Genesis 29:31-34 "Now the LORD saw that Leah was unloved, and He opened her womb, but Rachel was barren. Leah conceived and bore a son and named him Reuben, for she said, “Because the LORD has seen my affliction; surely now my husband will love me.” Then she conceived again and bore a son and said, “Because the LORD has heard that I am unloved, He has therefore given me this son also.” So she named him Simeon. She conceived again and bore a son and said, “Now this time my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.”
This #IAMLEAH story is deeply personal, mainly because in writing it I had to express and admit things that I had previously never admitted, not even to myself. In reading Leah's story, I started to notice ways that her life resembled mine. I began to see her as more than just a supporting player in a story that oftentimes focused on her husband. In her story I saw a woman, who like many women, probably felt like she didn't measure up to what society thought she should be. A woman who loved a man who couldn't and wouldn't love her back. Yet in her desperation, felt like giving him the one thing society told her made her valuable during that time, a male son, would make him see her as worthy of his love.
During Leah's time, children weren't just given names because the parents thought they were cool or pretty. Names had meanings and almost everyone of Leah's children had a name that expressed her want for her husband to love her. How many times have we seen women in similar situations? Maybe we have friends or family that thought that having his baby would make him stay or fix that broken relationship. Maybe that woman was us.
So how did I identify with Leah in this aspect? Well let's go back to my first #IAMLEAHPOST, #IAMABLENDEDFAMILY. I shared how my oldest son is not biologically mine. Living in a blended family comes with it's own set of unique challenges. Many of my challenges in the beginning had to deal with insecurities that I faced within myself. When I became pregnant with my youngest child I for some reason tried to convince myself that this baby would cure those insecurities. You see most women dream of giving their husband their first child. I'm pretty sure Leah believed that by giving Jacob a child before her sister, that she would somehow earn a special place in his heart. When that child turned out to be a son, she probably believed that that place had been secured. I knew that I would never get the opportunity to give my husband his first child or is first son. So when I became pregnant, I prayed that it would be a little girl. I wanted God to at least let me have this "first".
When I found out I was having a boy I was crushed. I wouldn't trade my youngest son in for anything in the world, but at the time I was admittedly disappointed. Thoughts began to swirl in my head about this baby and if he would ever get the same amount of love that my oldest got. Looking back I know these types of worries were unfounded, my husband never gave me any reason to doubt his love for our new child, but at the time I was living in a place of insecurity. So my next focus became the baby's name. Just like Leah named her son's in hopes of gaining her husband's love, I wanted my youngest son's name to be a reflection of how I felt about his father. So I became dead set on him having my husband's name, and nothing and no one could convince me otherwise. At the time I tried to convince myself that I was just following "tradition". My husband was named after his father. My own father was named after his father and my brother is named after him. This is just something that men do, but now I know that my insistence on naming him after my husband stemmed from something much deeper...I think in my own little way I was trying to make my baby feel more "special". Not in a sense that he was more important than my oldest but in the way of this would cause him not to become the forgotten or "extra" child. I felt like so many firsts had been taken from me and this was my own way of getting some little piece of power back.
So did having a baby change things? No. Did it help to heal my insecurities? No. Just like with Leah, I had to learn the hard way that a baby can't fix things that are broken on the inside. For others, maybe you had to realize that a baby can't make a man stay, or in some cases, leave his other home. Babies are meant to be blessings, not band-aids for the things that ail us. Sadly, some women don't realize that until it's too late. Thankfully, I have grown a lot in the few short years since given birth to my youngest son. I have matured spiritually and emotionally and have learned to allow God to heal those broken places. I now can share this story as the proud mother of two, beautiful boys. Do I still want that little girl...heck yea (I even have her name picked out, Brooklyn White lol)!!! But now her birth wouldn't be an attempt by me to "repair" our family but instead she would only enhance it.
So that's all for tonight. I hope that my transparency will inspire my other "Leahs" to deal with the things that are hurting them and to seek true healing and allow God to give you your "beauty for ashes".