Now That Baby is Here
Q. How did your relationship with God change after having your first child?
Julie Kieras: As I watched our first son develop and grow, what should have been obvious became clear. I’d known God as Saviour, Creator, Healer, Lord…, but as a parent? a father? When I took on the daily and hourly concerns of a mother, I understood for the first time the depth, the complexity of God as a parent. I saw my relationship with God through a new lens: “Heavenly Father” suddenly seemed like it had been just nominal until now.
Now, as a mom, I spent every waking (and some when I should’ve been sleeping!) moments, eyes wide opened, focused with love on our child. Watching our son reach, crawl, stand, walk… guiding him through each phase of growth.
Our lives are but a shadow of things, I know. Our love for our children is but a shadow of God’s love for us… that truth pierces deep. My over-brimming love for my babies, “patience” through late night feedings, and guiding our sons through toddler temper-storms, is truly but a shadow of how much God loves, waits with open arms, and guides us as the gentle Shepherd, the parent of our hearts.
Dusty Shell: You can’t gaze into a newborn baby’s eyes and not see a reflection of all of your own imperfections. You can’t stop yourself from formulating a master plan to undo all the bad in your life in order to make more good for this new one. If you know the Lord, you can’t avoid His presence when you stare straight at positively poignant proof of His very existence wrapped up in a swaddling blanket. It takes your breath away. It cannot ever be accurately described, only felt with every ounce of your heart. Let me just tell you that I believe God used my first baby to rescue me. She made me realize that there is so much more to this big wide world than pleasing ourselves. She helped me turn back to the Lord after spending a couple years of wandering lost and lonely. She is such a blessing and her birth was proof that God works all things together for good for those who love Him.
Tiffany Malloy: For me, not much changed after having my first child because I was still in my daily rhythms. I worked at a campus ministry and was so blessed to be able to bring my little baby with me to work after maternity leave. He sat in his pack and play while I typed out some emails, bounced in my lap while I met with college ladies for discipleship, and played on the floor with his toys while I was having a quiet time. It wasn’t until having my second child, and then becoming a stay-at-home mom that my relationship with God changed. No longer was I engaged in full-time ministry outside the home, but was stuck inside with two kids under the age of two, figuring out how to be loved by God while changing diapers. It took a couple years for me to really grasp and revel in the fact that my relationship with God isn’t based on what I do for Him, but who I am in Him.
Susan Heim: Before I had children, I believed in God, but I didn’t understand God. I saw Him only as a judge. I was sure that God could never love a sinner like me, and the distance between us grew deeper as I made the inevitable mistakes of youth. But then I had children, and they tested me, like all children do. They disobeyed and didn’t always follow my rules. They made mistakes, lots of them. But I always forgave them, no matter how angry they made me. I never stopped loving them or wanting a closer relationship with them. And that’s when I realized that my thinking about God had changed. Yes, even now I disappoint Him often, but I know He never stops loving me. He is always there for me, just as I will always be there for my children. I now see God as a loving parent, not a strict taskmaster. And I blossom in the light of His unconditional love, just as my children do in mine.
Gretta Johns: For me, it made more clear the love that God has for me and for all His children. I truly understood the parent/child relationship and the bond and love that exists between the two because I now had a child of my own. The concept of unconditional love became real and tangible and it intensified my relationship with God because I could more clearly understand and relate to the way He felt toward me as His child.
Melissa Newell: I have always had relationship with God as long back as I remember. Sometimes it was not always a “good” one, but I knew HIM and knew what HE was capable of. As a young woman, I was given the news that conceiving a child would most likely not be an option; due to the toll that chemotherapy took on my body, as a child. Fast forward a few years and four months into a new marriage, I was told I was pregnant. Shocked, amazed, stunned and blessed were the emotions that ran through me. This gift was from HIM. God knew my heart and my desires. Since that time, almost 26 years ago, three more blessings have grown in my womb and are continuing God’s work in this world.
Before children my relationship with God was good. After having four children spanning 22 years, it’s indestructible!
Kona Brown: There are aspects of God’s character that remain a mystery to us until we move from only ever being somebody’s child to suddenly somebody’s parent. The curtain on the profound concept of Agapé love moves back another inch. Although our love for our children, however deep – remains flawed, we suddenly have another awed awakening regarding what God’s love for us is like. But I will never forget lying in the delivery room, Evan Joel Brown’s arrival eminent, and suddenly being gripped by the realization…in this moment and from this moment onwards, of my absolute dependence on God. A deeper physical dependence; as I bring into our often terrifying, unsafe, scary world another life, one that I will not be able to physically protect 100% of the time despite my best efforts. A deeper spiritual dependence; for the wisdom required moment by moment in the big and the small, to raise up another Tree of Righteousness, wisdom I do not have, and a stretching of my faith to trust God for more than I’ve ever trusted Him before. Walking in a deeper dependence on God has added an intensity and dimension to my spiritual and prayer life that wasn’t there before.
Learn more about all the Mom Mentors here. We would love to hear about your experience, too!