I, Erica Murphy, absolutely hate being alone!
I deeply crave connection and constant conversation. For better or worse, God created me an extreme extrovert that, honestly, goes a bit crazy when I’ve been alone too long – about 20 minutes or so. And I’ve always been this way, which is why I absolutely loved growing up with four siblings, and continually asked my parents to add more to our crew. It has been a factor that has molded and shaped the vision I have created for my little family. Right back to my 9th grade health project, where I so carefully clipped and arranged pictures from magazines to precisely represent my perfect, future family with three kids – one boy, and two girls. I wanted a house bustling with noise, activity, and love.
This is why it came as a huge shock to both Kyle and myself when about a week ago I, somewhat loudly, declared that I just needed some space. Now, call it crazy pregnancy hormones or something else, but I just couldn’t handle one more minute of being touched, talked to, or needed. I needed to escape, and I desperately needed to be alone. I was so incredibly thankful that my parents offered to watch the kiddos for a few days so I could escape with Kyle to the mountains.
Kyle would be busy directing a youth retreat, and I was promised some solitary time where I could nap, read, and perhaps do a little uninterrupted online shopping. More than anything though, I needed some time to rest in the goodness of my Creator and process through some thoughts and decisions that had been taking an emotional toll. I love how God will whisper to our hearts and draw us to Him in our times of need.
Well, here I sit, about an hour into my much craved time alone, and I already miss my kids like crazy! (Hey! I made it an hour. That’s pretty good for me!)
I miss Weston’s singing, his requests to “snuggle mommy”, and the way he laughs when we wrestle and I tickle his chin and belly. I miss Teagan’s questions, her creative – extensive stories, and her requests for games of teacher, house, or tea party. And suddenly, my heart is so overwhelmed with love and thankfulness for my two wonderful children and this beautiful season of life. Sometimes I can’t believe I get the very precious gift of being their mommy. My tension begins to ease as I revel in the depth of how much I love being a mom. It’s a role I know God perfectly created me for and I get so much satisfaction in spending my days loving, nurturing, and discipling.
It’s then that my thoughts turn to the treasured little baby boy, Jace, growing inside my tummy. But, this is where my story becomes a little embarrassing; I’m going to admit to something I’m truly ashamed of. On Friday, when Kyle and I found out the gender of our baby, I was deeply disappointed. Not because I prefer girls over boys, in fact, I am so incredibly thankful that I have a son and a daughter. It’s been amazing to experience the uniqueness of both relationships. I am equally proud of and obsessed with both of my children. But rather, God had ruined MY plans, and I was furious.
See, one of the greatest gifts God has ever given me is my relationship with my sisters. My brothers are fun adventurers and playmates and I love them dearly, but it’s my sisters who have always walked side by side with me, uplifting my soul, listening to my heart’s every thought and plan – their loyalty and honesty have been lifegiving – and I desperately wanted to give this gift to my precious daughter. I mean it had been part of “the plan” since I was 10!
See, the song, Reckless Love – in all it’s beauty and truth – has been my anthem.
You have been so, so kind to me. And I couldn’t earn it, and I don’t deserve it, still you give yourself away.
My life has ALWAYS been a testament to God’s goodness and provision. He has faithfully answered so many prayers and has so evidently walked by my side throughout my life. This is perhaps why it is even more painful to admit the thoughts that raced through my mind after the ultrasound had been conducted.
“God, how dare you!”
“God, how could you?”
“Why would you not allow me to have this?”
“Teagan is going to be so devastated!”
“How come I have no say or choice over something so important – something so big!”
“What about all my plans!”
My goodness – I sounded like a spoiled child! I cried more than I care to admit over something I now find very difficult to defend. What a disgraceful way to react to the news of a healthy, beautiful baby.
But in his tenderness and love, God used the next 24 hours to teach me an important lesson I am not soon to forget.
God had every reason to be angry and ashamed of me. To turn His back on His child who was essentially throwing a tantrum.
But instead, He began whispering to my heart…
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly father give good gifts to those who ask him.
For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord gives grace and glory; no good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.
How could I forget the greatness and goodness of God. The God of the universe is a Father who only gives good gifts. He lavishly pours out His blessings and love. He holds the future in His hands, and He so generously gave us another baby boy to love and adore. A son and a brother that will complete our family and add more joy to Teagan and Weston’s lives than I could ever imagine. God knows what Teagan needs more deeply and fully than I could ever comprehend. And through it all, God is teaching me to need control less, and to trust Him more.
But I think we fall into this trap more often as parents than we care to admit. We have visions, create plans, set goals, push our kids into activities we deem beneficial, and when they fall short or choose a different path, we are devastated. We take their shortfall or their decisions personally as we fail to see the powerful ways God is moving in their lives to shape and mold them according to His perfect plans.
So, Jace Levi Murphy, I want you to know that I love you unconditionally. I promise to love you with a love not based on what you have done or who you are but on the simple fact that you are my son and a beloved child of God. I will seek to know you, understand you, and draw out the man God created you to be. I will take an interest in your life, but won’t force you to do what I want you to do or be who I want you to be. Instead, I will listen to you, helping you to discover your passions, your talents, your hopes, and your dreams. For I know it is not our earthly success that matters; but rather, living a life of service, within God’s will, furthering His eternal kingdom. I will strive to trust God above myself in knowing that as great as my love is for you, His is infinitely greater.
I can’t wait to meet you sweet baby boy!