“Our 13 year old Jeffrey, yet another miracle of God’s”
Praise the Lord! I have heard such great responses from this last week of testimonies! Everyone really enjoyed the prophecies of redemption, freedom, and revelation. I thought that it would be fitting for me to end this week on a personal testimony, and given my eldest son Jeffrey’s 13th birthday we just celebrated, I thought that it would be good to share my story of becoming a mom for the first time. It really was a miracle.
As many of you may of may not know, Jeff and I met and were married very quickly. After just 3 months of knowing each other, we had our honeymoon, and that was a wonderful time for both of us. We had decided to wait to sleep together until our honeymoon and I can still recall the awesome feeling of waking up as a newly married couple, there was such peace and tranquility. No shame, no regret. We were married and it was awesome! I had just spent the last three months planing a very QUICK wedding was exhausted, so we pretty much slept our entire honeymoon and watched a Tears for Fears marathon on the VHI music channel (oh how romantic).
“I can still remember coming home and saying “Honey I am not going to work any more, I know somehow you will figure everything out.””
Right before I was married, when I was living with my parents and covered by their insurance, I was on a birth-control shot that lasted only three months into our marriage. You can imagine what happened as soon as it wore off… I became pregnant with our first son. I was working retail at the time, in a fancy department store standing on my feet and knew that this could not last. Jeff and I had talked about me staying home and raising our children and how someday we would be able to do it. I can still remember at the three month of being pregnant mark, coming home and saying “Honey I am not going to work any more, I know somehow you will figure everything out.” You know what, he did! We discussed our options, and what it came down to was moving, selling things, and doing without luxuries. It also involved Jeff stepping out in faith and starting a cleaning business, I am glad he did.
This period of moving from an expensive apartment to a modest duplex, and learning how to cook potatoes a thousand ways, was one of the most character building times of my life. Even though we didn’t have much, I had freedom and time. I could nest, and decorate and sleep… oh the sleep!!! (I always encourage first time pregnant women to sleep sleep sleep!) What a luxurious humbled life I led! In the last trimester; I slept until 11 am, woke up to eat, went and took a nap until 5… then woke up to cook dinner, ate again… and went back to bed! (As you can imagine I gained quite a few pounds with my first baby!)
“7pm, October 19, 1997 in Tualatin, Oregon my life forever changed.”
I was a nervous wreck when delivery started, it was as if I had forgotten everything I had learned in class designed to “prepare” me for delivery. I had received so many different kinds of advice that now when push came to shove (pardon the pun) everything had flown in one ear and out the other! Thirteen years ago I had to wait to be 8cm dilated for an epidural, and thankfully I was able to endure. All that I can remember from that delivery was that I had a great view, a Rocky marathon was on TBS, Jeff was asleep on the couch, and my mom was there to see him born that’s about it!
The miracle really happened next… Yes, the birthing process was cool. Yes, it was great being able to get pregnant so fast. Yes, it was even remarkable being able to stay home. But none of this compared to the revelation miracle that I received on the 7th day after his birth.
“I had also heard my grandmother who had her own four kids tell me, “Jessica don’t buy into this postpartum nonsense.””
You probably won’t be surprised when I inform you that I don’t subscribe to the postpartum diagnosis. I know that you have known me long enough to tell you that “all sickness is satanic oppression” and if it doesn’t line up with the Word of God, than I am going to have no part in it. Mothers get exhausted, primarily from a lack of understanding how things work. The Word of God says that we have not been given a spirit of fear, and that the devil is a destroyer NOT God. I knew enough of this after my baby was born that I wasn’t going to excuse any form of depression. As this depression was not excusable to me, I never let myself go there. I had also heard my grandmother who had her own four kids tell me, “Jessica don’t buy into this postpartum nonsense.” Her frankness on this issue was all I needed to hear.
“I was exhausted from having tried to do everything in that darn “What to Expect Book”!”
I could recognize however that I was exhausted and too proud to admit it. I was exhausted from having tried to do everything in that darn “What to Expect Book”! (which should be thrown out if you have one) I remember trying to wake my baby up at all kinds of hours to eat, stripping him naked and then washing him down. (This does not make them hungry this makes them MAD!)
I remember changing him every hour, burping him wrong, feeding him wrong. He had thrush in his mouth, and I had engorgement in places that I did know could get “engorged”. I was getting NO sleep at all trying to get this baby to eat, and trying to be the perfect wife and mother! To add to things, we had a “family bed”… so the baby slept right in between Jeff and I… I have since learned, BIG mistake!
“Physiologically, I had gotten in the unfortunate habit of watching the clock at 7pm EVERYDAY and saying to myself, “He is another day older…””
Physiologically, I had gotten in the unfortunate habit of watching the clock at 7pm EVERYDAY and saying to myself, “He is another day older…” I was torturing myself! EVERYDAY I thought on a 24 hour schedule of how old he was getting and “growing up before my eyes”. Things were going from bad to worse. I needed comfort, I needed sleep, and I needed peace most of all.
Finally on the eve of the eighth day, a dam burst in my heart and I could take it no longer. I was bawling as I held my sleeping baby in my arms, and at 2 am, Jeff woke up to hear me sobbing and asked me if I was “ok”. Being a wife married to a sole bread winner, I reassured him that I was fine and then I told him to go back to bed. I never asked him to do anything, no diaper changing, no feedings, nothing. Why? Because I knew how hard he was working. The mental and physical strain, and I really did not want to burden him with baby duties too. He did his part, by never criticizing the house and just stepping over all the clothes on the floor and practiced not observing the general filthiness of the house while I figured out everything to do with mothering.
“It felt to me like motherhood and nursing, were the most un-natural things in the world!”
There I lay, bawling, with this amazing bundle of baby. (I can’t say joy, because ashamedly to say that at that point having a baby WASN”T joy.. it was WORK) So here laid this baby, in my arms, so precious and sweet, sleeping sound and calm. Not a care in this world. I had done everything I could to be there for him to be the “perfect” mother. Everyday was quickly going by, and I still felt like we (the baby and I) were wrong sides of velco strip. Rubbing at each other and not sticking to each other. It felt to me like motherhood and nursing, were the most un-natural things in the world! Then, in my darkest hour, wondering if I would ever be me again the Lord spoke to me,
“Jessica. You know he isn’t yours right?”
“Yes, you know he isn’t yours right. He’s mine, all mine.”
“Overnight, I had been set free.”
What sweet words for the Lord to speak to me! My tears dried up, instead of kept pouring, and I began to see that I was just the womb that was entrusted to carry another life for God. Jeffrey, this little precious boy (whose name means peacemaker) was put on this earth for greatness, for a purpose, for a design. Not just for me to raise or feel attached to. Jeffrey wasn’t, and couldn’t be my identity. Jeffrey was here for God, and I was here for them both. Suddenly, I became overwhelmed with peace. Overnight, I had been set free. I started sleeping whenever he slept, and I began to treasure him as the Lord’s treasure.
I threw away all of my books on raising kids, and I stopped watching the clock. I began a process of praying for God’s children (not mine) and enjoying everyday that we had together like it was the only day that mattered. Around this same time, some acquaintances of ours, that we had really respected had a son who died in his sleep at 30. His mother said to us all, “He was not my son, he never was. He was merely a temporary visitor in our house and we were blessed to be honored to have been chosen to raise him.”
That was all I needed to hear. Praise God for children, they are like arrows in a quiver! The Bible says and “blessed be the man whose quiver is full of them.”
We, who are parents, are blessed to be able to have the opportunity to raise God’s children. Everyday since that first week, I have manage to maintain a due diligence to living life moment by moment. To really soak up each day from beginning to end. I am not in fear of missing something, I just want to see everything. Have these last 13 years gone by fast? NO, they have been as slow as molasses on a hot summers day!
I haven’t been rushing to do anything with God’ children. I have been watching each minute of the day unfold a new revelation of the character of these five amazing persons of God. Each day is a memory in the making, and I am in the midst of this memory, and each day that the Lord has these children in my care, I am a washed with thanksgiving! Praise the Lord! I was set FREE! Free to be the mother the Lord always intended for me to be!
God Bless you friends,
A note from Jessica,
I am so glad that you have enjoyed testimony week! This next week, were are going for a week of blogs on parenting and motherhood. Thank you for following testimony week. If after reading my testimony, you feel led to share your personal story of God’s goodness, please do so! Your testimony according to Rev 19:10 IS the spirit of prophecy! It is through our testimony of Christ, that others are strengthened and encouraged that THEY TOO can win in life! Your testimony is prophetic!
You can send your testimony to: firstname.lastname@example.org. We give all our potential testifiers an option for anonymity, as well as the initial rights to proof what is printed.
You can also read more real-life testimonies @ http://wholeheartedministries.com/forreal