My first son, Jude, is eleven months old this week. We still count the months, but we’ve started saying “almost a year.”
Almost everyone knows that the excitement of a newborn quickly turns into insecurity central. “I don’t know what I’m doing.” “Everyone is a better parent than me.” “I didn’t mean to drop him.” Ugh.
Never has there been a day where I have been unthankful. I don’t have words to describe my bond with my son. Any frustration or lack of patience I’ve ever had at all, has been with myself. The past eleven months have been spent staring down my insecurities, my view of God’s will in my life, and trying to figure out what to do with the old me.
Answer: Throw him away.
Time for new me.
This is the gift of Jude. God is using Jude to take the self-centered, self-focused “me” out of me. What a beautiful gift!
This hasn’t been better illustrated to me than during my recent vacation to the beach. I told Heather that vacations would never be the same and that they might not exist again like they used to. I felt a twinge of pain and hurt when I said it. I couldn’t put my finger on what was bothering me. It felt like a proclamation coming out of my mouth, but it was really a heartfelt question. It was a question I knew would be answered with another silent question: “Do you love your self more than you love others?”
Ah yes, the old lingering “me.”
Our neighbor on the island, approached me as we were about to leave to come home. I don’t know how he knew. Maybe he didn’t know. He looked at me, not angry, but no smile, and said, “You always remember this: Be thankful that your son isn’t in a hospital somewhere. Have you ever spent any time in a hospital? Be thankful for that.” Silence. Awkward.
At this point, I shrank to about a foot tall. God used this unassuming guy to wreck me. It’s been days and I’m still trying to figure out what this means for me.
I suppose it will take me some more time, perhaps forever, to embrace my new normal. It is certain, however, that the new normal will be better than the old one, thank God. Less “me.”