I have been a mother now for 10 and a half years (and counting). I am almost 40 years old. Sometimes, it surprises me how much time has passed in my life and how many things have happened since I was a teenager. I don’t know if most people feel this way, but it still feels like I was just a child not so long ago. Lots of memories are still fresh in my mind even though certain emotions associated with those memories have long since gone. Every now and then, I wonder: how much of ME has changed and how much hasn’t?
I am pretty sure that I have evolved as a person. I’d like to think that I am an improved version of myself now, although there are certain things that I was probably better at when I was younger and didn’t have many cares in the world. When you become a mother, your whole world shifts and changes. It’s no longer about you and what you want or how you feel that becomes your main concern. When you’re a new mom, the world becomes a bit scary, a bit daunting, you have a lot of worries, fears and insecurities. At the same time, your world also becomes fresh and new, with lots of unlimited dreams and possibilities. You stare at the world with wide-eyed wonder, excitement fills your heart and you believe that anything is really possible.
Last week, I attended a Sisters mid-week service, a small gathering for women at a local church. The topic was about FEAR and the very first verse was Psalm 27:1, which was my life verse when I was 17 years old:
“The Lord is my light and my salvation —
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life —
of whom shall I be afraid?”
One of the big realizations that got me through tough times, whether it was work-related or home-related, was that if you can go through the pain of childbirth, which is probably one of the most excruciating experiences one could ever have, you can do anything! A work deadline is nothing. A disagreement with your spouse is nothing. A traffic jam coupled with some road-raging drivers on the freeway when you’re running late for something is nothing. I don’t mean to discount the experiences of others in saying this because I understand that each person has their own challenges in life. However, this is my growth process.
As each year passes and I watch our family grow in faith, I feel less and less fearful. I get stressed on a daily basis because that’s just the way I’m wired (sadly, and I’m trying to be better) , but I realize that I don’t worry about many things. I trust my husband and I trust my God. I have also learned to trust myself that I’m qualified to be a mom. I fully acknowledge that it is not because of my own personal qualities that I can do it.
“For God has not given us the spirit of fear,
but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
2 Timothy 1:7–8
Part of this fearless journey is reconnecting with myself and rediscovering me as a person. It finally makes sense to me what the saying “Life begins at 40" really means.
As I explore the profoundness of this, I hope that whoever may be reading this would travel with me.