Written By: Jenny Jerkins
“Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.” – Psalm 127:3-5 (NLT)
I was never one of these little girls who carried a baby doll around with me everywhere. In fact, I didn’t even really like baby dolls. I didn’t pretend to be a mommy, or even think about being a mommy one day.
Then I grew up, went to college, and got married (in that order because that’s what I thought was the good little Southern girl thing to do). I earned a college degree in Chemical Engineering (totally by the grace of God) and I jumped head first into a career. I didn’t love it, but it gave me meaning and what I felt was value. My husband and I felt we wanted children at some point, but career came first. I needed to validate myself in the corporate world and claw and scratch my way around in it for a while before I would even consider becoming a mom. ME FIRST. (Insert caveat – I had no idea at the time just how selfish of a person I was). To make a really long story short, five years went by and I was at the peak of where I wanted to be. I was knee deep in meetings, paperwork, and travel. All my friends became knee deep in diapers, bottles, and toddler tantrums. I was almost 30 years old and began to think “I guess it’s time to have a baby too.”
Now at nearly 40, I reflect back on that blur of the first 30 years of my life and see just how ironic it was. Because what I didn’t know then was that my husband and I would struggle 5 years to become pregnant only to find out that we have dual infertility. Meaning, the likelihood of us ever being able to biologically have children together was near impossible even with fertility treatments. Every doctor said it. And each time the words came out and a failed pregnancy test was thrown into the trash (or across the room), I blamed myself. Was it because I never played mommy? Was it because I was a career woman? Was it because of my sin?
It was a pivotal point in my life as a woman and as a Christian. The focus turned from me to Jesus. I left that shell of a lukewarm life and ran straight into His arms (sometimes angry, sometimes devastated, sometimes hurt, sometimes confused – but always loved).
Motherhood became everything I never thought it would be the moment our son was born. God hadn’t punished me for my lack of mommy-hood dreams or for my selfish desires. But He did have to get me to a place where I turned it all back over to Him. And He had a greater desire to make beauty out of ashes. That came in the form of an unplanned pregnancy in a 17 year old girl who was seeking a couple to raise the child growing inside of her, and that couple became us. Our son is now 5 and I weep at the thought of what God did in each of our lives and how I love the irony of it all. Motherhood wasn’t dreamed of, and didn’t even come the way I thought it would as that 30 year old woman. It was greater – because of Him.
But it didn’t stop at our son’s birth. Something began to change inside of me the moment I became a mother. That career suddenly became the least important thing in my life. And I did what I said I wouldnever do – I became a stay at home mom. I even feel my eyes rolling at my former self now as I type it all out. (Note: This is not where I say all women should be stay at home moms because they shouldn’t be. I’m not even going to go there.).
The whole journey to motherhood, and now through it, is everything I never thought it would be. I envisioned a calm, listening, never talk back kind of child. (Ok, so I was delusional). What I got was a spirited and strong willed little boy. He is a loud, has the energy of a thousand suns, and opinionated kind of boy. But I love him just the way he is; the same way that Jesus loves me.
Motherhood has taught me more about the love our Father has for us than anything ever could. He loves us unconditionally, just as we love our own children. He is good and He wants good for us. Becoming a mother brought me to the end of myself and to the feet of my Father.
How has motherhood changed you?
What is Jesus teaching you, or has He taught you, as a mother?
How is life different from everything you thought it would be?
And, if you are struggling through infertility or would like to connect, I would love to talk to you and pray with you. You are not alone. There is a great support system full of women just like you out there waiting.
– Jenny (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Jenny Jerkins is a former engineer turned stay at home wife to Asia, and mom to the most spirited and hilarious little boy, Ethan who currently believes he is Batman. Their battle with infertility led them to the greatest miracle of adoption. Jenny desires to bring hope, encouragement, and the love of Jesus to others, and especially women. She also loves to share the many candid moments of daily mom life where she is usually asking for Jesus to hold her. Jenny resides in Augusta, Georgia where her southern accent is strong and her coffee is stronger.