"After all, the love that overtook my soul when my cheek touched their damp hair while we lay breast to breast for the first time felt like completion in my heart. Nevertheless, it was fleeting."
There is something missing. We are born with a longing in the very depths of our being and life always comes back to the desperate attempt to satisfy that empty space. As a little girl, I can remember longing for something – always resulting in tears because the feeling would ache and no attempt at my 8-year-old perfectionism could fill it. This chase after an unknown missing piece of my life continued into adolescence and into the foundational years of my adulthood. I had attempted all the usual suspects to make my heart feel whole. The drugs, alcohol, sex, you name it and of course, nothing was what I was looking for. I gave my life to Jesus, stopped the carousing and fully committed to living a different life.
When my babies were born, I experienced a love that only mothers know. This love runs deep. Deep deep deep. Like lay your life on the line and sacrifice everything for the little person you created deep. However, as mothers, we can mistake this love for something that will fill the longing void in our souls. That is exactly where I went wrong. I thought my babies had filled the void. All my purpose, time, energy, love, and commitment was focused on my babes. Know this is not a bad thing! We should do all these things for our children – but we cannot depend on being “needed” by them and the love we have for them to fill the void we have in our hearts. This only resulted in me putting God by the wayside. Our babies needing us the way they do when they are little is fleeting. Cherish it with all your heart but do not depend on it to satisfy the empty place. I only discovered this when my second by-birth daughter turned two and realized she didn’t need me the way she used to and WHOOSH that longing empty unsatisfied place was flooding right back. Truthfully, it had never gone, I was just trying to fill it with my love for her and her need for me.
I can only imagine the damage to ourselves if we go our children’s entire life at home depending on them and them needing us to fill that place that was meant to be directed towards our God.
I have an identity outside of my children, and so do you. Find yourself. Try new styles, buy a new outfit, try your hand at a hobby, do something to give to others, take a day and dedicate it to doing what you love without your kids' say so. Rediscover your purpose as an individual. I give you guilt-exempt permission!
My babies will never fill my void. Your babies will never fill your void. I will soak in every waking moment, knowing that it is fleeting. But my eyes still remain upward and inward in my desperation for God to complete me.