Areli, Aria, and I had a wonderful time in Texas. When we returned home I was still living in the wonder of the love that God had shown me there. I tried to process it, understand it, find scriptures to support it, make it part of my every thought, and believe it in my every cell.
A very curious thing had happened in Texas. Aria had refused to nurse. I thought that perhaps it was because I didn’t have my usual nursing pillow and everything around us was different. I did get a few good nursing times with her in our hotel room…when she was totally asleep. Surely she would resume nursing normally when we were back home.
Within a few weeks of returning home, Aria stopped nursing completely. I couldn’t coax her, though I tried and tried. It was totally fine of course! She was 15 months and eating all kinds of wonderful food.
I just thought I had more time, time for her to be a baby, time for her to need me, time for us to snuggle. All of a sudden my time was up.
A week went by and my nursing pillows were still out, my bedroom was still in disarray with pillows stacked on the loveseat in the just the right way for nursing.
“I need to put the nursing pillows away up in the attic. Now is my chance to make my room pretty again and get rid of all these random pillows.” I thought.
The thought made me want to cry. I didn’t want to be done nursing! The sorrow hung with me and it was stronger than when my other babies had weaned. Perhaps it was because with the other babies, I knew in my heart that God had more babies to give me. This time I do not have that assurance. I could be done nursing…forever.
I really did feel that the timing of this was from God, that He wanted me to go deeper with Him. So I allowed myself to feel the pain, to explore the pain, with the help of the Holy Spirit. I realized that I was only eating for one again. It didn’t feel important anymore what I ate. Do I really deserve the best food and supplements? Just me? I am not as important as Aria. In fact, if I am severed from my children, am I valuable at all?
I realized with sadness that I was not, at least not in my own estimation. Being a mother of many children was never my aspiration growing up. Being a mother at all was sometime I had given very little thought to. But after I married Chris, we both realized we loved children and we thought would like to have six. God blessed us with more children than we had imagined, and I grew to love this destiny that God had for me. I had found my meaning and value in it.
Then all of a sudden I saw a picture of myself in my mind. It was just me, just Anne, floating in an empty universe. No husband, no children, no past, no future, no accomplishments, no good works. Just Anne.
“Did Jesus really die for just me? Does He love just me?” I wondered.
My resounding answer was, “NO! How could that be?!”
Of course I knew that theologically He loved just me. Plus He had personally shown me His love! So why was it so hard for me to believe it? I went through the next two days pondering this question, filling with self-hatred, teetering on the edge of despair and depression.
I realize now that I should have taken the focus off my own feelings and my unworthiness. I should have been praising God, trusting Him, and speaking out the words He had spoken, even if I didn’t feel as though I believed them.
Again God led me to the empty universe. There I was. Just me. Again the question, “Did Jesus die for just me? Does He love just me?”
“No, I am so unworthy!” I answered. The emotions that surfaced were so deep, so raw. It was as though they had been buried for a long, long time. They reached back to a time in my life of which I have no conscience memory, yet stemmed from an event that I have recently became aware of. Compared to the sorrow I was now feeling, all my previous emotions had been superficial. Finally God had reached down to the root of the matter, the original wound to my spirit, the original lie that I believed.
He had gently pulled off all the band aids that I had so clumsily put on just to keep living. Old and infected scabs were being scrapped away and the wound was fresh and bleeding.
“I am not worthy! I should not even be here. I do not deserve your love.” I told Jesus.
Jesus answered back.
Always Jesus answers me this way, but I do not always hear.
Always Jesus answers YOU this way, whether you can hear Him or not.
Can we open our ears and try to hear?