When I was young and struggling to have any faith in my fellow man or God, I thought I had to please others to make them like me, to keep them from hurting me, because I felt unworthy of love. As a child, I accepted Christ as my savior, knowing in an impersonal way that he died to pay for my sins. During my teens and twenties, I argued with God about the bad things I thought He allowed to happen, both on a global scale and in my own life. I drifted away from my faith.
I lived roughly for a time. There are a lot of days and nights I don’t remember. I vowed for many years that I would never have a child because I didn’t want to risk making the same mistakes my mother made.
Then one night, after a week of just feeling a change in my body, before even the dreaded missed period, I took a pregnancy test which confirmed my suspicions. After a short time of dwelling on feelings of shame at bringing a fatherless child into the world, I began to bond with the child I was carrying and knew he or she was no mistake and that while an act of sin had created the child, God loved him or her and so did I.
Shortly into the pregnancy, I miscarried. I was devastated until blood tests revealed that I was still pregnant. I was still sad at the loss of a child but relieved to still be carrying a baby.
During my pregnancy I returned to church and to faith. I credit my daughters, both, for keeping my heart in the right place when times are hard. Times were hard during my pregnancy, and often since.
My firstborn was delivered by emergency c-section on March 25, 2002, although not due until May 22. She weighed under three pounds at birth and I wasn’t able to get out of bed to hold her for the first two days after her birth. The first time I held her, the love that swelled in my heart made tears roll down my cheeks and I knew in that moment that yes, I’d make plenty of mistakes and life would continue to be tough, but it was worth it to know such love.
In the love for my older daughter, as well as her little sister, I find proof of God’s love. If He didn’t love His children, including me, I’m not sure I’d possess enough love myself to give it to my children.