As I was rocking my toddler to sleep in her cozy, dark room the other night (we’re still working on the independent sleep thing LOL), I was reflecting on how I now have the life I so desperately wanted just five years ago: being married with kids.
And on that rocking chair, engulfed in the white noise we’ve used since we brought our baby girl home from the hospital, I laughed at how I imagined this life would mean no longer longing for anything.
I thought I would finally be able to live in peace and not have to prove my worth. I thought I’d feel so filled up from this vocation that I wouldn’t long for anything ever again.
My desire for any sort of career or work outside the home would go away; any hobbies or interests would diminish.
My emotional eating would be fixed. My concerns about what people thought of me would evaporate. My criticisms of my own body would end. And the persistent push to produce, produce, produce would magically go away.
Five years ago, if I heard a mom say she wanted some alone time, I didn’t understand it at all.
You mean, you want a break from your perfect life? The life where there is no more longing? The life where you can live in peace because you finally have everything you’ve ever wanted?
But, now I know that what I was actually describing was Heaven.
I confused marriage and kids for Heaven, instead of seeing them as the path to Heaven or a foretaste of Heaven.
The only place where we will long no longer is Heaven.
And what a relief!
When marriage or motherhood is exhausting, depleting, or disappointing, I can breathe and say that’s OK. This was never meant to be everything.
By the same token, when marriage or motherhood is joyful, sustaining, and breathtaking, I can smile and think there’s more of this to come in Heaven and on a level I can’t even imagine (God willing, I make it there).
So here’s my closing message.
Wives and mamas, please don’t beat yourself for realizing you have needs and desires outside of being a loving spouse and/or parent. If you long for more, it’s because you were made for Heaven and you’re not there yet. Acknowledging the pain and sacrifices of your vocation doesn’t mean you’re ungrateful.
You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.
For the single ladies out there longing for marriage and kids, I remember your pain. It can be so, so hard to see other women living the life you want and complaining about it at times (I’m raising my hand here!). I want you to know you are no less a member of the Body of Christ because you’re not married or in your vocation yet.
I wish, how I wish, I could tell you that you will meet your husband and have the family you’ve always wanted, but the truth is, I don’t know if you will. I didn’t know if I would. We aren’t guaranteed these things, but I would take comfort if these desires came to you in a time of peace and have been affirmed in prayer. I’m praying for you. You’re not forgotten.
When I kissed my toddler good night and placed her peaceful, slumbering soul into her crib, I thought life is good. So good, especially when bedtime with a toddler goes smoothly.
And someday, in Heaven, it’ll be even better and I will no longer long for anything.