Eight years ago, I had the privilege of attending a Discipleship Training School with Youth With A Mission Maui. This school changed my life in so many ways, but I will never forget the crazy way it started.
Upon arrival to the school, we were informed that the next morning, we were getting up at 4am and meeting. We were promptly split into groups and sent on a scavenger hunt that sent us hitching across the island, following a list of things we had to find and teaching us how to hitch rides from strangers. We were not allowed to take anything with us but one short sleeve shirt, one long sleeve, one pair of pants or shorts, one pair of shoes, our journal, and our Bibles. No toothbrushes, soap, books, watches, nothing. Our bags were searched. After hitching across the island, we found ourselves at our meeting point, which was the middle of nowhere. The staff running the school informed us we would be camping there, and we needed to figure out how to string up the tarps, because it was most certainly going to rain that night. We didn’t know how long we were going to be there, we never knew what time it was, we were given to itinerary; we were at the mercy of the staff. We were fed either plain porridge or plain ramen, and given one disposable bowl and spoon for our time there.
We were stripped of almost everything that could’ve served as a distraction: cellphones, internet, cute clothing, basic hygiene, books to hide in, everything. We were here with 50 other people we had just met, we dint know how long we would be there, and we had nowhere to hide.
This is when God broke me. He captured my heart so many times throughout this school, but this was the initial break, the big one. Who was I when all the things I had wrapped my identity in were stripped away? I couldn’t try on different personalities to make friends; I couldn’t be there girl that made cookies to make friends, I couldn’t be the one with the funky clothes, I couldn’t even be there bookworm. I was simply there, and I was HIS. I met with God in such an intimate way that I didn’t know was possible, and in those sweet moments, He revealed to me just how dearly He loves me and how I can trust Him to be the Father He is.
Fast forward eight years and here I am, realizing I am going through a different kind of Exodus. I have a dear sweet baby girl, and I am blissfully happy. Having said that, it is hard, and requires an amount of selflessness that can shake me at times.
I no longer have my own schedule, but am following her lead and whims. Feeding her when she is hungry and growing, or simply needs comforting. Waking in the middle of the night to feed her and snuggle her. Our cute outfits will always have some sort of her bodily fluid on them. Doing things like housework, making dinner, or putting on makeup takes three times as long because I am usually wearing her in her carrier, bouncing her to calm her and put her to sleep.
The list could go on, but everyone know that motherhood is a sacrifice and you give up things. Yes, of course, thats obvious. But I am sitting here on my front porch (wearing Miss Mabel in her carrier and swaying to keep her to sleep), and I can’t help but think of the many similarities of these things.
The main thing? Sanctification.
Being stripped away of the worldly identities that I have wrapped myself up in, and simply being the daughter that He has called me to be. Loosely holding my desires in my hand, ready to drop them and give of myself to nurture and love on her.
Speaking of which, Lil Miss is stirring and needs to be fed. These are the moments and days I will hold on to. I won’t look back and wish I was more productive, but I know I will look back and wish I could hold my precious baby longer.