I’m sitting here listening to music as I try to articulate all the many lessons in love I’ve learned this year. I wont be able to sum all of that up in one blog but I will give you a peak into one lesson that impacted me the most.
So my pregnancy was very hard on me. I, unlike some women, did not enjoy being pregnant for the most part. Let me explain; before I got pregnant I was very into my self image and pretty much selfish with myself. Getting pregnant was a blessing and something that I have always wanted to happen in my life, BUT I wasn’t ready for the REALITY of pregnancy and all that came with it. Hormonal changes, the pigment of my skin changing in different spots, stretch marks, the major weight gain. I felt like I was trapped and watching myself turn into something I wasn’t attracted too. I was also conflicted because I loved feeling my son kick inside of me and I felt a level of love I’ve never experienced in my life. It was sort of bitter sweet.
You see, before I got pregnant I thought I knew what love was. *Inserts crying laughing emoji* yea right. I had NO clue! What I was doing before was loving people based off conditions and tolerating people and going through the motions. I truly did not get a good lesson of love until I got married, some more once I got pregnant, and even more once I had my son. And I’m pretty sure this is a LIFELONG lesson that will be added to daily.
When I got married, I like many newlyweds had a lot to learn still. I couldn’t run from my flaws. Marriage teaches you a lot more about a person. Not just the version you see when you meet up for a fancy date. So the lesson in love I received here was just the tip of the iceberg, God knew life had more in store to teach me about love.
6 months into my marriage I got pregnant! I was ecstatic. But what I didn’t know was what was ahead. The journey was hard for me. The wife who doesn’t like sudden change was put in a position of sudden changes. I also had to learn how to love myself during this process. Insecurities were at an all time HIGH. This was some real raw stripping of my pride. I was stretched in so many ways, literally and figuratively. But I learned to love myself in a way I never knew how before. It became less about what size jeans I could fit and more about my inner beauty. Who I was inside was what I spent time working on, and that cant be worked on if you are so preoccupied with the external part of you. So, God placed me in a position to where that external changed so I had no choice but to focus on my heart issues. I truly had to rely on the Lord to fight against major mood swings and depression.
After a long pregnancy, came my birth experience. This is my greatest lesson in love. I was overdue, scared, anxious, nervous, all of that. But we went in on a Friday to get induced. Let me tell you, labor pains are NO JOKE! I labored for 16 hours, got to 8 centimeters and my son would not come down the birth canal. The doctors couldn’t pinpoint if it was the size of my pelvis or if his head was just to large to come down. But I knew at that point after waiting and trying everything in my power that I was going to have to do what I dreaded: have a cesarean section. I was devastated because things were not going as I planned them. I was so exhausted at that point and just wanted to do what was best for my child and myself. This is where the monumental lesson in love came in. As I was on that operating room table I had nothing but my faith and my husband to rely on. I was terrified because I know some women don’t make it from these procedures. I felt like I was at my worst, I didn’t look like myself or feel like myself. But, I was doing what it took to bring our son into the world. All I cared about in that moment was hearing my son cry for the first time. When I did, I cried and I knew then that we were a little family of 3.
Love is putting your life on the line for a greater purpose than yourself. I realized in that moment what God’s sacrifice on the cross meant to me. I cannot even compare my experience in surgery to what he went through for us on that cross, but boy did it make me fall in love with Jesus MORE! The true meaning of love clicked for me in that moment. Being wheel-chaired down to the NICU as I was in the process of healing from a major surgery. I did whatever it took to watch our son fight to breathe because he was born with amniotic fluid in his lungs. I am happy to say that he made it out and is doing so well now. He is a very joyful baby and the light of our lives!
Currently, I am very happy with my life, my marriage and myself. I’ve learned how to love in a real genuine way. My love isn’t perfect and I will continue to grow in this area for the rest of my life, but I know its not based on conditions. Learning about the unconditional love of God and going through circumstances where I needed that love, taught me a lot. I now know how to give that love. Waking up in the middle of the night changing diapers and feeding my son. Watching him and how he looks at me regardless of what I look like, smell like, etc. That is unconditional love. I don’t have to worry about self-image or be obsessed with it. My son loves me for me. Not the idea of me; ME. That kind of love changes you. That is the kind of love I’m thankful to wake up to daily.