I have an amazing job as a hairdresser in that I not only get to spend time with lots of people every week, but that there is this instant sense of closeness that you develop with your clients that is unique to this job and is very strange but totally natural.
Just yesterday I was talking to my clients (friends) and I heard one story after another of parenting experiences that were so real and honest and practical yet amazing. These have been a continual source of encouragement for me during this time of new beginnings. *I remember feeling the same way towards all those who wanted to know about and be a part of my wedding plans and the new beginnings I was facing then.
These are just a few experiences I've had the blessing of hearing.
*A mom who tried with all her might to nurse both children and pumped for 5 months with #1 and with the second has been so many times to a lactation consultant only to be told kindly that she needed to probably do what's best for her family as a whole and not feel like a failure if her child could not learn to latch on rightly. She admitted that it's been hard for her to not feel like she's a failure but has been constantly reminded by her church body and dear friends that it's so important to keep the principle the important thing and that the principle is that we nourish and feed and nurture our baby, wether body or bottle, they get fed!
~ I think so many times we can take good things such as nursing and turn them into an act of righteousness, especially for those who it comes so naturally and problem free. I praise the Lord that He puts those into our lives and allows us to go through those trials of disappointment and feelings of failure in order that we may feel our dependence upon Him and know that through our experiences or others that no matter what it is, it is the Lord who sustains and gives strength to us to raise our families according to the path that He ordains. And that even the blessing of being able to nurse easily should never be taken for granted or looked at as something that is of your own merit but a gift of grace that we don't deserve. Thanks Carrie, for being a vessel of truth and transparency that the Lord uses to consistently bless me!
* In my quest for a natural birthing experience, I have lots of clients who have such wisdom in where to learn, and how to go about the process, and what their experiences have been... planned or not planned each have had their own unique story! Here are just a few....
~I've had clients who swear that the Lord knew they couldn't handle the pain or trauma and that they were able to have/want more children because of their pain free labor process.
~I've had clients who have had to have just to a little medicine to help a little in their natural birth process only to have a bad reaction to the med and have to have a c-section.
~ I've had clients who endured 2 rounds of In Vitro finally to become pregnant and carry full term, deliver and have their precious baby pass away the next day. *which led them to adoption and now their family is a beautiful picture of God's beauty in Diversity and Image of His Adoption of us as children of God!
~I've had clients who know about as much about birthing as most doulas or midwives, only to try everything in their power to turn a breech baby that would not turn. God's grace prevailed in this woman's disappointment in things that were out of her control, and she is able to focus on the fact that her daughter is healthy and growing up amazingly despite having a completely different birthing experience than she ever desired.
~ I've had clients who birth with the easiest of ease and seemingly pop out those babies, you would think that she'd just keep them coming, but the Lord has put in her heart a desire for a multi-racial family and thus she has put her biological family growth on hold in order to go overseas to adopt a child who will magnify God's love for the Nations to so many as she grows up here in America.
~ I've had clients who have so many children that their families think they are crazy and being unwise, and I'm sure they themselves battle with feelings of being overwhelmed and of fear for the future, but they know that these children were placed in their family by God and they are fighting to trust and believe and I know will magnify God with their precious large family.
~ I've had clients who have been diagnoised with endimetriosis and were told by their doctor that the best thing was to get pregnant and she wasn't even married or had the potential to get married in the near future for she was going overseas as a missionary. Only to find that overseas is exactly where she would meet her husband. Once married they were trying to conceive and found it not as easy as it seems... dealing with that frustration they head back overseas for ministry only to find that a baby had been placed in their arms seemily upon arrival that they are to adopt and care for due to the fact that her parents aren't able to.
GOD KNOWS!!!! He writes each of our stories and created each of our families for His glory and not according to our human expectations. He lovingly often puts desires in our hearts to grow or restrain our families so that we can pursue the path that will draw others to Him. But often He will work seemily against our desires to work sanctification in our hearts in order that through suffering, trials, surprises, closed doors, and changes in our plans He might show Himself to be Sufficient and Strong in our lives and our only true source of Hope and Life. May we welcome His workings in our lives and allow Him to grow us and change us from one glory to another!!