Upon holding my baby for the first time, I was enchanted by his dark hair and perfect little features. He looked and still does look like a replica of his father. But as the days continued and the stress of having a preemie, attempting to breast feed, intense anxiety took its toll, I can feel my self dipping into the downward spiral of depression. My infant son ended up being my greatest source of fear. Petrified, I cried a lot. Jeromy was Super Dad, ready and able to take the reigns. But I felt not good enough, incompetent, and completely sure they would be better if I were out of the picture. My heart was broken and I all I wanted to do was return to some type of normalcy. Some type of before baby world where I didn’t doubt my every thought, where I couldn’t hurt anyone beside myself if I failed. Postpartum struck hard. Again, I was angry. What?! You gave me this baby! I didn’t have to get pregnant, if You knew what kind of mother I would be then why? A lot of tears, a lot of running, a lot of twisting myself in knots. Picture a parent with their child’s face firmly planted in their hands, but the child continuously turns their head breaking away, not wanting to be seen.
Zachary was and is a gift in a ways that I cannot describe, but God used that preemie to teach me to trust Him in a way I didn’t know was possible. He stretched me and took me out into the deep waves every time I looked at my son.
Just when I thought I was hitting my stride, keeping my head above water, another wave hits. A wave in the form of another pregnancy. A surprise. Mackenzie Paige Williams was like that bonus gift you find in the toe of your stocking. One you didn’t expect, you didn’t know you wanted, but one you desperately needed. Whereas Zachary taught me to trust and believe, Mackenzie gave me confidence. She taught me to laugh, the kind of laughter that only comes when you are on the front row of a roller coaster. The hand in the air, gleeful, belly laugh. That is our baby girl.
A God I was learning how to love/like, a supportive husband with the bonus of being a spectacular father, two adorable babies, an active, growing healthy community of believers, and a career I adored. . .blessing upon blessing. Add a brand new house and a mother-in-law and father-in-law who showered both babies with unconditional love while we worked, what more could a girl want? Nothing. Or so I thought.
Galatians 5 challenge is all about pursuing one fruit during 2016. Mine is peace and through the telling of my story I hope to share a little of what this journey looks like for me. I invite you to join me.
Galatians 5:22-23 The Message
But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.
Amanda Williams is a forty-year old wife and mother of two who can still swing her pony tail and display just a tad of sass. She is also a Jesus loving girl who realizes she is nothing without the One who saved her. Amanda has two degrees specializing in serving students with special needs and is currently working in the field of Leadership Development. She is a Christian author, speaker, blogger, and publisher who loves serving beside her husband at her local place of worship, First Baptist Church of Ocala.