Thursday, February 28, 2008

Baby, I'm Afraid You're A Lot Like Me

Four years ago, this evening, I sat with a tiny baby girl in my arms. I hadn't known it would be her, and I wasn't sure how to be a mommy. All I had known was that a baby was coming, and it would be mine to love.

After 24 hours of labor, I had a beautiful girl placed in my arms, and I had never seen such beauty. She looked up at me with such wide eyes and a silky dark hair, and I remember my first thought was that she resembled one of my baby pictures. There was a familiarity in her eyes, that I saw. After months of wondering what this unknown baby would look like, here she was in front of me, and all I could think, was that she reminded me of me.

Since that moment of first laying eyes on my daughter, I have grown to love her in so many ways. I love how she embraces life with passion and excitement. I love how she is zany and silly. I love the compassion she has for others, and the willingness to stick to something, even when it's so hard it makes her cry.

Even though I don't hold her on my chest the way I did that evening four years ago, I still sometimes lie close beside her, and look over her face, and wonder. I wonder how I will bless her, and how I will fail her. How I will show her love, how I will not. How will I be her mother, and but also her friend? How will I teach her to be a woman after the Lord's heart, and yet have the confidence to walk through her deepest doubts asking Him to show her the way? How can I teach her to be a woman of truth and courage, with strength and passion? How will I show her how to embrace joy and sorrow, and to love relentlessly? I do not know the answers to these questions. I only know that no matter what I do, or don't do, the Lord has chosen her to be my little girl, and me to be her mommy. And because of that I know that He will show me how.

I still see so much of myself in River. Sometimes because of that it makes it hard for me to be as gracious and patient with her. But I desperately want to. So much of the time, when I pray for her, I pray for myself. And vice versa. Because the same strengths I have, she has. And the same weaknesses I have, she has. It brings me joy, and it scares me to death. But I know that the Lord is big enough to love her through it all, just as He has me. I love the words of this Sara Groves song, because it's exactly how I feel when I think about River.

Baby, I'm afraid you're a lot like me.
You can't help feeling everything.
I can see you trying to hold it in.
I see your eyes, and your trembling chin.

And for you, and myself, I will pray.
That our weakness becomes our strength.

Baby there some holes you just can't fill.
You try and you try, but you never will.
Baby, I believe a God who can.
He loves the boy, and He'll love the man.

And for you and myself, I will pray.
That our weakness becomes our strength.

She brings me so much joy. I love her more than I ever knew I could. Happy Birthday, baby girl.


Kevin and Amy Sasser said...

Happy Birthday River from all the Sassers! We wish we could celebrate you tonight but we will be thinking of you! We are thankful you are in our lives! Melissa, thanks for being such a great example of a Godly mother. Thanks for loving River (and Asher)well and for allowing all of us to watch you!

Suzanne said...

Beautiful Blog Melissa, At first I thought you wrote the lyric listed :) That is what happens when one should be alseep but is up reading blogs.

Happy Birthday River! You are special and lovely little girl. I love you.