Sunday, May 22, 2016

From a Mama's Heart

Stepping out of my comfort zone with this one...


A few weeks ago, I read this post on FB from my friend, Ragan (sharing with her permission):
Rewind 19 years...I'm gonna be a little vulnerable, so I'm trusting I won't get negative comments. Our lives were forever changed when we found out we were pregnant with Aubrey as young high school kids. The fear was overwhelming for me. Statistics began to jump out at me of her growing up with teenage parents and what that would look like. Many of my friends encouraged me to have an abortion. The judgment I felt from all sides was overwhelming family & friends, false accusations, peoples opinions were exhausting. I understand that I was not the only one who was affected & that people process things differently. However, it seems people are so great at focusing on the negative. Feelings of guilt and shame were my new normal. It was like pity was apart of every conversation. I decided we were NOT gonna be a negative statistic. I began reading every parenting book/magazine I could get my hands on. I was afraid of failure. I didn't want to fail. I didn't want to fail this baby. I felt alone whether I was or not. I had no clue what the future held but knew that I was gonna do the best I could to be the best mother to her.
I decided to turn to God for help. I opened my Bible and prayed and cried and asked God to be with me. I felt so alone. Dark days of fear surrounded me. My thoughts overwhelmed me.
One day I found this scripture, in Psalms 139 it says:(You should read the whole chapter)
"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."
Psalm 139:13-16 NIV
It was as if to me God wrote this scripture just for me and this baby. God met me where I was. He was with me. He knew me. He knew this baby. He knew Aubrey. He knew my fears. Even in the midst of my choices, He still loved me right where we were. Both of us. I held tight to that chapter when I felt discouraged or alone.
19 years later, I have sacrificed, struggled through parenthood, fought hard to make good choices, discovered true love, given 1000% to being the mother that she deserved.
Sunday we decided Aubrey would lead this new song that I talked about in the beginning of this post. I had long forgotten about Psalm 139. Sunday, I was reminded. I was reminded of His faithfulness. I was reminded of God's unconditional love. I was reminded that He can take our mess and make it great. He can take our sorrow and turn it to joy. He can replace fear with faith. I was reminded of my journey.
It was such a surreal moment for me when together we sang these words, Aubrey singing lead while I sang harmonies with her. I was overwhelmed as my tears flowed like rain. I couldn't even get through it.
" From my mother's womb
You have chosen me
Love has called my name
I've been born again
Into your family
Your blood flows through my veins"
I never really share personal things. But if I could say one thing, there's no way anyone could ever convince me that God is not who He is. There's noway that Sunday was an accident. It is a memory I will never forget. This song will be a landmark in our lives.
God knows her. He chose her. He calls her by name. She has a purpose. She has purpose. Listen to this song and know that God is perfect love. He is hope. He is with us always.

And, my goodness, this reminded me so much of me.
13 years ago today, my life changed.
I saw my babygirl's heart beat for the very first time.
I found out I was a Mom.


I will never forget that day.
And telling my parents that their babygirl, known for more or less always doing the right thing, was pregnant.

I wasn't married.
Yes, I loved my [now] husband, but we were not ready for marriage much less a baby.  
I had simply made a choice that ended up hurting many.

Like my friend Ragan's words stated, "The judgment I felt from all sides was overwhelming, family & friends, false accusations, peoples opinions were exhausting. I understand that I was not the only one who was affected & that people process things differently. However, it seems people are so great at focusing on the negative. Feelings of guilt and shame were my new normal. It was like pity was apart of every conversation.... I felt alone whether I was or not. I had no clue what the future held but knew that I was gonna do the best I could to be the best mother to her."

I remember so much about that time in my life.
I had one special friend, Karen, who was with me during some tough times.  But she remained constant. She will never know how much her friendship and her constant support meant to me.  
She was my reminder that we are better together.
  
And as time passed, one thing remained - grace. 
The free and unmerited favor of God.
In the middle of what others saw as a mess, I was blessed with the most perfect and healthy baby.

I promised myself that I never wanted my daughter to feel that she wasn't wanted or loved.
I always wanted her to feel like she was meant to be.

So fast forward 13 years...and here we are at present day.


And my girl is struggling.
Girls are mean and middle school is tough.
And she feels alone and unwanted.

And I'm haunted by my past.
I can't help but wonder if it's because of me that she feels this way.
Have I not been the mom she deserves?
Loved her enough?
Made sure she knows she is loved and wanted?

I have covered her in scripture and prayed and prayed over her.  I have reminded her just like the scripture says, God created HER just how He wanted.  That she is fearfully and wonderfully made!  That He has only GOOD things planned for her life.  I could go on and on about all the things she is excelling in...and also share the things she struggles with.  I know she is not perfect, but my goodness is she loved!

I want her to know and believe she is loved!
That yes, she is my child, but most importantly, she is a CHILD OF GOD!
I want her to know that all her fears are drowned in perfect love.

The rest of the song goes on with this:

I am surrounded
By the arms of the Father
I am surrounded
By songs of deliverance

We've been liberated
From our bondage
We're the sons and the daughters
Let us sing our freedom



You split the sea

So I could walk right through it
All my fears were drowned in perfect love
You rescued me
So I could stand and sing
I am a child of God


I'm no longer a slave to fear,
I am a child of God.


What I'm trying to say, in the midst of all of this, is simply meet people where they are.
Everyone has a story.
Not one of us is perfect.

And when it comes to single mama's, especially in the church, my goodness show them some love and encouragement.
Because I can tell you from experience, we are doing a good enough job of telling our own self how much we've messed up and drowning our own self in fear.

We are better together...
It's not our job to judge. 
It's our job to love...
To speak hope...
To speak life!

10 comments:

  1. You, have always, including now, been loved by me, unconditionally! You are our gift and will always be my " baby girl"!

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  2. Jenny Harsin... you are an amazing, strong and beautiful woman and soul. Just when I think you couldn't be more special, I read this; thank you. Take a listen to Natalie Grant's song - Clean... and Remember, you ARE a great Mom to Ry and Tatey... and I know I'm lucky to have you as my reminder that we can all be better people. Much love girlie.

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  3. You are an awesome mamma; Ry and Tay are loved beyond measure by you and Phil and hopefully these struggles with Ry will pass soon with your help, encouragement and love. Love you!!

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  4. You were born to be a mom. God chose you to be Ryleigh's mom, and he doesn't make mistakes. Keep the faith! Love You, Mom

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  5. You are such an amazing woman, Jenny! You have a heart of gold and such a way with words. It is evident to me how God speaks through your words. I love to read your blog...you are such a blessing to so many!! Love and hugs!!

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  6. Thank you so much for this, Lisa!!! I appreciate you more than you know my friend! :)

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