I never wanted to be a mother.

That’s probably an awkward statement from someone who is going to speak at a conference for moms, but it’s true. If you would have asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up you would have heard: ballerina, astronaut, veterinarian, and writer. Specifically a writer who lived in Manhattan and wore really cute shoes.

I was rarely around children and didn’t hold a baby until I was well into my 20s, so I convinced myself — to justify my own fears — that God had other plans for me. Instead of allowing God to soften my heart toward motherhood, I decided I would focus on my career, climb corporate ladders, and hold fancy titles. Sure, I would be excited when my friends had children, but I was perfectly content without the desire to have a little one of my own.

Until my niece was born.

And then I had a miscarriage.

Suddenly my life turned completely upside down and I wanted nothing more than to hold that sweet baby we’d lost. I was terrified. For the first time in my life I was chasing something that didn’t have guaranteed success attached to it — even if I was able to have a baby, how would I know how to take care of another human? And how would I balance a career and a family? There were no online courses to take, programs to master, degrees to hang on the wall that would teach me how to be a good mother. And I was pretty sure I was going to be an awful one.

We had a little girl in 2011. My mini-me who has taught me from our first moments together what it’s like to simply accept love. And where my lack of knowledge was exposed, God taught me to accept grace. The balance I was looking for in my career and my family never happened. Instead, life became a juggle and I simply tried not to drop anything too important. It was harder and more glorious than I would have imagined, and in the end?

Motherhood changed me.

I’ve learned how to forgive completely from a daughter who knows no other way. My priorities are no longer invested in climbing ladders but in choosing to chase a toddler. I’ve traded fancy shoes and big cities for flats and daycare. God has used what I never knew I wanted to redeem and heal a part of me that was bitter and broken. He has taken a heart broken by fear of failure and transformed it into a heart that chooses to find hope and success in the day-to-day mundane moments of motherhood. I never wanted to be a mother — but I’m so grateful God had other plans for us.

How have you been changed by motherhood?


Crystal StineCrystal Stine

Crystal has been called an encouragement and social media ninja and loves using her background in corporate marketing to help women pursue their dreams. Married to her high school sweetheart and currently raising/herding a toddler, Crystal has a heart for encouraging women — particularly other writers and mothers —  through the written word. Crystal is also the Editorial Manager at (in)courage and contributing writer at Mothers of Daughters.