The Child I Didn't Want
"I have scary dreams," said my son as I tucked him into bed.
"You do? What are they about?" I asked.
"The devil is in them," he said.
"What is he doing in your dreams?"
"Trying to take the lovely out of my heart."
I stared into his big brown eyes, listening intently to every word.
"What is your lovely?" I asked.
"He tries to get me to stop loving my mommy and to stop loving God and Jesus."
"Well, how does he do that?"
"He uses his powers," he said.
"Well, what do you do?"
"I use my powers to take it back."
"Where do you get your powers from?" I asked.
"Jesus. I say Jesus and then I get all my lovely back and the devil leaves."
As my son lay there snuggled beside me in bed as he did most nights, he had no idea what a profound thing he had just spoke. He was four at the time, but his four years of wisdom superseded his short life. He opened my eyes to see that the enemy is after our lovely. He wants to steal the love out of our hearts because he knows if he can do that he is on his way to stealing our destiny and our souls.
Now, 11, my son Hawke continues daily to be a source of encouragement, joy and strength in my life. But, it didn't start this way. He was an unwanted child.
I'll never forget the day I shared the news of his pregnancy with my then husband. There were no hugs, smiles or congratulations. No sooner than the words left my mouth he got up and walked away without saying a word. He saved his words for later.
"I wanted the four kids I have. I don't want this one," he said. My husband had two older kids from his first marriage and we had two children together, a five-year-old daughter and a three-year-old son.
Three months into my pregnancy it became more clear why he didn't want this child. He was having an affair with a woman he worked with. When my daughter was nine months old we had both decided that I would quit my job to stay home and raise her.
I had been hesitant about quitting my job and being dependent on a man, something I had never done before. Even if it was my husband I had reservations about being so vulnerable to someone, but he assured me his money would be our money. But, it wasn't that way. He made sure every chance he got to let me know his money, was his money. But even still, I tried to make the best out of a bad situation.
However, now, five years later my fears were staring me in the face. I was pregnant with two older children and every bill in the house, including the mortgage and car were in my name. (His credit was too bad to get anything in his name.) And I had no job or income. And now my husband was cheating on me.
The pain and anger that swept over me in these moments felt unbearable. For the first time in my life I had depended on a man, my own husband, and this is what I got in return. I felt so betrayed.
If I left him I knew this man who held on so tightly to his money, not our money, would not pay a dime on the bills that were in my name. And without a job or income how could I leave anyway? And who would hire a pregnant woman? I felt trapped and the last thing I wanted was a crying, needy baby tying me down to a man that showed no remorse over his betrayal, and instead seemed to almost be relishing in the fact that I was trapped.
I didn't want anything reminding me of this hurt and betrayal. I wanted out. I wanted away from this pain. I remember the day this pain caused me to wish for the death of my unborn son.
A friend of mine had called. Just like me she was pregnant with two older children and her husband had previously had an affair. She had called this day to tell me she had miscarried. I forced out a condolence, but inside I was envious.
Why does she get to have a miscarriage and I have to carry this child by this man who cares nothing about me and has made it clear he doesn't want this child?
I turned my anger towards God. I had made a sacrifice by quitting my job to stay at home and raise my children. I had put my trust in my husband and God. I had tried to do the right thing.
And this is what I get in return?
My husband had made it clear he did not want this child and now neither did I. But, despite being unwanted, the day of his birth came. Things between me and my husband hadn't reconciled and as I laid on my bed in the delivery room, giving birth wasn't the only pain that had me curled up. The pain I felt from this betrayal had left me numb inside.
The usual anticipation and excitement of a newborn child wasn't there. I felt nothing towards my child who had just entered the world. I had nothing left to give. No motherly affection. Nothing.
I watched the nurse washing him. He was crying. She seemed a little rough with him, but still I laid there. Empty. I turned and looked away, staring blankly at the wall. He was still crying. I looked again. I saw him curled up. Naked. Alone. He looked so rejected. Unwanted. Defenseless against the world. He looked like me.
Suddenly, something in my heart changed. He was all alone in this world. He needed me. I decided I would love this child and the more his father rejected him the more I would love him. His first word was happy. On days when I would be crying from all this pain he would walk around the house saying, "happy day...happy day..." over and over again, until my tears turned into a smile.
And instead of a crying, needy baby pulling on me and draining me, he was like an angel baby. I hardly ever remember him even crying. He slept through the night, wasn't fussy and to this day, eleven years later he continues to be a light in my life.
Just last night he reminded me yet again how God mysteriously works through unwanted situations to bring us some of our greatest blessings.
Like many, I've been in a prolonged season of very trying situations, and yesterday a culmination of circumstances sent me into a tailspin of feeling like, I can't keep doing this. I'm at a breaking point. I've done everything I know to do and these circumstances are not changing.
I wanted to just quit.
What is the point in trying if nothing ever changes?
Frustrated, I grabbed my keys and left, as my kids voices asking where I was going trailed behind me unanswered. I had no destination. For hours I just drove....aimlessly. I wanted to just leave, to run away from everything, to keep driving and leave all my problems behind. But, I knew that wouldn't solve it. Wherever I went they would follow me. Running wouldn't solve the problem. So, instead I just drove for miles in circles.
It was synonymous with my life, feeling like I had gone miles and miles in circles with no destination in sight.
How did I get here? God where are you in all this? Don't you care? Don't you hear my plea for help? Why won't you answer my prayers?
Late at night I pulled back into my driveway. I looked at my phone. There was a text and a voicemail message on it from Hawke. He wanted me to come home. He said he had made me something. I walked into the house and this was waiting for me on the table.
"I couldn't find any wine, so I poured you some grape juice," he said as he came out of the kitchen carrying a ham sandwich he had just finished making to add to my plate. "Why were you crying mom?" he asked.
Earlier when I had closed my door and locked it behind me so no one could come in, he had stood outside knocking, asking me to let him in.
"Mom, let me in."
"Go away, I want to be left alone right now."
Still, he kept knocking.
"Let me in, mom."
The tears wouldn't stop.
"Go away. Leave me alone."
He ran outside banging on my window.
"Let me in."
I covered my face as I laid on my bed so he couldn't see the tears.
He went to the outside back door that enters into my room. He began rattling the door knob with his key. I went over and closed the blinds and held the doorknob so he couldn't get in.
He kept trying his key and twisting the knob. "Stop, Hawke. Leave me alone!"
Finally, the rattling stopped. He walked away. I quickly went out the front door with my hoodie pulled over my face, grabbed my keys and left. I wanted to be alone.
Now, hours later, after I had told him to go away, he was still chasing after me. "After you finish your meal I have a spa planned for you mom," he said. At eleven-thirty at night I finished eating my carrots, apples, oranges and toast. As he swigged down the rest of my grape juice (cause he loves grape juice) he told me to go get ready for my spa.
As I stuck my feet in the plastic bowl full of warm water he had brought in, he handed me a hot, wet washcloth he had heated up in the microwave and told me to put it on my face and he'd be right back. As I laid there with water dripping from the washcloth all over my face he walked back in with his hands full.
I handed him back the washcloth. "Thank you," I said.
"You're done with that already?" he asked.
"Yes, it refreshed me so quickly."
I didn't want to hurt his feelings by letting him know I was getting soaked from the water he didn't drain out. He smiled and took the washcloth. He then began spraying air freshener....and spraying it...and spraying it...and spraying it....
"That will make it smell good," he said.
I coughed a little.
"I think it smells good now."
"Okay, now I'm gonna rub your feet," he said. He grabbed some lotion and started to rub it on my feet. His nose crinkled up. "Oooow….I've never done this before. At least they don't stink."
He rubbed them a little more.
"But, I think I'm gonna wash my hands when I'm done."
"Okay, that's probably a good idea," I said.
A couple more minutes.
"I'm gonna go wash my hands now."
He came back in holding my phone. Soothing music started playing.
There, that will relax you, he said. He then grabbed the back massager that looks like a little bug. "Okay, now I'm going to rub your back," he said.
Earlier as I was driving around I had been on the phone with a girlfriend of mine and said to her, "You know what would feel nice tonight? A back rub."
I laid down and he began rolling the little bug across my back. After about 10 minutes he said, "I'm going to go get one of my employees now (aka as his older brother) and have him rub your back for awhile."
A couple minutes later he returned alone. "It looks like he's off today." He rolled the bug around for a few more minutes. "I'm going to go check in with one of my other employees." (aka as his older sister)
He returned alone again. "It looks like she's on her lunch break." He rolled the bug around some more on my back. "Okay, now for a few kind words," he said. He grabbed a poster that sits behind my dresser - something he had made for me years ago and began reading it:
You make me smile. You make my days worth living and when I am down you always find a way to make me happy. You fill my days with happiness. I know you love me with all your heart. You inspire me and you make me feel like anything is possible. I wish I could be like you. One day I will do something great in life. How do I know? Because my mom told me so. Thank you God for giving me a beautiful mom. She is the best mom in the world. I love you mom.
He finished reading and sat down beside me. He picked up my phone and began scrolling through my voice mails. "Did you listen to my message I left you mom?"
He pushed the play button....
Hey mom...I just wanted to let you know that I made something at home for you...and it took a little while. I just wanted to let you know that no matter what life hits you with, you gotta get back up. Cause every time you fall down it only makes you stronger. And if you don't get back up, then you ask someone for help.
And if you don't get back up....then you can always ask Jesus to help you up. And if you get knocked down that time and are officially done and don't get back up then...what that means is....well, I don't know how to explain it....but you just don't get back up.
That means you wasted all your energy. And if you don't get back up you'll stay the same you are today. Whatever happens today is going to stay the same if you don't get back up. As long as you get back up life will change. It's what you make it. It's not what you think. Like you told me...how much practice you put in....if you're practicing for a job and you only put two hours in and you're supposed to put in days and days of work you're not going to get in.
Like I said, remember, you won't get anywhere if you don't get back up. You'll stay the same you are today. As long as you keep getting back up, eventually at one point you will succeed.
Anyways mom...I love you. Like I said there's something waiting at home for you that I made. Bye. I love you.
The tears started falling again, but this time I didn't try to hide them. I hugged him tight.
"I love you so much Hawke. When God made you, before He sent you down here He put something extra special inside of you. No matter how cold this world may get, never let anyone or anything take that out of you. God is inside of you. I see Him."
Over 11 years ago, what I thought was the worst thing that could happen to me in that moment, turned out to be one of the greatest blessings in my life. Time and time again, God uses this child who was unwanted to remind me that He does have a plan for my life. That He is able to take the bad things, the unwanted things, and bring beauty out of them.
He reminds me that even when I am hurting and push Him away, He chases me down. And even when I run away, when I come home He's there waiting on me to tell me that He loves me and to speak kind words to me.
As the enemy sends people and things your way to try and steal the lovely out of your heart, just remember God has a mysterious way of taking the things that are unwanted and seem like the worst thing to happen to you, and use them to chase you down with blessings.....as long as you keep getting back up.
Use your powers and get your lovely back. Now get back up.
(To listen to Hawke's message to Get Back Up: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yr5zSM9sT3U&t=6s)