What kind of mother am I?
This question is a little easier to answer now with a 16-month-old in my arms, but not too
long ago, this question permeated my mind. It tormented me and drove me into depression, anxiety, and luckily deeper into my faith and the truth of God’s Word.
My name is Lexi and I am a mama to three little ones. One in my heart, one in my arms, and one currently growing in my tummy. My road to motherhood has been a bit different than most moms. I started my journey with death.
Three years ago, I was pregnant with my first child, a son, Grayson. As my stomach expanded I wondered what kind of mother I would be. Would I breastfeed, baby wear, let him cry it out, co-sleep, nurse on demand? Would I be easily frustrated if he was colicky, would I get post-partum depression, would I hate changing diapers, would I dread midnight feedings?
What kind of mother would I be?
I think a lot of new mother’s wrestle with these questions, we want to be the best mother we can be, but when it comes to it, some of our wants and desires just aren’t doable. I was preparing myself to fail, I never thought I would be much of a good mother. I never looked forward to having children, but 4 years ago, on Mother’s Day, God changed my heart. He created a strong desire in me to have children. When that change of heart happened, I was unsure if my actions as a mother would line up with my desire to be an amazing mother once Grayson was born.
Grayson’s birth was the dream every parent anticipates, full of joy, happiness, wonder,
and elation. That utter delight quickly turned into indescribable sorrow. When he was born the
doctors realized he had a heart condition that would require surgery. In one horror filled night
which included a helicopter ride and two heart procedures, Grayson died. The overjoyed heart
I had going into delivery was now in a million pieces not 24 hours later. My husband and I were
blindsided at the nightmare that became our reality.
As an empty armed mother, I didn’t know how to identify myself. In preparation to start
our family I had quit my job, but here I was sitting at home with nothing to do, no one to care for.
I felt purposeless, and I definitely didn’t felt like a mother. I felt as if I failed my child. Instead I
became the mother who watched her child die. The mother who didn’t nurse, who didn’t
patiently rock her baby to sleep, who didn’t baby wear, who didn’t, didn’t, didn’t. I wasn’t really a
mother at all. I eventually realized this was untrue, but it was a great struggle for me to see and
ask the right questions. The main one being, as a Christian Mother, what is my purpose?
I knew the answer to the question of my purpose, as I was pregnant with Grayson I
prepared myself for the mother I knew God commanded me to be. A mother that above all else,
pointed her child to Christ and prayed fervently that God would save that child. During my
pregnancy I prayed often that Grayson would be saved, that I would be a light of God to him. I
prayed that I would be the mother God wanted me to be, not a mother of this world. In my grief
I had forgotten this, I had forgotten my God given purpose. I forgot that my deepest and most
earnest prayer for Grayson had been answered. He was saved, God used me to give him life
and then he was saved into the safe and perfect arms of God.
Now two and a half years later, with a 16-month-old daughter named Aurelia in my arms and a baby 13-weeks in my womb, I see how God has worked in my life. I see that even though Grayson is not seen, he is just as much a part of our family. And the part I play as his mother is ongoing. He is the boy that made me a mother. God does not make mistakes and He is not wasteful. Every moment of Grayson’s life held deep purpose. Our God is great, and He works great things through all things.
I want to look at everything God worked through Grayson to give me, the list is long, but let me share a few of my tops…
Patience – because no matter how difficult my children are acting, I am glad I have them
here with me.
Compassion – I know what deep and true hurt is, I would never want anything like that
for anyone else
Empathy – seeing Grayson endure great physical pain without being able to say
anything to comfort him makes me always ask, how is Aurelia hurting, how can I comfort
Understanding – I work hard to understand my children, because I want to know them
as best as possible, especially since I didn’t get to know who Grayson was
Gentleness – life is hard and painful, I want to ease that as much as possible
All of these characteristics were brought on by my first child and are now carried onto my other children. God did that, he worked that in me. He used Grayson to painfully transform me
to look more like Christ. And as mothers our duty is to be a reflection of Christ to our children.
I’m certain that I would not be the mother I am today had Grayson never existed, nor would I be
this mother if he had lived. I am the exact mother I am today, because he died. I am so certain
that had he lived I would have loved him fervently, though impatiently and without the
gentleness and purpose I have with Aurelia. I cherish her so much more because he died.
Aurelia and this baby inside me can credit their mother specifically to Grayson and God’s work
I am so glad God decided to continue to grow my family, and in that growth He has used
my living children to teach me new lessons on motherhood. I have new tasks before me,
speaking and living out the gospel to Aurelia and soon this baby in my tummy. I have learned
so much about who God is because of my daily trials with Aurelia. She was a normal baby and
is a normal toddler, which means it’s hard! Living sacrificially is something she has taught me.
My whole life revolves around her needs and desires. I really do live and work to serve her, that
can be so taxing and so rewarding. In my daily dedication to her, I am always reminded of the
great sacrifice and dedication from our Savior. Aurelia has made that so real for me and I am
so grateful. Having living children has shed new purpose on living out the gospel. Aurelia is
always watching me, she is soaking up everything I do and copying my every action. As she
continues to grow and learn I wonder how often she will hear me pray, how often will she see
my read my Bible, and how often will she hear me ask for forgiveness. Often I hope.
To the mothers out there, who struggle with what kind of mother you are. Ask yourself
the one question that matters… Are you the example of Christ to your child? You are your
child’s first and biggest example of the gospel, of God’s word. How are you doing with that? It’s
great if you make your own baby food and nurse for a year, but do you work with the motivation
of the gospel? When you slave over the best nourishment for your child is it BECAUSE God is
your nourishment. Do you love your children unconditionally BECAUSE God loves you in that way? Do you patiently respond BECAUSE you know the depths of your own failure and the forgiveness God has shown? Our purpose and identity as mothers is and must be God.
Whatever kind of mother you are, first ask yourself why?
“Had he lived a hundred years it is hard to think how his life could have made more difference; all
without living one full day.” – Grayson’s Grandfather
Lexi founded the non profit GRAYCE & KINDNESS after the loss of Grayson. Grayson’s impact on this world has stretched wide and far because his mama has made it her mission to make a difference. GRAYCE & KINDNESS reaches out to families to help support them in their worst nightmares—the loss of a child. We have seen first hand the difference that Lexi has made in the lives of women walking through the most difficult times. All in honor of her sweet Grayson. To find out more, please go to grayceandkindness.com or follow along on Instagram: @grayceandkindness.