Has life ever thrown you a major curveball? The kind you wonder how you’re going to work your way through, yet you survive and come out the other side changed and transformed?
It was 2019—we had a house full of three growing little boys (ages 5, 7, and 9). We were out of the sleepless nights, terrible twos, and diapers. I was finally able to enjoy watching my kids play sports (without chasing a toddler), and I was about to turn 40. I was ready for growth in my career, ready for more traveling with our kids, and staring at a potential trip to DISNEY WORLD (Yeah! No more height and age restrictions!).
Then came January 2020 and a positive pregnancy test. You know the “<1% vasectomy failure rate” statistic? Well, we had just become one (and yes, we had the follow-up all-clear).
Next came COVID lockdown, quarantines, and homeschooling. I was in a very dark place. The idea of homeschooling three kids with a newborn overwhelmed me with anxiety. The idea of having a baby (at 40!) in a hospital alone (COVID) gave me anxiety. The unknowns in my plan-oriented world gave me anxiety. Starting over with sleepless nights and four kids gave me anxiety. AND I was very sick for the first three months. Flu A, B, and who knows? Maybe even COVID. A normally active person, I was knocked down mentally and physically.
My 2020 word of the year was grace, and I thought for a moment, maybe God’s finally giving me a little girl to call Grace! Then my ultrasound showed a (thankfully) healthy baby . . . boy.
It was a moment in my life when I was busy planning and God said, “My plan is bigger.” That year as I struggled along, I learned to be resilient and hopeful, and I held tight to all the silver linings I could find. I learned that anxiety is the fear of unknown and that I had to stop worrying about the future and look at today.
Our youngest was born later that summer, and he was the light our family didn’t know we needed. The world needs more love, positivity, and kindness–and our little guy reminds me of that daily. He’s happy, funny, and so sweet. I’m thankful I get an opportunity to do all the firsts one more time (even if I’m an “older” mom). He motivated me to take better care of myself because one boy is very active, and now I have four. He’s been the very BEST surprise blessing.
I won’t deny that it’s hard having four kids or that it’s hard starting over. Now I chase a toddler around at sporting events as he grabs strangers’ pears and sunflower seeds off the ground, and who runs for the parking lot. It’s stressful, but I try and find the humor in it. I’ll admit I’m struggling at times, and I’m learning to give myself grace. This is the Grace God wanted to give me, just in a different way than I thought.
When life throws you a curveball, cry and mourn if you must, but don’t stay there too long, as it’s harder to get out. Then, look for the silver lining. Those silver linings will save you. Don’t worry and be anxious about the future, but focus on and conquer today.
We do the most growing when we are uncomfortable.