Leaving for the first time is hard, but The Lord’s peace is good.

IMG_4761Two summers ago, Aaron and I relaxed the days away in Mexico, with not a care in the world. I had our six month along baby girl tucked safely inside my belly, and all together, we soaked up the sun and ate the yummiest of foods. I remember that trip so perfectly. We met a sweet couple who told us about their 3 sons. They were all a couple years apart in age, but still very young at that. The couple shared with us their thoughts on the importance of getting away together, once a year-just the two of them. At that time, I was all for it! Aaron and I giggled together and agreed “we will do that for sure!” I couldn’t imagine not spending quality time with him in beautiful places. We had made it a yearly tradition since we got married, and God had blessed us with the most caring parents in the world to watch our little one once she was here, so we were set!

Then it happened! She was born and we were smitten! Her needs became our needs and leaving her for even an hour felt like torture to me. Our colic newborn would only be soothed by her mommy, and my heart hurt for her tears, but was melted by her need for me. Stepping away for the first 4 months was rare, and when her first two teeth popped through at 3 months old (yes..TWO teeth AT THREE MONTHS old,) so much of the crying began to make sense to us. She had been teething from birth. A rare, and not so comfortable situation, especially in the Winter. Mornings were the sweetest. All day, I longed for the morning. She would wake up, look me in the eyes, kick her little feet, and just smile. She would squeal and coo, letting me know that although that smile would soon turn upside down-she truly loved life and was so happy to be mine. The colic passed, just like they said it would, but our attachment to each other only grew stronger. I wore her in the wrap most all the time. That’s where she napped daily and was most content. I sure wish I could fit her in that wrap now-tuck her away comfortably, while I listened to her smacking sound beneath the layer of fabric. It all passes so quickly.

The days turned into months and before I knew it, she was crawling, then walking, opening me up to a whole new world of hesitations when it came to leaving her. You momma’s know what I’m talking about. For me, it was a mixture of being protective, but also letting fearful lies make their way into my mind. I thought that if she was with me, I could control everything. She would stay safe, and we would both be happy. My walking tot started running, and now, as she climbs on everything, I am faced with the reality that each new day proposes a whole new set of concerns, and my stepping away from my girl will never be easy.

As you can see, I started off this post, by using the verbiage “our baby,” but after a while, unintentionally, began saying “my baby.” That’s what happens. Just like that, your focus shifts off of your marriage and onto your kids. It did for me, and that was a strange season. It’s still a tempting one to be in, but thankfully, my loving husband fought for us in the midst of my struggle. On one particular occasion, he gently reminded me that he was my “baby” first, and how as much as he loved Josie sleeping between us, he was ready for me to be near him again. I missed our cuddles, but I dreaded that move. She had slept next to me from the day she was born, and now at a year and a half, I’d have to watch her from the screen of a monitor?! My initial response was anger, but before I allowed a single word to come out of my mouth, I felt the Holy Spirit encouraging me to stop, and listen. This man came first and my submission to him was Biblical. I had to do it. I didn’t know how I would do it though. We had tried every method in the book when it came to sleep training. Nothing settled well with us, so in our bed is where she would be. When Aaron finally spoke his mind on the need for her transition, I found the email address to a sleep specialist. For $500 we would have a couple of phone calls, some emails, and ultimately the support of a professional. In my tension, I felt the Spirit speak to me. “Talk her through it” He said. Okay. I’ll try that. Nap time rolled around and I sat her in her crib, and we talked. I told her how this was her very own special bed and how all her stuffed animals would sleep with her. One instruction led to another, and that night, we all slept soundly in our own beds.

On the same note, when Aaron starting mentioning he and I taking our first vacation alone, I sunk inside. Without Josie? What would I do without my Josie? I’m so use to our daily routine, and even on the challenging days, I truly love all my moments with her. Since she has been born, we have had the privilege of taking her with us to California, Florida and little places in Texas in-between. Those trips were perfection and she handled them like a champ. Maybe we could take another family/friend vacation I thought? Aaron had his mind on the beach. An all-inclusive resort where we just WERE, and that was all. Can’t we just BE with her there too?! How about a family friendly resort? I had an idea! How about-we see if our parents may want to go too! That way, we could have Josie there with us, but we could also have some alone time here and there? Genius. Until our parents said that they would rather wait and spend the money on a trip to Colorado in the Fall. The truth is, we need alone time together, and although I know this, and want it, I was scared. Finally, I felt myself just release. Maybe it was the stunning resort, offered to us at 65% off the original price, located on the world famous 7-mile beach in Negril. Or maybe it was my hour long conversation with the concierge at the hotel. The special offer seemed too goo to be true, so I had 100 questions. She answered them, every one of them-so patiently, so kindly. Up until this point, one of my favorite things about the resort is that it was a family friendly resort. My thoughts were, we’ll plan for it to be just Aaron and I, and if at the last minute I freak out, Josie will go with us! After discussing every topic from misquotes to the hibachi restaurant, I ended the conversation with this. “So what would I need to do if at the last minute, I decided I wanted to bring my daughter. She’s under 2, so she is a lap child on the plane, but would it make any difference here, at the resort?” Her response was humorous. “Actually ma’am, the special price that we are offering is for the COUPLES ONLY section of the resort. The brand new section that will be finished the last week in June.” Whattt??? She followed up by speaking to my heart. She told me that I needed alone time with my husband and that it would be good for us. She told me that my daughter would be just fine, and would have fun with her grandparents while we were gone. So we did it. We pulled the trigger with just 30 min left on the Groupon Getaway offer.

Fear is the nastiest of things. Throughout my life, it has held me captive. I’ve fought it for as long as I can remember. It is truly destructive. The daily battle of taking every fearful thought captive, and speaking The Lord’s truth over my life is exhausting at times. So I ask him. Heal me Lord. I know you are able! I love you Lord. You love me. You love Aaron, Josie, my parents, my husband’s parents, and my extended family and friends. No weapon formed against any of us will prosper in JESUS’ name! I trust you. I do! You are good and your ways are GOOD. You are LOVE! I land here because that’s where I am. Instagram is so beautiful, but lives are truly so messy, yet redeemed by our Savior! In the midst of all my bright, colorful photos is a momma just like many of you, striving to put The Lord first, my husband second, and our baby third. What is it that truly sets us free? The Word. I need it more than anything, so that’s where I have to be. In The Word is where I will find truth, and what do we fight the enemy’s lies with? The Lord’s truths.

“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”…He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you…For he will command his angels concerning you, to guard you in all your ways…“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him…” Psalm 91 1:16

Have I mentioned that I’m EXCITED?! I really, really am!!! I’ve had my bags packed for weeks! We leave for the airport tomorrow morning at 2am, and will land in Jamaica at noon. We’ll snuggle and relax with each other and it will be good. I just know it. I love my Aaron so much. He’s the man I always believed the Lord would give me. He understands me in such a way. God gave to us the sweetest, most beautiful baby girl, and she is gonna be just fine. We’ll miss her no doubt, but I have peace. Perfect peace that only The Lord can give. Leaving for the first time is hard, but The Lord’s peace is good. Time for me to rest in it. ❤️

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