At First Image we work with mothers and fathers; those who may have wanted to be a parent, but are not; those who were a parent once and are not now; those who found out they were not going to be a parent, and were relieved; and a hundred other varied experiences of the joys and griefs of parenthood. Natalie, our former SE Center Director, shares her experience of having recently become a mother.
At what point did I become a mother?
Was it the moment I saw that faint purple line indicating a positive pregnancy test? The first time I witnessed my daughter’s impressive somersaults and karate kicks during an ultrasound? When I heard the gallop of her tiny growing heart through the doppler?
Maybe it was (finally) clutching her to my chest and listening in amazement as her powerful lungs announced her entrance into the world.
Or perhaps motherhood came to me during the sleepless nights, endless bodily fluids, and torrents of tears.
I have found that there isn’t one singular event that transforms someone into a mother; it is both sudden and ongoing, subtle and intense, fierce and fragile.
Some women become mothers through pregnancy and childbirth, some through marriage, some through fostering, some through the miracle of adoption and some in other, often unseen ways.
Regardless of the path one takes to motherhood, the journey to motherhood is transformative.
Nothing has made me feel closer to the heart of God than hosting His creation inside my body. By His miraculous design, I was given the Holy privilege of partnering with Him to grow, birth, and now nurture another human.
Now having experienced this transformation and unique partnership with God first hand, I think about the clients we see in our pregnancy centers, who come from a myriad of religious beliefs and backgrounds and I marvel at the way God allows them opportunities to be His partners too. Sometimes they recognize it, sometimes they don’t. It either case, it is always our privilege to acknowledge the significance of new life forming – for both the baby and the mother.
Through motherhood, I am learning more about what God is like.
I have the powerful experience of my heart beating outside of my body. I get to hold my own tiny piece of innocence and promise in the midst of such a broken and hurting world.
I am stretched beyond comparison and filled beyond measure. I have learned more about grace than I ever thought possible. I am offered a taste of what it means to nourish the redemption from my sinful past as I nurture a future for my daughter. Her capacity to forgive and love me regardless of my many many mistakes is inspiring, and I am humbled to realize it is only a fraction of the degree to which God covers me with His unconditional love and forgiveness.
I pray for our clients who haven’t yet seen what God is like and find themselves lost and believing the lie that they are somehow broken beyond repair. I pray God speaks something about himself through their experience of motherhood. For me, it has, more than any other experience in my life, has taught me that His mercies are indeed new every single morning; that there is no such thing as an exception to grace; that the stretching is not in vain; that life finds a way.
I thank God for the ministry of First Image. For the precious opportunity it provides us to join our clients – regardless of where they are in their journey – and offer them love, encouragement, support, and tangible resources. And for the gift of reminding them they do not journey alone.
Written by, Natalie Brown Daily