Every time I hear the word “wasteland,” I think of that huge map on Call Duty: Modern Warfare. That map where you’d be camped out in a shed and all of a sudden you get picked off by some unseen sniper in a Ghillie Suit.
I miss playing COD. I miss all of it—the altercations with racist 13-year-old boys more vulgar than a stand-up comedian. Staying up all night playing with people I’d never met but came to call friends.
What I think I miss most, though, is the lack of responsibility–the freedom to do what I wanted when I wanted.
And that’s where my story begins. I always considered myself a free spirit–one to just live and let live. I was a bubbly person who got along with everyone. Nevertheless, I never bothered much with other people other than superficially. It was a pretty lonely existence in hindsight, but at the time it was comfortable. Safe.
Thus I trudged through life.
When I was 24, the man of my dreams found me. His bright blue eyes, strawberry blond hair, perfect Spanish, and his passion for the Lord captivated my heart. We shared the most beautiful summer of my life, exploring all around Georgia and parts of Tennessee—two feathers gently carried by the wind. We married that Fall.
And then it happened. I got pregnant.
Me. Me? I never planned on having children. Growing up, I always shied away from responsibility, yet here I was–faced with the prospect of the most responsibility-laden task ever. Ever.
I didn’t believe in abortion (and I still don’t), so it was never an option for me. Instead, I just sunk into a pit of depression. Throughout my entire pregnancy and during the majority of my daughter’s first year of life, I continued to sink deeper and deeper.
Don’t get me wrong, I adored my little girl and was commended by many on how excellent and attentive of a mother I was. I went through the motions, but I dreaded them. I loved my daughter, but I hated the responsibility. I hated that I couldn’t go pee whenever nature called. I despised my inability to just get up and go as I pleased. I cringed at the fact that I could no longer go to sleep at night without some sucking my teat while simultaneously kicking my gut. I hated my life, and if Party City had a “pity” aisle, you would catch me there on the regular.
And then one day it just happened. Out of nowhere.
I started liking my new role as a mother. As I said before, I always loved my daughter, but everything I did was marred by undertones of heaviness and regret. Then one day, they weren’t. In the words of the philosophical Mr. Forrest Gump, “And just like that, [it] was gone.” The things that once felt like a burden suddenly became a blessing.
Isaiah 43:19 says “I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
And that’s what happened to me. The Lord did a new thing. He changed my heart. And truthfully, I was not much of an active participant in the process.
Admittedly, I often crave the wild and abandoned life I once lived with, but I’m learning to embrace this new role. My heart bubbles over when I witness my little girl experiencing things for the first time. Ever. In her life. Wow. That blows my mind. A brand new life. Fresh out of the oven, and I’ve been entrusted with it. Even a person with a million Twitter followers couldn’t have as much influence on a life as a parent has on the life of their child. Parents are like God to their children. They see us as their source of everything—security, provision, companionship. Everything. Wow.
To think that we would be entrusted with the task of emulating God to one of His most precious creations is awe-inspiring. Humbling.
I just want to encourage someone today. Encourage a mother who isn’t really feeling it to just hang on a little longer—that little one appreciates and adores you more than you will ever know. To the individual who has been doubting the presence of God in their life—He is faithful!
During my long struggle with depression, I was not the perfect Christian–nor am I now. I didn’t read the Bible daily (in fact I rarely did), my prayers were just me ranting to the Lord about how mad I was that He allowed me to get pregnant, and I even directed the F-bomb to Him more times than I care to admit.
Yet He was faithful. He was working; He’s always working behind the scenes.
Even if you don’t believe in Him, He’s still working. He may not deliver you in the way that he delivered you last time, but He will still move on your behalf. He’s doing something new. He’s making streams in the wasteland.
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. –1 Peter 5:10