Someone once told me it’s not really love unless it changes you.
It’s a funny thing, change. Most of us recognize it as a good thing but fail miserably to actually embrace it when it is asked of us. We kick and scream, stubbornly refuse to change, or simply ignore seasons that are meant to shape us, mold us, and make us better than before.
8 weeks ago, the tiniest human was placed in my arms and my heart knew love I had only ever heard about. I’m still left in awe of how a single moment can forever shift our world. How can one tiny baby girl change everything?
If I’m honest, I mourned full nights of sleep and my independence and no longer being able to fit into old running shorts for the first few weeks of my daughter’s life. I am, after all, a silly, silly girl. Thankfully, our Jesus, who is not content to leave us in our foolishness, began to use my daughter to expose my heart. She has given me a close look at my own selfishness and how I often prioritize tasks over people in my pursuit of perfection. She has made me realize that I rely on a full night of sleep rather than Jesus for my joy and strength. She has made me see how sacrificing for those we love sounds awe-inspiring in conversation but is much more difficult in practice. She’s made me realize that I need to change, that I MUST change.
So here I am, perpetually sleepy and probably in need of a shower, realizing how little I know of love but wanting desperately to learn. And again and again, in moments of strength and in moments of weakness, I hear the Lord reminding me — I don’t get to be the girl I was; she won’t be able to handle what is ahead.
There are shorts I probably will never fit in again and I can’t tell you the next time I’ll get a full night of sleep. My house is messier than it has ever been before and I don’t know the last time I took a full shower, but I serve a God who calls me forward, who gently insists that I don’t get to be the same. He does so out of love. Because ultimately He knows a truth I am longing for my heart to comprehend: I am not losing myself in the process of becoming a mom; He is using my baby girl to make me more of who He created me to be.
In learning to love my baby girl, I am learning about the inexpressible love that our Father has for His children and He continues to make me more like Himself along the way — in the way I love, in my response to another sleepless night, in the ways I prioritize my people over my to do list.
So let’s not look back. Let’s courageously, blindly, wildly choose to lean into each new season and allow the Lord to have His way. I have a feeling that the girl He is shaping me to be is much better than the one I am today. He is, after all, in the business of changing hearts and making us more like Himself. Thankfully, He takes us as we are — in all of our imperfections and sleepiness, messiness and resistance — and He is trustworthy. We can let go of who we were and look toward being made new, trusting He knows exactly what He is doing and will provide all we need in the process.
So when you look in the mirror, don’t look for the person you used to see or the person you think you should be. Instead, ask your Heavenly Father to reveal to you His idea of who He thinks you should see in the reflection. I guarantee it will blow your mind and maybe even scare you, but it’s worth it. Embrace your season, embrace the change, and be amazed at the ways our Savior can make you new. It’s actually why we are here.
“No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:62
Written by Mary Johnson