When we first brought Micaela home from the hospital she was a very needy baby. For the first nine months simply feeding her took about nine hours out of the day since she had to be fed by a machine, given intensive oral therapy to try to get her to eat, and I was still pumping to provide breast milk. Then there were all the therapists and specialists and nurse visits. Two care coordinators and a pediatrician all suggested that I accept some respite care for her. I refused. In my mind she was just a baby and I was perfectly capable of handling her life. And I did handle it. And I handled everything else. I coped. I survived. I grew stronger. I didn't need help.
I stayed in my little shell of self-sufficiency and ignored the heartache.
The truth was, we could've all used a little bit more support but it was my pride that denied it. Adela needed my time too. My home, my marriage, all of it was held together by God's grace. I had never been pulling us through with any sort of power of my own. When we moved back to my home-town community in rural New Mexico I started to feel again what it is to be loved and supported by those who live close enough to help and hug. I remembered that it takes a village to raise a child. My husband's parents live closer now too and are often having their granddaughters over for a visit. There is a break in the pressure I have put on myself because I said yes to help.
I finally said yes.
Guess what? There was no condemnation from the world. There was no feelings of shame. Honestly, I feel like my world has simply gotten bigger as the love expands outwards instead of being horded inside my home. Watching someone else chuckle as they hold Adela's hand or cuddle Micaela's soft body makes my heart fill with joy.
This weekend was quiet. Jovani's parents asked if they could give me a weekend off as my birthday present. I gratefully accepted. In the silent home my heart had a lot of time to think about how much I have changed in the last few months. The shocking reality is that when God strips away our pride, or devotion to self-sufficiency, our hearts have more room for peace and our lives have more space for His grace.
But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
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