I sat down recently, trying to figure out what I wanted to share. I had some issues trying to breastfeed our 4th child. I initially thought that I wanted to share a bit about that struggle. But then another story came to mind.
I’ve been struggling with what I should do with A Southern Mother’s website. I’ve really struggled to write over the past year. I have costs associated with maintaining the site and I haven’t made any money on the site in years. But I also have a lot of time, memories and friendships associated with A Southern Mother, so its hard to let her go. For now, Ive decided to keep sharing stories about our family.
Many of my readers know that Gabe was born during my first marriage. My first husband (now ex) was diagnosed with a life threatening blood disorder. He didn’t respond well to medication treatment, so they recommended he have a course of chemotherapy. The hematologist told us that if we were considering having children, that the medication could make him sterile or have long term consequences. I had an IUD at the time and we had very few conversations about children. We only had a month between when I could have my IUD removed and when he would start chemotherapy. Despite the odds, we decided to give it a shot. The chemotherapy he was starting could potentially cause birth defects or make him sterile, so once he started chemo, we could no longer try. I had also landed a very fulfilling job in the university CORE laboratory as a medical technologist, which I hoped would give me an advantage when applying to medical school. If life wasn’t difficult enough at the time, I lost my brother three days after my ex-husband started chemotherapy. In the middle of my grief, I took a pregnancy test and it was negative. I thought another chapter of my life was closed.
For a large portion of my adult life, I thought I didn’t want children. I had grand dreams; I wanted to go to medical school and work for Drs Without Borders. I also didn’t have the easiest childhood and I feared that I might repeat that pattern with children of my own. I worried that I wouldn’t be a good mother and that my children would suffer because of that. It wasn’t until I faced a now or never decision, that I would be blessed with Gabe.
Several weeks later, I started to feel sick. I remembering having to pull the car over on the way home from a dog training class to throw up. At the time, I assumed it was from grief. But I would soon discover that I was actually pregnant. Gabe was my message from God during a very dark time in my life, that’s why he was named Gabriel. I’ve shared before that he was named after the Archangel Gabriel, also known as the messenger.
I can look back and see where the hand of God intervened. He sent Gabe when he knew that I needed him the most.
There are days when I don’t feel like that I’m worthy of much, but on those days I try to remind myself that God made me their mother. He sent all four of my children at just the right times, and I can’t imagine my life without each of them. Hadley came shortly after Jeremy and I married, Whittaker was a deeply prayed for child that took months of fertility meds to conceive, and Wallace was the surprise that we didn’t know we needed. I hope that I can share more about them individually. When I feel like I’m failing them, I try to remember 1 Peter 4:8, ”Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” I’m not a perfect mother and I could never be perfect. I can be weak, ill-tempered, harsh and overbearing; but I hope that the love I have for them overcomes any sins or grievances that I have made while raising them.
So momma’s, whenever you’re doubting yourself or your abilities as a mother, remember that God made you their mother. He knew your weaknesses and self-doubts, and he still gifted those children to you. He knows how well you can love them and he loves you too!