I started this in January 2010, when I asked myself why I wanted so badly to breastfeed Addie. This is the strange place that question got m...

The story God started...

I started this in January 2010, when I asked myself why I wanted so badly to breastfeed Addie. This is the strange place that question got me, and I'm finally mustering up the courage to just post it.

Part I (of a likely many...)

I think I'm going to take this down a long winding road and bring it on back again, promise! The person I am now is so far from who I was as a child, in high school, or even starting out in college. The Lord has really softened me and turned my heart towards desires I never thought possible. Growing up witnessing the abusive mess that was my parents' marriage, that was not a relationship in the cards for me. At least, not the kind where the man is smarter than me, makes more money than me, or gets to run the show in any way. My mom taught me to not be "like her." She emphasized school, money, career, security, and getting all of this very quickly. She pushed me into kindergarten early, to graduate early, to get some kind of imaginary head start in life. I graduated high school at 16, and then she was devastated and made me wait to start college until the next year. I never wanted to get married, never even considered having children, and certainly had plans to be 30 before I would even consider it. I liked kids, thought they were sweet and all, but they were always a "burden" in my mind and nobody in my family ever rejoiced over a pregnancy. Nobody! In fact, people mourned babies. My grandmother cried when my mom got pregnant with my little brother and again when my aunt was pregnant with her first child. It was all kind of horrifying to me, and I actually learned to pity women with children. I know this is disgusting, but it was the absolute norm when I was growing up. Can you imagine it? It makes me just want to cry right now to know that all those sweet babies were born and nobody prayed to thank God for them. I bet nobody was thankful for me either.

At 17, I finally broke free. I earned myself a nice fat full ride scholarship to UCA in Conway. My parents lived in California at the time but I knew they wouldn't stay long and I had grandparents close by. I had a plan, and I'd had one for a long time. I would find a way to never have to depend on my parents again. Oh the guilt I still suffer for leaving my brother and sister there to fend for themselves. I should probably talk to a therapist about this, but Blogger will have to do! I love my mother dearly, but she was completely broken when she was with my step-dad (the only dad I know) and could not help herself or me and my siblings. My parents thought I joined a cult in college when my outlook started to change as a result of accepting Christ. You would think that college is where you go to run wild and sow all those wild oats and "find yourself." I did find myself, exactly where God would keep me safer than I ever had been in my life. I was put smack dab in the middle of four of the most amazing Christian women I have ever known. They were the first ones that ever showed me what compassion, trust, kindness, & friendship looked like on a daily basis. Before them, my dear Andrea was the only girl I ever allowed in. Girls suck, mean girls anyway, and even we had our times. God saved me, blessed me, encouraged me, tested me, wept with me, and held me up despite my desperate attempts to sink back down into the slavery of my life before Him. He had created me to be soft, warmhearted, loving, maternal, and oh my sweet goodness, SUBMISSIVE to His rule in my life. I was none of those things, and Kristina, Amanda, can I get an AMEN on how I fought? God had created me to be His daughter, Jason's wife, and a mother and He had serious work to do!

5 comments:

Can said...

thanks for sharing! I love using blogger as an outlet for my emotions. It's a great feeling :D

Geidlbots said...

I am getting tears thinking about what all Jesus has done in you. It's so beautiful. I am honored to be a casualty of His redemption alongside you, sister!

ainmemphis said...

I know it can be hard, but you have a beautiful story even though it started out so rough! I drove by our old stomping grounds this weekend and thought about the fun times we had despite your parents trying so hard to keep us from it!

Mary S. said...

Amanda
I hope you know that many, many people are thankful for you.

Miss W said...

Your story is very moving. I'm glad God brought you out. He is so good.

The anti-child, anti-woman sentiment is pervasive though. I grew up in a home where children and motherhood were valued, and I still feel the push to try to prove myself in a career and be independent. That attitude is hard to fight because it is accepted as "common sense." I remember a professor asking me what I wanted to do when I graduated, and I wanted to say, "Be a wife and mom." You know? But I didn't because, Gee, a wife and mom? What kind of life goal is that?