When I was in my late teens and early twenties I was a go-getter. I was organized and driven. I worked out every day and helped out in our church’s youth group twice a week. I cultivated the relationships in my life and made time for coffee dates and phone calls.
I cared about my physical appearance and wore stylish clothes. My nails were always painted and I would rarely go out in public without making sure I looked “presentable.”
My relationship with the Lord was great and I spent an hour in the Word in the mornings. I would spend time in my closet praying at night (I know it’s weird but I had to be somewhere dark and quiet so I wouldn’t be distracted ha) before I went to sleep.
I was fun, semi-adventurous, and spontaneous. I felt this zeal for life and when a challenge presented itself I enjoyed working through it.
Now when I roll out of bed in the mornings, the person I see in the mirror isn’t that person at all.
She looks tired. Her eyes are puffy from a lack of sleep and her face is round from extra pounds gained from having kids. Her hair is in a two day old bun on top of her head to keep her kids from pulling it out with their tiny little fingers.
My time with the Lord most days is spent whispering prayers in times of need or reading a chapter or two on my phone while scarfing down lunch.
I don’t feel strong like I used to. I no longer meet the challenges in life head on…honestly most times I feel afraid that this will be the one that breaks me.
Motherhood has created a vulnerability in me that I have never experienced before. The question “Am I totally blowing this whole thing?!” is something I find myself wondering daily. Am I going to mess up my kids? Am I doing this right? Why did God entrust three little souls to someone like me???
I love my kids. They are one of the Lord’s greatest gifts to me outside of salvation and Chris. I treasure my days with them. I love their cuddles, their laughter, and their different personalities. They make life so sweet!
But through their little lives the Lord has brought me to a place of brokenness. A place where my sin is ever before me and I am raw and undone. The imperfections in my life are now running around on the outside in the form of three cute little kids. They are the aroma of what is inside my heart…if mommy is having a bad day, that manifests itself in the behavior of my children. If I am short and grumpy, my kids mimic my behavior. And even if I am having a great day and my kids are whiny and mean, I am still judged by others based on their behavior.
What was hidden inside of me is now visible to the world and totally out of my control.
And the Lord is using it to mold me into His image. He is not wasting my brokenness. Even though at times it may not feel like it, I AM becoming more like Jesus every day. And that is beautiful.
And while sometimes I struggle to remember the Courtney I used to be and miss her like a long lost friend I used to know so well, I would not trade this daily death I am dying to myself for anything. Being a mother is the most rewarding work I have ever had the privilege to take part in, but anything worth doing requires sacrifice.
And if I’m being honest, sometimes I miss the things I gave up.
I want to fit into my old jeans again, I don’t want to feel like a barge when I walk past a mirror, but working out is a real struggle in this season of my life. I am trying though!
I want to WANT to have fun again and not just fall into my bed at night and pray no one wakes me up before the sun rises. I want to belly laugh and be adventurous and travel with my man.
And I believe those things will happen again soon. Seasons are always changing.
But I also want to be faithful in this season given to me. This season of planting. I know the harvest will come and I pray by the grace of God that these kids I am pouring into daily will grow up to be warriors for Him. I pray that my harvest will be immeasurable for His kingdom. But I have to plant the seeds, water them, tend to them daily, if the harvest is ever going to come.
So if any of you momma’s out there are feeling like you’ve “lost yourself,” I understand. Some days I feel that way too.
But oh to lose yourself to find Christ. It is a loss that is not a loss at all.
All of the worthless things that stole my attention before are now being dimmed because of this refining fire in my life. The important things, the things that have eternal value are now my priority, whether intentional or not. My kids HAVE to have my attention in this season, but I’m thankful for that. Because I am forced to do eternal work, even on the days where I am tired and lose focus.
Jesus is teaching me to look ahead, like a horse that has blinders on each side.
“Your ears will hear a word behind you, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right or to the left.” (Isaiah 30:21)
So let’s walk that way.
6 thoughts on “I Miss The Person I Was Before I Had Kids”
Courtney, I see you are maturing in lots of ways. And you have learned early that the way you feel determines the mood of the whole family for the day. Many a day I perked up and put on a happy face so all would be well with my family. Amazing how God molds us and makes us. He always gives us strength to care for our family. Being a wife and mother can be challenging, but you are a strong and beautiful lady. There’s lots of phases we go through in life, but keeping our eyes on Jesus in whatever the circumstances is your main goal. Enjoy your husband and children. You all are so precious. Love, love ya’ll!
I am in this same season with my kids, and was just telling my friend that I feel I’ve lost who I am. Thank you for this reminder that God is using us even if we feel we have lost who we once were. Life is so hard right now!
Hi there, first time reader, i must say, i truly enjoyed reading this entry. I am a newlywed and we have our first baby girl together. i can related on so many levels to your words. the only discrepancy is I’m losing too much weight from not eating enough; in fact I had a reputation for my appetite and now I weigh less then i did before this life. my husband however is riding the gravy train… I feel like I’m going through this challenge all by myself and my husband is milking the “children are the stay at home mom’s responsibility” excuse. can you relate at all?
Hey Jay! Well thank you for stopping by! 😉 I’m sorry to hear that you feel like you’re going through this by yourself. I can relate on some levels! It’s hard to give and take when you are both tired. Have you talked to him about your feeling alone through this?
This is kind of amazing, I love your blog. Yes, Ive tried the communication route. Reading other moms blogs and keeping a diary is really helping me through this. I no longer feel alone. Life isn’t perfect and there will always be challenges. I just have to keep my head up and pray.
I am so glad to hear you aren’t feeling alone!! Loneliness is one of the worst feelings! Keep it up, and I’ll be praying for you too!