I remember it clearly. Her warm body, lying on my stomach. She had been placed there seconds ago, but as I gazed down, I could only see the back of her head and her shoulders. I had been waiting for this child, this daughter that I began to know in my womb over the last nine months, and here she was. She entered the world, and I longed to see her. I asked the nurse, "Can I move her?" - not knowing what to do as a first-time mom, scared that I would somehow injure her. The nurse looked back at me and lovingly replied, "Of course you can, She's yours!". She's mine. She's mine. The words gravitated deep down into my soul. This child was mine - a gift from God, and she was mine. But more than that, I was responsible for this new life - her happiness at that moment was dependent upon me. The task seemed so great, and my experience so small.
I look at her now at six years old, and there are days when I have to repeat - She's mine. Mine to guide, mine to protect. The thing that strikes me to my core now though, is not the idea that she belongs to me, but the fact that I belong to her. I am the mother that she will model her motherhood after. My life explains to her how a Christian woman should walk with Christ. My shortcomings reveal to her that it is ok to make mistakes. My words show her how to express emotions, and how to build or tear down relationships.
I thought the first few days were hard - a newborn that I had no idea how to care for. These days are much harder. Willl I ever become the woman I want her to be? If I never get there, how will she? The answer comes in the quiet, when I fall back on my knees and disclose all that I am lacking to my Heavenly Father. He reassures me that she doesn't need to see a perfect mother - she needs to see a perfect God. And somewhere in the stillness, in the aching for renewal, I remember this truth: "God is most glorified when I am most satisfied in Him." His perfection is revealed most gloriously when I am surrendered - fully surrendered to Him. While striving to be that "woman", my daughter focuses more on my struggles, but if I let go, she sees Him.
Lord, help me to let go - to turn to your word, to your voice, to your will, instead of mine. Help me to surrender my children to your care, so that they may know you more. Help my voice be small and gentle. May your glorious perfection be revealed in a woman fully surrendered. Amen.