Monday, February 20, 2012

Motherhood: Going Back to Prayer

 You can learn many things from children.  
How much patience you have, for instance.  
~Franklin P. Jones


Motherhood.  I had longed for it for years.  Before getting married, I had such wonderful, fairytale expectations of what my life was going to be like.  We'd all be well-groomed in the latest fashion and I'd accomplish all my errands in one day while strutting a babe on my hip.  Everyone would compliment our appearance, our mannerisms, and our kindness.  Occasionally, I would see a frantic mom in a grocery store and would think to myself, "I'd never let my children act like that nor would I ever respond out of frustration!".   

Tell me that I'm not alone here, ladies?!  Did you ever think that and then shortly after bringing your sweet child home from the hospital realize that your motherhood dreams were exposed as unrealistic expectations?! 

When Sergio and I were newly married, I had already decided that I was ready for a child.  Every month, I thought I was pregnant.  I would naively mistake my monthly symptoms as possible pregnancy signs.  Go ahead and laugh at me.  It's okay...I'm laughing with you.  I was optimistically wishing for a child.  I let me desires get the best of me.  We could've been rich off of the stock we should've taken out on pregnancy tests.  (Have I mentioned that I have the BEST, MOST PATIENT husband in the world?!) 

But after about six months of using no protection and only seeing one line instead of two, my heart began to feel grief.  I questioned what is wrong with me.  I even questioned God.   Why would He not give us a child?!  

Month after month, I sat in our bathroom and wept over that stupid, urine stick.  What the heck, EPT, where's the other line?!  

We went from purchasing pregnancy tests to ovulation tests.  Still, nothing.  It was heartbreaking.  I longed for a child.  My arms felt heavy, but they were empty.  

Three years went by like this.  Month after month, we prayed, hoped, and tried for our child.  Let me emphasize that we prayed everyday, multiples times a day.  

In February of 2004, after giving up on conceiving, I got really sick.  We were missionaries in Mexico and the doctor on staff gave me a pregnancy test.  I remember sitting in his bathroom thinking, "I'm not pregnant.  This is useless.".  I sat the test on the back of the toilet and walked out.  He asked me what it said and I simply replied, "I'm sure it's negative."  

He walked into the bathroom and examined the test.  He slowly walked out saying something to the extent of, "don't get your hopes up, but the test says that you are pregnant.  This could be a false positive."  He then sent us to a nearby clinic to do blood work.  We'd have to wait until the next day for it's results.  

Sergio and I prayed that night.  I didn't want to get my hopes up, but I've never seen two lines on a stupid stick before!  So, what else do we do but lay in bed and dream?  I remember Sergio ending our conversation by gently touching my stomach and praying a tender, sweet prayer to God.  

The next morning, we caught a bus and headed to the clinic.  We walked up to a lady sitting behind a window and asked for my test results.  The waiting room was packed.  I wanted to rip that envelope wide open, but to avoid being the crazy, white woman (depending on our results), we ran out the door.  Sergio and I stood together on the corner of a busy street.  I'm sure Sergio gave me some kind of pep talk, but I don't remember a word he said.  We both held the envelope and opened it together.  The words forever changed our lives.  "Embarazada"!!!   

I was PREGNANT!!!  

I screamed!  We hugged!  We cried!  We danced in the street!  After so many years of praying, crying, and giving up.  We were going to be parents.  

Now if I may, let me fast forward to the day we brought our son home.  It was far from my fairytale expectations.  I had never in my life seen or heard a child cry as much as he did.  It was not normal.  He would scream for hours before falling asleep.  There was nothing that I could do to comfort him.  He would wake up screaming and it seemed as though he never stopped.  I would take him to the grocery store and women would stare harshly at me or give me their "advice".  I remember one woman telling me that he screams at me because I must scream at my husband.  Seriously, lady?!  Thank you for not helping. 

It was a long, 4 years.  Yes, I typed that correctly.  He didn't stop crying for FOUR years.  Was it all the time?  No.  Was it every time he went to bed?  Yes and it lasted at least an hour.  I remember looking at Sergio one night and asked, "Surely he is not going to cry like this when he is in high school!  Will it ever end?!".

I went from praying every day for our child to complaining daily about everything.  I lost focus.  I forgot about God's gift to me.  I became a dripping faucet that needed a good bang to shut me up. 

One day while praying, God answered my complaints.  I had become convicted of my sins in this blissful stage of life called motherhood.  I realized I had become selfish. 

I had to get back to praying for my child(ren).   The best way I knew how to pray was to start with Scripture.   Praying the word over each child will allow God's divine nature to flow onto them! 

Here's my go-to list.  It's an extensive list of references I use for praying over our children:

Acts 19:20.........I thank you Father that Your Word prevails over our children 

Isa 54:13...........That they are taught of the Lord and continue to be
Isaiah 54:13...........Great is their peace and undisturbed composure 

Psalm 91:11..........Give Your angels special charge to accompany, defend, preserve
Psalm 4:8.............and provide safety for them, day and night

Proverbs 2:6............ Father, give us counsel and wisdom in bringing up our children
Proverbs 3:4 ..........having favor and high esteem with God and man 
Proverbs 13:1.......... the fruit of godly instruction and correction 

John 10:5 ........They will by no means follow strangers, not knowing their voices 

1Thessalonians 4:1......... and abound more and more in how they should walk and please You

2Timothy 1:7 ..........not having a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind
2Timothy 1:9...........Father, You have saved them and called them with a holy calling
2Timothy 1:9 ..........not according to works, but according to Your own purpose
2Timothy 4:18.........Deliver them from every evil work and preserve them
2Timothy 2:22 .........They abide with others who call on the Lord out of a pure heart

James 1:19............That they are swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger
James 1:22............I thank You that they are doers of the Word, and not hearers only
James 3:10 ..........and cursing comes not out of their mouth
James 4:8 ...........cleansing their hands and purifying their hearts 

Hebrews 13:5.......... Their conduct is without jealousy
Hebrews 13:5.......... and they are content with what they have
Hebrews 13:16......... They do not forget to do what is right and to share 
Hebrews 13:18........They have a good conscience and desire to live honorably

Philemon 1:6...........effectively sharing their faith
 
1John 1:7 ...........They walk in the light as You are in the Light
1John 2:5 ...........Because they keep Your Word, Your love is being perfected in them.
1John 2:15 .........They do not love the world or the things in the world
1John 5:18 ..........Because Jesus keeps them safe, the wicked one does not touch them 
3John 1:11..........and they do not imitate what is evil, but what is good

1Peter 1:14.......... I say they are obedient, not conforming to the things of the flesh
1Peter 1:15.......... be holy, in all conduct
1Peter 2:2........... desiring the pure milk of the Word that they may grow
1Peter 5:5........... That they submit to their elders, and to one another
1Peter 5:5........... being clothed with humility
1Peter 5:7........... That they cast their cares upon You, Father, for You care for them
2Peter 3:18.......... I pray that they grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord

The power of prayer is real and it should be used not as the last option but the first.  

I need to remember this more often!
 
There are many ways to pray for your child.  I'd love to hear & be encouraged how you all pray for your children.  Is it daily?  Do you pray a certain prayer over each of them? 


While we try to teach our children all about life,
Our children teach us what life is all about.
~Angela Schwindt



1 comment:

  1. Oh, Jackie you make me cry. And I so remember when you and Sergio were in my house and you were going thru culture shock! You´ve become such a special family, and I love to read your blogs.

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