I was feeling nostalgic about motherhood this morning and decided to look through pictures.
One of the biggest life lessons this journey has taught me is this:
Having someone believe in you, even when you don't believe in yourself, is more powerful than you can dare to imagine.
When I was a little girl growing up, I don't remember pretending to be a Mommy with my dolls.
I was more into the fashion accessories for my Barbies...all those cute bits and pieces, so fun!
I honestly didn't think I would make a good Mom.
As the baby of the family, I was far too self-absorbed and selfish to make a good Mom.
I needed my entire family taking care of me, how could I ever be in charge of taking care of someone else?
At 25 years old, when the doctor verified I would never be able to get pregnant, I knew it was for the best.
I just wasn't mommy material, and this was God's way of confirming what I knew was true.
Ironically, I had majored in Child Development because I read this verse in the Bible that said, "unless you are like these little children you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."
I needed to know what these "little children" were like, so I majored in Child Development.
Purely selfish motives.
I discovered I really enjoyed kids, they were fascinating!
I loved being an Aunt, one of the greatest joys in life, but you can imagine my surprise when, at 30 years old, I found out I was pregnant.
My first emotions were joy and awe.
How was this possible?
Suddenly I was regretting wasting my pretend play days on Barbie's fashion accessories.
Then I panicked, went to the library, and checked out every book on parenting I could get my hands on.
From 20 weeks on, the pregnancy was tumultuous but by the grace of God, I had this unbelievable peace that everything was going to be all right.
Looking back, it's astonishing what life threw at us but my belief never wavered and I can't really explain why.
It's just a God-thing, I guess.
But then, when Maddie had to be taken via emergency C-section, and the Dr. came in and told me she was 90% certain Maddie had Down Syndrome, I felt this amazing love wash over me.
It was as if God was telling me, "See, I believe in you. You are Mommy material because I have shaped and formed you into my Likeness. This is my gift and my confirmation to you."
I think I even smiled when I heard the news.
The power of believing, it's life-changing.
I've made lots of mistakes in my 8 years of motherhood.
Many moments I wish I could take back, but just like with my pregnancy, I haven't wavered in the belief that this journey was meant to be.
I'm dreaming big dreams these days.
Dreams that, for me, require strength of character, perseverance, fortitude, and belief.
Belief that I sometimes have to borrow from others around me because I doubt.
Find someone to believe in today.
Tell them you believe in them and speak life over them.
It truly has the power to change lives.
If you are the one doubting, focus on the people who believe in you.
You never know, it could make all the difference in the world.
While I'm at it, just one more piece of advice...
Take lots and lots of pictures!
You will thank yourself on those days when you want to look back and be nostalgic!