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  • Writer's pictureTerri

Perfectly Imperfect Parenting

Does motherhood ever leave you feeling defeated? Do you question whether you are the right person to parent your child? I remember feeling inadequate in every way after I had my first child at age 18. Even the thought of feeding or bathing this tiny person who depended on me for everything terrified me. When I lifted my daughter to burp her on my shoulder, she would curl into a tiny ball that almost slipped from my unpracticed grasp. God, in His infinite mercy saw me. He knew my heart and needs. Three days after I delivered her, He allowed something scarier than caring for her to help me learn to rely on Him.

Parenting Coach Terri Hitt with newborn daughter

Because I had delivered my baby in a university hospital, not just one person, but a team of doctors unexpectedly entered my room one Thursday morning three days after her delivery. One of them reached to pull the tiny curtain around my bed before they shared unexpected news. "Mrs. Hitt. We have a problem with your baby."

In that moment, the fears that previously attacked my mind and all the feelings of inadequacy that worried and scared me automatically switched to another mode. Mama Bear. The mother instinct kicked in without thought. Before I had worried about how I would be able to take care of her; now I just wanted her to be safe and healthy.

"We found your baby blue in the nursery this morning."

As the doctors relayed the story, I learned that no one had yet discovered why my daughter was discolored and unresponsive that morning. Several tests had been done and I would be kept updated as more information was discovered. At the time I was hearing the news, my daughter was being moved to the neonatal intensive care.

Before this happened, my thoughts were centered around me and how my life had changed, how inadequate and young I was. I questioned whether I would be a good mother, whether I would know what to do with any problem, and wondered if I would hurt her instead of help her. Now I turned to God, releasing my fears and asking Him to save her. I pleaded with Him to show me the way to be a good mother and to give me the chance to be one. I asked Him to protect her. People worried that maybe they shouldn't come visit us at the hospital or bring gifts in case she didn't make it. With each unknowingly hurtful word spoken, my desire to protect my baby grew. I knew God was in control and He was working something for good.

Old photograph of Terri's newborn baby

In the end, only one test returned with problems, but after it was redone, the results were fine. Because of the complications shown before we had the results, my daughter stayed in the ICU for several days after I was discharged. During that time, God made a special way for me to learn more about caring for a newborn each day when I visited her. He gently ministered to me through the nurses who showed me different ways of burping my daughter so that I could keep a steady hand on her. They taught me to bathe her with a "football grip." I learned several tips that gave me confidence that I could parent my child without fear of "breaking" or hurting her.

Even before I had a personal relationship with Jesus, God had His eye on me. We'll never know all the reasons my child had to stay the extra days, but I do know that God used that time to work in me, preparing me for times ahead that would allow me to parent with more confidence, but also set me on the path to trusting Him with all things and forging the beginning of a faith that would come to Him with everything, because He would become my everything.

Terri Hitt looking at Bible

The truth is that we are each perfectly imperfect at life. We may have skills or talents that God has allowed us, but what we carry within us is from Him and was crafted within us to honor Him and show His glory to a desperate world. When we are on our knees before Him, reliant on the Lord, we become our strongest. Faith, trust, and obedience are the tools we must carry to enable His strength, wisdom, insight, and abilities to flow through us. Grace beyond measure awaits those who seek and rely on Him.

Light-filled window and white interior

The next time you're tempted to question your abilities as a mother or a woman of God, remember He is in control. He sees you. He choose you for the very mission you are on now with your children. Raising them to know, love, honor, obey, and follow Jesus is the greatest gift you can give your child. Through Him, you are fully equipped to do just that as you humbly seek and follow Him. You are enough for each step of motherhood as you rest in His capable arms. How? Because He is enough.

Terri Hitt, parenting coach, looking at Bible

Each child in your home was specifically chosen for and entrusted to you to raise. You are the mother God desired them to have. Keep your your knees bent in prayer and your heart focused on Him. The best way to do that is to imagine a set of blinders over your eyes. But instead of keeping you from looking side to side, those blinders direct your gaze Upward. The truth is that God's mercies are unfailing and His compassion and wisdom unsurpassed. He is waiting for you to call on Him to carry you through each imperfect season of motherhood. He is more than enough for each of the needs you carry to Him. He designed you to seek Him and to raise the children He loaned to you to do the same. He is waiting to show you the way to become a godly mother, not just a good one.

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