February / March - 2020 Vol. 108

mother holding
                  newborn baby

Changing Role, Unchanging God:
Moving from Fear to Faith
by Daisy Codouni

In October, 2017, my husband and I were promoted to parenthood. When I gave birth to our son that day, I felt like a huge part of me died at the hospital, but only to be reborn: I am a mother now!

As the psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Stern explains in his books “The Birth of a Mother” and “The Motherhood Constellation,” giving birth to a new identity can be as demanding as giving birth to a baby. Dr. Stern explains that becoming a mother is a major identity shift. Well, I couldn’t agree more!  Part of what magnified my own changing role and identity shift was living in a new place and not having parents and in-laws on hand during those first few weeks.

Living away from Lebanon (the place I had called home all my life), having our son arrive 2 weeks before his due date, and a sheer lack of luck made it hard for our parents to be with us right away. So, we were new parents in our own survival mode, trying to figure out what should come first: the diaper change or the feeding. And then came the existential questions: Who are we? What are we doing? Is he fine? Is he well fed? Is he happy? And the golden question: Are we good parents?

At the beginning, I was apprehensive after every weekend because it meant my husband would be going back to work and I would soon be back on survival mode alone with our little baby. I slowly came to realize that I was scared of the responsibility of my own son! I found myself not taking advantage of the blessing of time with my son and the opportunity for unconditional love imitating that of God, our heavenly father.

It was over time that I realized that nothing really died that day at the hospital, but rather I was given an opportunity to be reborn and to actively participate in God's creation. I was blessed enough to become a mother! And then again a second time... and I love it! It's true that becoming a parent is basically synonymous with taking your very own heart out of your body and placing it there for the rest of your life, but most of the time giving is better than receiving and that's been my experience of parenthood - that losing my life, giving myself, is actually gaining something. “Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it.” (Luke 17:33)

This parenthood has been about purpose driven sacrifice that requires daily decisions, not just a one time choice. My everyday life is honestly not sunshine and rainbows; who are we kidding, there are days where I find myself cooking dinner using one hand, holding my daughter in the other (and on lucky days, my son as well). There are days I'm wishing that their nap would last just 15 minutes longer so I can finish the freelance project I'm working on, due in under an hour. But what matters most amidst all these things is that I'm not afraid of being a mother. On the contrary, I'm grateful that I can work from home, be with my kids all day, see them grow and develop, laugh at their giggles, and cheer their accomplishments big and small (from holding their own bottle to finishing a new puzzle). The blessings are in the details.

In most situations in life, there's no one size fits all; there's no perfect standardized template of a mother. Instead, perfect parenthood for me has been that which is ok with being imperfect and that which responds to the specific call and the much needed grace the Lord offers for every situation. At the end, yes the months and years pass by so quickly though the days might sometimes feel long, but what gives me peace is knowing that His grace is sufficient and His love is unconditional.

This article (c) by Daisy Codouni was first published in 2018 in The Lois Project

Daisy originally hails from Lebanon and works as a freelance graphic designer with the aim of bringing beauty and visual appeal into everything she does. She has been part of the Word of Life community in Ann Arbor, Michigan ever since she married to her husband Greg in 2016. She joined the Lois project team to highlight the beauty of motherhood and to foster stronger connections and sharing between mothers. She now has two children and enjoys arts and crafts, sports, cooking, outdoor adventures, time with friends and planning themed parties.

The Lois Project is a group of Christian women from various cities, countries, and church backgrounds who feel a common call to be disciples on mission in all seasons of life. Most of us find ourselves in a season of care-giving as mothers, grandmothers, mentors, or teachers.

Many of our writers are part of an international, ecumenical Christian community called The Sword of the Spirit. Although we come from Catholic, Orthodox, or Protestant traditions we seek to foster unity among these groups and work together.

Instagram: @theloisproject

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