Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Growing Pains

I never remember having those dreaded "growing pains" you hear about people going through during their childhood & adolescent years. I do remember one of the biggest growth spurts I had was the summer before my freshman year of high school. I don't know exactly how many inches it was, but I remember it was enough to make my teachers & peers gasp at the difference when I returned to school after summer break! But oddly enough, I never felt any dicomfort or pain from it. I grew to be a pretty decent height (5' 7'') that summer, & it didn't hurt a bit! That worked out nicely if you ask me! Now, you may be wondering, why in the world I am rambling on about growth spurts, high school, & "growing pains"- & here is why. Recently, I have been going through a little "growth spurt" (if you will) & let me tell ya...these growing pains hurt!!!

I am going to be completely real & transparent here (which is soooo not easy for me to do...but it's part of the whole growing experience, so here goes)...

Rewind to 9 months ago- I was just about to welcome into the world our brand new baby! I had made all of the preparations- I had read all of the pregnancy/newborn books, I had the perfect nursery designed, the closet stuffed full of the most adorable clothes, about a months worth of dinners prepared & frozen in the deep freezer, the house cleaned, scrubbed, & sanitized from top to bottom, my bags packed & by the door, a list of people to call once the baby was born....the list goes on & on. I had not forgotten one detail! I was ready to be the PERFECT mom! All I needed was the baby! If you aren't getting the picture yet, let me just tell you a couple of things about myself. I am a perfectionist by nature- total type A personality. I paint a picture in my head of the way things are going to be, & that is exactly how I expect them to turn out! And when things don't go as expected??? Watch out. My world falls apart.

Let me just tell you that after having my sweet, precious, & perfect little baby boy, my world fell apart. Not what you expected? Yah, me neither. I was madly in love with this new little miracle, & had never experienced a love like the one I felt for him. But there were so many other things I was experiencing at the same time that were brand new to me as well, & I hadn't planned for any of it! All of a sudden, everything in my life as I knew it was new- my marriage was different, my friendships were different, I was different. I didn't recognize myself anymore. I didn't have use of my right leg for weeks after coming home from the hospital (due to nerve damage), & I couldn't even carry my own baby from room to room. The confidence I once had in my ability to be a mother was completely gone. Looking back, I can see that I had slipped into terrible postpartum depression. Ummm, none of that was in my plan. The plan was to be a perfect mom, perfect wife, perfect friend, keep a spotless house, take care of all the grocery shopping & finances, have a home cooked dinner on the table every evening, make lots of new mommy friends, go to play much for my plan. I wasn't living up to any of the things I had envisioned for my new life. It was hard to even get a shower each day! Eventually, things started to get better. My leg started to heal, I started getting out of the house to do the grocery shopping, I joined a few playgroups, I started talking to my friends about what I was going through, & things were okay. But just okay. I was still having a hard time with where my life was at. I absolutely loved being a mom, but a part of me still grieved the loss of my life as I knew it before I had a baby- I didn't know what to make of all these new dynamics in my life. I didn't know where I fit anymore...

Then, sitting in church 3 Sundays ago, it clicked. A real "Ah-Ha" moment. Here's what I heard:

Revelation 21:5
"And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new."

It was as if the Lord was speaking directly to me saying, "New is good, Holly. This change, this "new" in your life that you keep resisting; it's from me. And it is a good thing. It brings new opportunities, new friendships, deeper relationships, a new you. New is very good." Oh. Oops. I guess all this time I had never looked at it that way. I am so thankful for a Savior who knows exactly where I'm at, & meets me there. It is all because of Him that I can say I am honestly embracing this "new" in my life, & the view from this spot is a whole lot better! I am realizing that it's okay that I'm not perfect. It's okay that my house isn't spotless. It's okay that I'm not able to complete every little detail on my to-do list, & that there are some days that I don't ever leave the house(or my jammies for that matter). It's okay to share with others that I have struggles in my life, & that I need support to get through them. It's okay to let my guard down & just be me, to set aside expectations on myself & on my relationships. All in all, I am learning that if things don't go as planned- it's okay. I'm finding that real life happens in the messes, the chaos, the spontaneity, the unplanned- & to be real honest, life is more fun that way!

Growing pains are tough- there's no getting around that. But growing pains get you closer to the person you were meant to be--inch by inch. I'm sure I will face many more "growing pains" up ahead. It is my hope that next time, in the midst of those pains, I can reflect back to this time & what God has shown me through this particular little growth spurt. Maybe I'll come out on the other side, a NEW, improved me!

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