I held my newborn daughter, long awaited and hoped for after losing three precious babies and after growing three healthy sons.
She was perfection. It was everything, and still it was not enough.
My soul is ravenous, hungry, ever greedy.
I traced her perfect lips as I nursed midnight feedings, flipping through my phone to keep me awake until she was full.
She is all gift, but insecurity grew as I realized I forgot to take day-old photos of her swaddled just so. Did I buy the right swaddling blankets? And then I jumped to wondering if I could even mother her. What will she think of me thirty years from now?
It is a sad realization that this gnawing ache lives right down at the deep of me. She cannot fulfill me. Nothing in this world can. She is gift, but even a newborn daughter born after losing three little ones is not enough to satiate the worrying, wanting center of my heart.
I was reborn the day she was, and ten thousand times before. How many days have I Iived? My life thus far—thirteen thousand five hundred days, give or take a few. And when did I first kneel and ask for forgiveness, offering my self up to Saving Grace? Seven years old sounds about right. I’ve had more than ten thousand days of rebirth and remaking since trusting Jesus.
The old has gone the new has come and is coming still.
And still I am not enough, she is not enough. Nothing, nothing will ever be enough. Not the four children I hold, my husband’s arms wrapped around me, our home built strong and comfortable, material goods offered to satisfy, images ever scrolling past our eyes. Even the best of it can’t be enough.
We live amidst gift, blessing upon blessing, and still we want. We long for home and perfect days, for arms full and worry laid down. I hoped to see myself transform the day I birthed her. I wanted to think only on the lovely, speak only kindness, and stand in a quiet rooted strength from that day on. I wanted to be a heroine for my daughter. But my temper still flares, my heart wanders, and I falter.
I am not enough.
Could I even whisper this modern day heresy? There are others saying so, and I will join them. I echo.
Only the Son is enough. Only Christ.
“Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise, Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me, Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.” *
Could this be?
I held this newborn babe each night, dimming the light on my phone, setting the alarm early to wake and read the Word of Life, and burying my face in her soft hair, better than anything that can be bought or planned or purchased. Only a few weeks old she lay abandoned to sweet dreams. She doesn’t know the hungry race yet.
It will take silence and space. It will take a rehearsal, a constant rebirth of prayer if I am to help her grow up confident in the One who is enough.
It will take resting in Christ who holds us. That is all I know.
This post is part of my Past Tense Thursday series. Images taken on 11-16-2016
*from St. Patrick’s prayer