It’s often said in prophetic and Ministry circles that birthing pains come before the launch. I’ve regularly found that just prior to the Lord releasing a new ministry, a new business, or a transition in life the painful birthing pains come just prior to the awaited baby’s arrival. I can usually tell when a huge blessing is about to break forth when some form of what appears to be resistance or pain precedes it. When most of the world is in a complete panic about something and focused on the present pain, typically a prophetic individual recognizes that the baby is near and is in a state of Joy before anyone else. They see the brokenness and pain in the present while simultaneously recognizing the joy that lies ahead. As prophecy is meant to edify, they give encouragement for the days to come. What is often not discussed is what happens when the baby arrives.

Just recently my baby arrived. And by baby, I mean my 15-year-old daughter. I had no idea that 15 would feel so much like a new infant. When we brought her home, there was much fanfare. We had more casseroles, diapers, flowers, baby lotion, and help than we could ask for. My mom stayed for two weeks to help me adjust to being a new mom. But, one day she said goodbye, and one day the diapers and chicken spaghetti were gone. My husband and I had to do this ourselves! We soon found the joy of the launch had dissipated. He had to return to work, and I had to somehow do this mother thing without a manual. No one ever mentioned what was to come. My daughter cried for the first 3 months of her life, every single night. She would cluster nurse, sometimes for many hours before falling asleep. I would run to the bathroom and try to take the quickest shower, with her secured in the car carrier right next to me, so she wasn’t out of my sight. At the end of a long day, we would start the dreaded night hours, as she cried until the wee hours of the morning. We felt helpless and at a loss with how to comfort our precious baby. As restless parents, we did our best to manage. Of course, these days passed, and we arrived at her first birthday. Oh, what joy it was to welcome a one-year-old! The toddler years came next and presented new challenges, which requires a whole blog to itself.

Today she is 15, and like in those early years, I’m left struggling with how to parent her in an ever-changing and challenging society. My no’s are often met with resistance, disrespect, and slamming doors. Discipline is required, yet the often ice-cold response hurts this momma’s heart. At the end of these long days, I’m often reminded of the moments I lived for when she was an infant. After the nursing marathons, she would drift off to sleep as I sang her a lullaby. Today, the long-forgotten sweet sleep rewards look more like a hug after she’s been grounded or her laughing with me as we paint her nails. People mention the often tough and elusive teenage years but fail to mention exactly what to do. I can only surmise one thing…. Just keep going. Just keep rocking the baby, just keep giving the hugs and painting the nails.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, whether it be rearing children or struggling in the joy of leadership, ministry, or a transition of life remember that the Lord has never left you or forsaken you. He has poured out on you immeasurable Grace for the task ahead. You have exactly what you need to fulfill your destiny. He never expected you to go it alone and the challenge is present so you will rely on Him for the next steps. I’m grateful He wired me in a way that sees into the future. I’m grateful I can look into my daughter’s beautiful blue eyes and see all God created her to be. If the Lord has called you to a particular calling or path, He will help you raise the baby in every stage. His grace is sufficient for the long days and days of wondering how you will accomplish what is set before you. Lord, grant me the Grace to train her in the way she should go. She will be one soon. And by one, I mean a fully capable and God-fearing adult. With faith, help me to part the Red Sea, so she may follow behind me.