Isabel is now 3 months old, and one thing that the Lord has been putting before me as a motif throughout this postpartum season has been the fact that each day I get a chance to start fresh. No matter how the day has gone, whether it started off rocky or got messy in the middle or the evening ended up being just okay, God’s mercies would be new the next day.
God’s mercies are new every morning.
As someone who grew up in a Christian home, this phrase has always washed over me. It was something I heard all the time and knew in my head that it was true, and was so familiar with it that I didn’t even know from what part of the Bible the phrase came from. So I looked it up:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
–Lamentations 3:22-23 (ESV)
Ah, Lamentations. What an appropriate book for this phrase to come from. I didn’t know how I would feel when Isabel was first born and how that might change over time. I had heard/read that it could take some time to bond with your baby, but I had also heard that parents can feel such an overwhelming joy that they had never experienced before, and that they can’t imagine life without their little one.
I feel like I’ve been somewhere in between.
For one thing, I felt immense relief when Isabel was born. I was both tired and excited to meet this new little person. And since then, I’ve been a bit all over the map. For a recovering perfectionist like me, it’s especially hard as a first time mama to figure out how to thrive or even survive when you’re not sure how to communicate with this little person and she doesn’t come with an instruction manual.
There are days where I feel like I’ve messed up over and over and over again. I constantly have to apologize to Isabel when I don’t know what she needs, telling her that Mama’s doing her best. Not only do I often feel as though I’m failing Isabel as a mother, but I often find myself failing as a wife in the process. I constantly need to ask Nathan for forgiveness because I’ve taken my frustration out on him, or am resentful about him not serving me the way I want him to. I have to really stretch myself to ask him for help when I don’t want to in order to take care of our family.
Each day is a breach into the unknown, and each day seems to be filled to the brim with worries that re-open like old wounds and facing my inadequacies as a human being, with a sprinkling of hope and joy.
But that’s the beauty of receiving new mercies every morning.
After looking up the Lamentations 3 passage, I thought it was appropriate that verse 23 ends with, “great is your faithfulness.” Again, it’s a hymn that is well-known but has not meant as much to me as it does now. The last verse and chorus particularly resonate with me in this season:
Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine with ten thousand beside!
Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see!
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided –
“Great is Thy faithfulness!” Lord, unto me.