Saturday, July 18, 2009

When Going Through The Motions Doesn't Quite Cut the Mustard

The transition from pregnancy to having a new family member has never been an easy one for me and Charlie Brown.

With LMNOB we were so terribly young in both chronological age and our spiritual maturity. Charlie Brown had a habitual sin in his life that had plagued him from early adolescence into his adulthood, making our already formidable passage from newlyweds to Surprise! You're-New-Parents that much more difficult. Add a dash of my depressive tendencies and a shake of financial woes and we were doomed from the get go, right?

Apparently not, because things got better, slowly, and not too long after LMNOB we felt like we could face this transition again, albeit on a more planned basis. I didn't have nearly the depression issues with Punkinhead that I'd had with LMNOB, but the demands of parenting a pre-term newborn with an often trying toddler (now we know that her "difficult" and "stubborn" behaviors were mostly attributable to her sensory integration problems, but at the time, not so much) made his babyhood a hard time for me, as well as for Charlie Brown because again his sin came into the light. Sparing a lot of details, suffice to say that this go round was especially tough for me and went on for years. We went to counseling, did Dynamic Marriage, I had another depressive episode and finally, the struggle culminated [for me] when I ended up having an equally sinful emotional affair with another man. Fortunately, as I got further and further into my fantasy land with this man who made me feel so good, God humbled me to the point of repentance when it became clear that my "affair" was all in my mind and quite unrequited. This prompted a lot of soul searching for me over the course of 2006 and 2007 (leading to the creation of this blog) and late 2007 and early 2008 was a monumental healing period for us.

So much so that a year ago we began a huge journey of faith together and decided to try for another baby. When we began talking about it I expressly mentioned my fear of the post-partum transition, noting that while we'd both grown and matured since the last time, that while the habitual sin seemed finally conquered, PRAISE GOD!, and discussable [as opposed to something that was unmentionable even when only tempted and not actually something in which he was indulging], I knew that Satan likes to sneak in through any cracks of the armor so to speak, and I was scared of that. I was scared of this period more than I was scared of the financial repercussions of me quitting my job to stay at home with the kids. I was scared of this transition more than I was of sacrificing my independence and sense of self-identity. Charlie Brown assured me that things would be different, that they already WERE different this time.

And I trusted that. I trusted him, but more importantly, I trusted Him. I believed that God would see us through and victory would be had for His glory.

I still believe that. However, I'm realizing that it's taking work to keep out of that danger zone. That in order to bring God glory in this situation, we are still accountable to making the right choices. That going through the motions each day is not the same thing as living with purpose and connection. And just this morning, a situation arose that triggered some of these old feelings for me, indicating that Charlie Brown and I need a good, honest check-in with each other. I can't let this become an elephant in the room and dance around it on tiptoes. We are called to be like iron sharpening iron and that is necessary for us right now.

© 2009 Ramblings of a Red-Headed Step-Child. All Rights Reserved


  1. Just keep talking to one another, no matter how hard it seems at the time. We have to plow through some things, too, and it's so much better when we do!

  2. Transition is always hard. And you guys have been through a lot on top of just having a new baby.

    I remember as a child I always dreaded the post-partum adjustment time our entire family faced whenever my mother had a baby. But things always had a way of eventually leveling out. And they will for you guys too.

    We'll be praying for an extra measure of peace and grace to be sent your way!

  3. hi.. just dropping by here... have a nice day!

  4. I'm reading The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch right now and one thing he says is that every couple he's talked to who have been married for a very long time say the same thing: their secret is that they worked HARD at their marriage. I love that you two are willing to put the work in. Best of luck!