Wednesday, July 7, 2010

You like me. You really, really like me!

Today we went to the doctor again and things are about the same. We have some decisions to make and thankfully, all of them put us in line for a healthy baby to be born sometime soon. We left the appointment to discuss our options over a yummy Chinese lunch in the boxcar at Orient Express. Admittedly, I drove to lunch overwhelmed and anxious. There are many choices and as I've said before, I don't make decisions well. I am so terribly afraid of making the wrong choice, despite, like I said, knowing all choices point to a healthy baby.

Husband and I narrowed down the field with a pro/con list and came home, committed to praying about it in the coming days. But still, I worried, waxed and waned. I talked to my mom and sister and emailed someone whose opinion I really trust. I both wanted someone to tell me what to do and wanted to make the decision on my own, with confidence.  I told Ross that a part of my fear was that someone would judge me for whatever we choose to do. Negative feedback is not well received by this sensitive girl.

In a conversation with my mother-in-law, I got all the affirmation I wanted. She was so supportive and encouraging, letting me know that our potential decision is a good one, a perfectly acceptable one, and one she fully supports. I hung up feeling like a weight had been lifted off of me. But I can't say I'm proud now.

I realize that the reason the weight was lifted is because I had her approval. It's not so much who it was, but it was, indeed, approval that I was seeking. This certainly does not solidify our decision. That will not be done until we have spent much more time seeking God's guidance and getting counsel wiser than our own. But I keep thinking back to approval.

What is it about me that makes me crave another's approval so much? We could talk all day about birth order and a first child's 'people-pleasing' need. We could talk about all the positive attention I got as a child for good grades or good civic deeds or good choices. Somewhere along the way, I became the kid who thrived on positive feedback. I have made too many decisions in life seeking the approval of other people- even the good decisions. I haven't quite figured out how to make a choice, own it and have pride in it- others' opinions be damned.  Like I said, I know that seeking approval has made me successful in some areas. I have been blessed with mentors and family and friends whose standards were high, just and good.  But did I learn how to make the right choices, or just the choices that made others the happiest, the most proud?

In the next few weeks (days??), I will give birth to a person. And I hope this person has his/her own mind. Quote me on this when I have a two-year-old telling me 'no!', but truly, I want to raise a child who has confidence in themself, who feels safe making a choice, regardless of who will be proud, a child who will seek God's approval before anyone else's. I want my child to feel capable and competent, to look at facts and to TRUST himself to make the right call, even if the choice is not met with acclaim or anyone's approval.

I am so excited for the journey ahead of me. I know that I will be refined and changed and challenged. I hope that of the many things I will learn from my children, one of them will be how to have confidence in myself, how to be strong and stable and sure, regardless of who likes me ;)

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