I anticipate one with each new little precious soul. They are worth so much and usually come with quite a cost. They are costly physically on my own body and costly mentally deep in the soul.
I know this. I even watch and wait for it.
But each time I still find myself in shock and sorely out of virtue practice when it hits, like going back to a work out after a year off.
Last night after six hours of successive crying on and off again, my back throbbed from holding Julia all day.
It comes in various forms: sometimes it's a baby that has been up crying all night after a succession of sleepless nights, or mastitis and uterine infections, a baby with colic that requires me to give up dairy and all food that tastes good, or cabin fever or hormonal imbalance...
I know for every mother these come at different times and in all shapes and sizes. They may be a moment or several days, or months...a time when the feeling absolute helplessness washes over us. The feeling of difficulties mounting and at some point, being broken.
I can hear myself telling a friend whose premature baby was struggling to gain weight and she was taking hours to feed him ounces several times a day while her other five children were back home...."May you persevere during this season of suffering". And I lay there listening to what I told someone else, barely able to handle my own. Eating my wonderful words of wisdom.
I ask God to take them, because I do not have what it takes to go on. And I know at that point, He has me right where He wants me. "Because my grace is sufficient for you." (2 Corinthians 12:9)
And I hear that familiar passage in my head..."Unless a grain of wheat fall to the ground and die...it cannot bear fruit." My head knows this, but my heart is always slow and behind.
I pray. I wait for Him to take over. I remember I'm suppose to rely on Him to be holy. Many times, when I feel my own suffering is great, I think about those whose suffering is far greater. This time, those in Israel who are being beheaded for being Christian, the families who babies are dying from lack of food and water because they were forced from their homelands surface to my thoughts. Suddenly my breaking point seems so small. My baby cried for hours but wasn't sick or dying or hungry. She is perfectly healthy. I am here with my husband and children in a house with food and a bed to sleep in. Thank you God for this crying wonderful healthy baby.
Pain has it's way of waking me up, bringing me into supreme focus. The next morning I prayed with a greater awareness of my need for God, for his presence to sustain me throughout the day. I prayed longer and harder and more often. This is what He wants of me always.
The Breaking of the Dawn...Even if the difficulty or "crying" persists, when I have that breaking point, that moment where I bend before God, when He takes over, I do rise to get up and know He is along side me. As when you bond with a friend after going through a struggle together or deepen your relationship with your spouse when you both suffer through a trial...It is God and I together. That is a treasure.
Why every time do I forget and try with all my might to do it on my own strength?
There will be many more breaking points, and I will forget again, and by God's grace I will try and stumble and try again.
But I know, the break, the piece of me that needs to go....is always good....it is a gift.