When my daughter, Akaia, was a baby, it was rare that she let me hold her. Though I tried to cuddle her, rock her to sleep, or be close in general, she always preferred to be free and on the move. As she grew up, I felt a considerable gap between us that I feared would only splinter and spread the older she got.
A lot of my worry stemmed from being unhappy during my pregnancy with her. I was with a man who loved neither me nor her. When we got the ultrasound results back that our second baby was a girl, I cried the whole way home in fear my husband would hate the baby for not being a second boy.
The whole pregnancy, I worked forty-hour shifts and cleaned house and tended to a man who never reciprocated the effort. I gained twice as much weight with my daughter as I did with my son, so I constantly felt disgusting. More than anything, I wanted my baby girl to be born so I could have my body back.
Even the birthing process was strenuous with her. I went into labor early in the morning on December 18th, but wasn’t dilated enough to give birth. So, I spent hours walking the halls of the hospital before I was fully dilated and ready to meet my baby girl. It felt like everything about conceiving her, birthing her, and raising her went as wrong as it could have.
Add on top of all of that that when she was born, it felt as though she wanted nothing to do with me, and I couldn’t help but tell myself that I had failed somehow. That the distance between her and I was my fault. I didn’t love her enough when I was pregnant with her. I didn’t hold her enough as a baby. I didn’t connect with her the right way. I had done something wrong.
For six years of her life, I felt like we were the furthest apart a mother and daughter could get, and that the damage done was irreversible. If I could be given one more chance, God, I’d love her right and hold her more.
And as always, God answered my prayer.
With the consciousness of my present self, knowing who Akaia turned out to be at six years old, God came to me in a dream. In the dream, He handed me this bundle of pink blankets. I recognized the pink blanket as the silk one I’d used for Akaia when she was born. When I saw the little face inside the blanket, I knew it was Akaia, and I understood what holding her as a baby meant. This was the second chance I’d been begging God for, and He was handing her to me for the first time all over again.
I stared down into her face for what felt like an eternity. Remembering how chubby she was. Remembering how HUGE her hazel eyes were. What her toothless smile looked like. How her little fingers reached out for my face. And I saw my baby girl before she was who she grew up to be.
Then it hit me.
What if she never grows up to be the Akaia I know her as?
What if, by taking this second chance, she turns out to be some other kid and I never get the daughter I’ve fallen in love with now?
I panicked so hard I cried. I cried in the dream and then I woke up and I cried for half an hour in bed, shuddering at the thought of never knowing my daughter.
After the tears stopped, I understood what God had said to me in that dream: I never failed Akaia. She turned out to be exactly who He planned her to be. Strong, beautiful, self-reliant, a fighter; because in time, she would be fighting for Him.
That was the first time I’d ever felt a weight lifted off my soul. For six years, Satan stacked lies on top of lies like bricks on my back until I was unable to stand in confidence as Akaia’s mother. Then God lifted my eyes and showed me the truth and those bricks crumbled, and for the first time I stood up and saw the angel of a daughter God had given me. I saw Akaia as everything she was meant to be. All my regrets washed away. All my insecurities dissolved. I didn’t fail my daughter. I raised the little girl God sent to me. And I never want to change that. Because who God gave me is far better than who I could have made.
But God so loved me that He told me in a dream, “My child, you did not fail. Your love was enough. Everything is as it should be.”
He saved me from forever living in fear of being against my daughter. Now, Akaia and I are closer than ever. I explained to her how much it broke my heart that she never let me hold her as a baby, and she said, “Aw, Mom, you can hold me now anytime you want.” And she’ll come up randomly and say, “You want to hold me, Mom?” I’ll tell you, the answer is never “no”.
God is good, you guys. He is so, so good. You can’t see that I’m crying while writing this because I’m overwhelmed with His grace and goodness, but I am. I cry every time I tell this because He knew what was on my heart and without me even asking, He healed me of it.
People always say that if God loved us, there’d be no suffering. But you must understand that the suffering has a purpose. Only after falling in love with who Akaia grew up to be would I deny the opportunity to have a second chance at raising her. If God had offered me the opportunity before I knew her, before I suffered, I wouldn’t have gained the understanding I had at the time of the dream. Praise God in the suffering. And praise Him just as hard when He rescues you from it.
Thank you for reading. God bless!
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