Last week I sent my 7 year old wild girl off to second grade.  There were no outer tears but my mama heart was a mix of emotions.

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I often look at her with these eyes of wonder.  Almost as if she isn’t mine.  It’s a strange feeling to describe and I am not sure if another mother could say they have ever felt it.

She has grown up so much in the year, into this girl, this wild eyed lioness that even when she’s driving me insane I am still so enamored that God chose me to be her mom.

There are days when she is at school that I wish she had a cell phone so I could text her and tell her that I love her, that I am thinking of her and am so glad I am her mommy.

Our path has not always been easy.  In fact it’s been marked and scarred with trauma and ugliness that only the God who gave her to me can heal.

We are walking that healing road now and it is just as painful as the one that got us here.  Only the deeply rooted trees of beauty I see sprouting, like the emotions I feel when I look at her never wouldn’t have been there before.

She comes and gets in bed with me most nights and says:

“Mommy, I want to snuggle”

It’s then I think back to the girl I was 10 years ago.  The girl who never thought she’d be a mom.

2003…….

I was living with Abigail’s dad whom I met in the Kansas State Hospital (OMG I just said that out loud.  On the internets)

It’s ok.  It doesn’t change who I am now.

I digress. 

My days were spent being fueled by crack cocaine.  It’s all I had to keep the deeply wounded parts of me at bay.  I was told by so many different people, so many different things about “who I was” or “what I needed to do”

Diagnoses

Medications

Therapy

I chose instead to just do drugs.  It was easier that way in my opinion.  Plus, back then the crazy life suited me.  It kept her dad and I together.  Without the drugs we wouldn’t have survived as a couple.  As a 22 year old I was sure he and I were going to spend the rest of our lives together and that that a picture perfect ending was sure to come.  

Maybe…….

When I look back now I realize that I couldn’t see past each day.  My only objective was to make sure I was intoxicated somehow.  It did not matter what I put in my body as long as my reality was altered.

July 2005 is when everything started to unravel.  We had lost our apartment, had been living in the Topeka Rescue Mission and were both burnt out and fried.  

I don’t remember how it happened but we made the decision to move to Florida to escape the drug filled everything-ness of Kansas.

That’s when the shit hit the fan.   Without drugs our “relationship” wasn’t the same.  So the void was filled with alcohol. 

Not.a.good.idea

I knew it was over; I just didn’t have a reason to leave.

Then December 3, 2005 at 315pm I heard the words that would, in the course of 20 seconds change my life FOREVER.

“Honey, it’s positive”

The nurse had to say it like 5 times.  I am pretty sure she was pissed by the third time I asked her because she started talking a bunch of blood test mumbo jumbo but I blanked her out.

Pregnant

Me

A Baby

I was happy, he was not.  His response was to go get a six pack. 

Mmmmmmm yeah I am going to leave you hanging with that one.

I was not totally clean at that point but over the course of the next nine months there was radical change.  I left her dad, I got clean, I became a Christian and then BOOM a baby.

Yet everything was still buried deep.  The things I had been shoving down deeper and deeper with drugs I now used Jesus and legalism to shove down.

Cause you know if you love Jesus and follow ALL the rules then everything is perfect RIGHT ( sarcasm font)

But it wasn’t and it took some seriously life altering things to bring me to a place where the buried stuff was all spilled out, including my mothering.

So when I look at this beautiful, wild eyed, lioness now I am marveled that God chose me…. ME, to be her mom.  Because He knew where the path would lead and where it would take us. 

I have to take a second glance at her sometimes because I think to myself “WOAH, she came from me?”

Being her mom is a sacred thing. 

A beautiful thing.

A holy thing.

All because of how it came about.  I was a junk show when I found out I was pregnant yet still in that moment there was hope of something different, something bigger than myself.

Somehow there still is.

As Always,

Bethany

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