• Ashley Bowman

For the Newborn Mom

Updated: Jun 7

It took almost a month to heal after my third c-section. It had never taken so long. I just wanted to get back to my normal self and my normal health so I could do all the things again.


I wanted to be 100% for my other kids.


I wanted to cook, clean, and take care of the mounting responsibilities piling all around me.


I wanted to work out.


I wanted to be myself again.

But if I pushed it, I would start to feel worse. If I tried too hard, I would pay for it in pain. I had to spend time lying in bed to recover. I had to take it slow.


Also, I was tired and weary from caring for my sweet new baby and nursing her all day and all night long. I was drained from trying to entertain the older kids while I tried to recover and care for the newborn.


It felt like endless burping, feeding, and diaper changing. I didn't feel like I was doing anything significant. I see clearly now that I was doing an incredibly important job-supporting a new life all on my own and giving my baby a healthy and strong start through bonding-but I just couldn't see it then.

I was exhausted. And still broken. So I spent a lot of time in bed. Laying around. Lazy. Useless. Invaluable. Or at least that's how I felt.


I just wanted to accomplish something. I wanted to be productive. I wanted to do something important.


I prided myself on the fact that after the birth of my first child, I was able to ace all my finals and jump right back into the next semester, without skipping a beat. After my second child, I was able to jump right back into running and training for races. I jumped right back in to working full-time. It was hard for me to just sit still and recover and quietly care for the baby.


Why did I feel this incessant need to be going and doing? Why was it so hard for me to just relax and enjoy this time with my sweet newborn?


I wanted to be supermom. I wanted to prove I could do it all and that I could just jump right back into life right after giving birth.


I wanted to prove my worth.


It was during that time that I started to read my Bible and other Christian books while I fed the baby. I spent a lot of that quiet time in bed, in prayer. I spent my time at night, up alone with the baby, praying and thinking deeply.


During this time, I started to develop an understanding of my worth by growing in an understanding of God's love for me.


The Bible reminds us,

“Can a woman forget her nursing child
And have no compassion on the son of her womb?
Even these may forget, but I will not forget you" (Isaiah 49:15).

Of course I couldn't forget the baby I was nursing! I loved that baby, and all my babes, so much. I loved them with an indescribable love. This baby I was nursing couldn't do anything for me. She couldn't accomplish anything. She couldn't produce anything. In fact, she was completely reliant on me every day. But I adored her and her siblings more more than words could ever express.


And that's how God feels about us. He doesn't love us because of what we can do for Him. He doesn't love us for what we can accomplish, what we can achieve, or what we can produce. He loves us because He is our Heavenly Father and we are His beloved children.

We can't earn His love; we already have it.


We can't do anything to make Him love us more; He's already lavished it on us in full measure.


The Bible reminds us that:


"Because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in our transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast" (Ephesians 2:4-9).

God was willing to give up His own Son-something completely unimaginable-so that we may be with Him forever. He loves us with that kind of love. The Bible says,

"For God so loved the World, He gave His only begotten Son, for whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).

Jesus gave up His own life so we can have ours. His sacrifice was the ultimate example of love. The New Testament explains,

"God loved us so much that 'even while we were still sinners, Christ died for us'" (Romans 5:8)

and

"Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends" (John 15:13).

Jesus was willing to die so we can have a relationship with Him. Not only did we not do anything to earn this, we were actively against Him! Yet He died to save us anyways.


We don't have to prove we are worthy. God already proved we were worthy enough for Him to send His own Son to die for us. Jesus proved we were worthy when He gave up His own life for ours.


Not only did He die because of His love for us, but He calls us his sons and daughters when we believe in Him. God says,

I will be a Father to you,
and you will be my sons and daughters (2 Corinthians 6:18).

When we understand we are God's children, we can start to fully grasp how great His love is for us, because we know the love we have for our own children-unconditional, inexpressible love. Scripture tells us to


"See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!" (1 John 3:1).

When we become parents, we can start to somewhat comprehend the great, immeasurable love that God the Father has for His children. We don't have to earn more, be more, strive more. We can just rest in our identity of beloved children of God, unconditionally loved. He calls us worthy.


So just rest and enjoy that new baby. You have nothing to prove.










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