It never ceases to amaze me how motherhood has completely revolutionized my feelings and outlook on Christ. There are so many parallels that exist between mother/child and Jesus/church. I don't think I truly knew what unconditional love felt like until I saw my little boy. To sit and think Christ loves me even more deeply just blows my mind. Is that kind of love even possible? What an incredible, albeit tiny glimpse into the great love of the father. And then, to have a hand in creating life? Ultimately, I believe God to be the creator and sustainer of life, but for a brief moment, I was also a tiny part of that incredible creation. I was the carrier of life and my heart leaps with joy to think of the little person my body nourished and grew. If that wasn't wonderful enough, just like I am made in the image of God, my son bears the image of my husband and I. Words just don't do justice to the changes that have taken place in my heart and the depth of understanding that I've reached since becoming a mother. And each passing day reveals new and different glimpses into the nature of God. His love shines more clearly. His creation speaks more loudly. His sacrifice grips my heart. I am so grateful for these revelations. It should go without saying that He reveals himself on the bad days too.
Case in point:
Rewind to last Tuesday. It was time to nurse, but instead of latching on as usual, my little buddy decided to bite down --hard-- on my *ahem* tenders. Surprised, I reacted with a resounding OW and quickly informed him that he was not allowed to bite mama. It might have been his first scolding and I think it deeply startled him. So much so, that he went on an ugly nursing strike. It looked something like this:
PreTuesday-he-bit-me-and-I-yelped nursing: Awesome.
PostTuesday-he-bit-me-and-I-yelped nursing: Nonexistent.
I'm not gonna lie, not only was I heartbroken and frustrated, I was also mad. Mad at myself. Mad at my son. He was refusing to take part in the one thing that was truly good for him. As his mom, I only want the absolute best for him, and yet he was rejecting it. After days of attempts with no success, there came a point where I was feeling so utterly dejected that I just didn't want to be around my child. I needed some time to decompress and seeing his face reminded me all over again of the frustration and pain. I handed him off to Jordan and threw myself a pity party.
Suddenly, in the midst of my angry tears, a quiet yet firm voice told me: "You still have to love him." In the blink of an eye, I got another clear picture of the nature of God. I saw myself reflected in the situation. I was the rejector and HE was the one handing down love regardless of my choices. Because how many times do I deliberately turn my back on the good things that He offers to me to choose something that's inferior? And yet, He shows great patience and continues to love me unconditionally. I know He only wants the absolute best for me, and foolishly I often choose to go my own way, passing up warm milk and cuddles for a cold, plastic bottle (if you will.). And yet, He still loves me just as deeply. Now, I don't think I could ever NOT love my son, however, there was something so profound about seeing firsthand both devastating rejection and then unending faithfulness and love. It hurt my heart to realize the depth of pain which comes from my own stubborn refusals. Oh and how marvelous and great is the Father's love for me. For this, I am thankful.
"The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; His mercies never come to an end, they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." -Lamentations 3:22-23
Oh and after almost a week of crying and pumping, my sweet little guy warmed back up to me and spontaneously began nursing again. Lots of kisses and cuddles ensued.