The Wonders Of Parenthood
by Joy Martin, Co-founder Set Me Free Ministries
The past year has been one of wonder for me. In July 2008 my husband Zach and I found out that we were expecting our second child. Our son Justice had just turned 6, and he was thrilled to hear that he’d soon be getting a sibling. A few weeks later I found myself following Justice down the sidewalk as he headed to his first day of kindergarten. As I watched his backpack bounce with each step he took, I wondered where the time had gone and when he’d grown up on me. It didn’t seem all that long ago that we had discovered we were pregnant for the first time. Now, I was sending my baby boy off to school and getting used to the idea of being a mother of two.
It was different being pregnant the second time. This time, as I felt my baby wiggling around, making herself known, I better appreciated just how precious that time was. I understood that before I knew it she’d be born, and I’d never again have that same closeness with her. And then, at 12:20 a.m. on Monday, April 6, 2009, we welcomed Julie Evelyn Martin into the world. Finally seeing her and holding her in my arms was amazing. She was a wonder to behold—the spitting image of her big brother. And then there were two. Two amazing children that we had created—formed lovingly by God.
Each day brings something new. This summer we’ve experienced one amazing “first” after another: Julie’s first smile, first laugh, first time rolling over. Justice’s first slumber party, first run in t-ball, first loose tooth. And with each “first” I am filled with awe and wonder. I find myself cheering on these little milestones like my children just won gold medals at the Olympics. Although countless people have accomplished these same small feats for generations, never before have Justice and Julie accomplished these things.
For Julie, rolling over for the first time was like Orville Wright taking the first flight. Just as man had never flown and had discovered a new way to get from Point A to Point B, Julie had discovered a new way to move, giving her the ability to get places on her own. For Justice, having his first slumber party was like hosting a star-filled Oscar party. He carefully planned what they would have for dinner, what movie they would watch, and what games they would play. Even though he sees his cousins often, waiting for them to come over that day to spend the night was like waiting to meet your favorite movie star.
I imagine that in the same way I marvel at each of my children’s milestones God marvels at each of our accomplishments, no matter how small. The biggest and most important of these is coming to a saving knowledge of His amazing grace. Accepting Christ as your personal Savior is like winning the lottery without ever having to buy a ticket. But even after that, I imagine God cheers us on through each milestone. The first time you give up sleeping in on Sunday morning so you can go to church, God cheers. The first time you sacrifice your own warmth and comfort so you can clear the snow from your neighbor’s driveway, God cheers. And the first time you realize that you can’t make it through the tough times on your own and need to lean on Him, God cheers. Even though countless people for generations have done these same things, your Heavenly Father cheers for you as if each accomplishment is the most amazing thing in the world.
Although we often picture God as a big, faceless man in the sky, in fact he is a caring, loving Father who values each and every one of us as a priceless child. And that makes me stand in wonder.