, in my heart of hearts, that this was not the order in which my life was supposed to go. Hello, I had a plan, remember? I was devastated because I knew that the responsibility of this baby would rest squarely on my 25 year old, single, scrawny little shoulders. Mr. Wonderful assured me he’d be involved. Of course he would help raise his child! But I knew better. Me and the nugget in my belly were on our own.
Now let’s look up the word “support” in the dictionary, shall we? You will find, “to hold up or serve as a foundation”, “to keep from fainting, yielding, or losing courage”. This describes my wonderful, giving, (sometimes crazy) but very loving family. They were behind me (and my growing belly) and loved me when I felt scared and kind of unlovable. I was so fearful of disappointing them. Who wants “that” daughter? The one who gets pregnant and isn’t married. Most importantly, I can’t leave this part out: How disappointed was God in me? Why would He want “that” daughter?
A few months into my pregnancy, after my guilt subsided, I realized how much God must love me to entrust such a wonderful, miraculous blessing. He was giving me one of His children to CARE for. I heard one time that children were God’s way of letting us know He hasn’t given up on us just yet. WOW. I was reminded of this often during my pregnancy when I found myself discouraged or sad. When I cried by myself because I wanted my baby to have a mommy and a daddy. Or when I went to doctor’s appointments alone. God spoke to me in those moments and I promise so many times I felt Him say to me, “Hey, we got this”.
Then, there she was. That baby I was so afraid of raising on my own. That heartburn-causing, middle of the night hiccuping, squirming baby. Seven pounds and eleven ounces of sheer beauty and every single hope and dream I ever had laying on my chest. I was hers and she was mine. You want to talk about purpose and will? I was often told by my own mother that her love for me was indescribable and that I would never know such love until I had a child of my own. Why are moms always right? Collins came and I finally saw the big, huge, open picture. I didn’t need the degree and husband and house (in that order) and then the babies. God had something much greater in store for me. If all those other things had come first then Collins wouldn’t be Collins and I essentially wouldn’t be me.
Has it been easy? No. Have I had pity party days? Of course. But I’ve had more good days and happiness than I ever thought possible. And I have felt more grace and more mercy in the last two years than some people feel in a lifetime. God has brought people into our lives right when we’ve needed them.
I told you this story got better: I got to be what I always wanted to be when I grew up. A mommy.