The years we give to motherhood are not the ones we have wasted.
These years are not the pause button--the unfortunate interim or interruption--on our more significant life of personal development or professional success.
These years are the peak. Not the valley. The highest of heavenly callings.
My firstborn child was so hard. The first two years of his life were pure struggle for me. They dragged me into dark places and then kicked me while I was down. But towards the end of those two years, I had finally begun to begrudgingly accept my position as God's best wish for me. For me this meant that I stopped struggling and pushing so hard to be "A mom AND _____." I stopped wrestling to pull some other significant roll out of my life as a buffer or accessory to my roll as a mother.
As I began to uncurl my fists on my pride (which wanted me to be MORE than "just" a mom) and surrender, I felt rather proud of myself for this courageous act.
I patted myself on the back for my humility.
Then I heard this song (embedded below)... and one simple line wrecked me.
"You have raised me up so high above my station."
It left me sobbing in the parking lot of Whole Foods with the goodness of truth.
My highest "sacrifice" is merely a yielding to God's best Birthday Present.
And when we really understand that (even though it may take many struggles and many years before we do) we will learn to cherish the difficulty with a weird sweetness... a sweetness that is not manufactured or willed up or at all trite or trivializing of the pain. It is merely a Something Stronger that consumes weak-heartedness like an amoeba that eats germs for lunch. Then pain does not make us shrivel; it causes us to flourish... even in the living moment while we may being curling up to cry. Even in that moment of broken heartedness, there is a life/light/lightness that suffuses the heart in the middle of struggle.
You leave the roll of victim behind and become a beautiful wounded healer.