Other people were judgmental and rude. Not me.
It’s amazing what different seasons of life will reveal if you let them. After having our first son, it was like God ignited a bomb within my soul that exposed some major sin in my life. I am sure many moms have this aha moment, but I was completely caught off guard. It’s crazy how sneaky pride is in our lives, convincing you that you aren’t a judgmental person. “I’m not judging her, I just won’t be doing it THAT way.” I would tell myself pre-childbirth.
Sure, I never said anything out loud (at least not to that person) about my thoughts on how wrong they were. But slowly my perception of other mother’s would be one of pity. Such a shame that they just couldn’t get their act together so their lives would be better and they wouldn’t have to be so overwhelmed. “I won’t be like that”, I said. “I will learn from their mistakes and we won’t have all these problems.” I scrutinized and analyzed these mothers who allowed me to see their messy lives and silently chose to write them off as far as potential mentors went. They clearly weren’t the ones I wanted to be watching and learning from. I was exceptionally harsh with one friend in particular. Her life was entirely different than mine, from the type of marriage she had to her personality. This is the same friend who was brave enough to declare in front of me and all my friends that she had looked at porn, when everyone around me was expressing disgust at the thought. And so I found myself mentally separating myself from her and placing myself on a pedestal. I would be different.
“Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall.” – Proverbs 16:18
Well that fall came and it came hard. It turns out I was not different. It turns out, I was worse. I am confident God was disgusted with my prideful heart before my journey in motherhood even began and he proceeded to remove it as quickly as possible. I am thankful, but it was extremely painful. I was going to be one of those moms who does everything right. You know, like all of those mom bloggers. I would have a natural birth at a birthing center with no meds. I would nurse my child for a year and never use formula. I…….I…….I would do none of those things. After five days of labor ending in an emergency C-section (that’s right, five freaking days), an intense and difficult recovery, major difficulties nursing leading to a switch to formula at six months, and countless other “failures,” I was in a dark and depressing place. “I am a failure. I can’t do anything right. I hate myself. I…….I…….I CAN’T DO THIS ANYMORE!!!”
You know what’s funny? That same friend who I judged so harshly, is the one who told me I was not a failure. This mom who I viewed as doing it “wrong,” was the one who encouraged me every step of the way through my horrible labor. She was the one who told me that it was ok to use formula, even though she herself never had to use it for her children. She accepted my failures and had grace on me. She did not judge me in my hour of need (even though she never struggled in the areas of motherhood that I was struggling in). She was there for me and prayed for me and answered the phone when I desperately needed a friend to talk things through.
My pride was exposed even more for what it really was, and I was brought lower than I had ever been before. “I can’t do this anymore.”
It’s true. I couldn’t do it anymore. I couldn’t continue in my pride. Thankfully my story didn’t end where it does for so many others. I stopped looking at myself and started looking at Jesus. I stopped trying to do it by myself and reached out for help. I took myself off of that pedestal and brought myself low at the feet of my King.
“And he gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” – James 4:6
Oh, thank God for that grace.