Manna: the substance miraculously supplied as food to the Israelites in the wilderness (Exodus 16). – Google’s Dictionary
Breastfeeding has been an unexpected journey; one that I am grateful to be able to experience, especially as a working/pumping/commuting mother of a soon-to-be 8-month old. My husband and I had a rough initial 3-4 months with our daughter due to an issue called oversupply. I won’t go into the details (although I’m happy to talk about it if you have questions) but it all boils down to the fact that pumping before I went back to work would have exacerbated the problem.
So, 2 weeks out from the end of maternity leave, I had very little reserve milk stored for my daughter and a nearly 2-hour commute each way that would keep me away for 10-12 hours each day. Going back to work is fraught with enough stress and guilt around leaving your child for whom you have been the main constant in a strange and unfamiliar world. Add in the knowledge that you don’t know how your baby will feed while you’re at work, especially a baby that has dairy sensitivity (formula is made of milk and soy), and you’ve got a very anxious mama.
About a week from my return to work, I started pumping with the hopes to have at least enough milk for my first day back and prayed that God would somehow provide an abundance out of nowhere. In one of those anxious “please, please, please God” prayers, God suddenly brought to mind the story of the Israelites and the manna.
For those not familiar, Israelites were journeying through the dessert without food and water to the promised land after escaping their oppressors (the Egyptians). God provided manna and quail dropped down from heaven; there was an abundance over and above what they needed. Through Moses, God directed them not to collect extra because he would provide for them daily. Of course, there were those who did try to store the extra food only to find that it was rotting and covered with maggots the next morning. God provided for the Israelites this way for 40 years until they reached the border of the promised land, Canaan. (summarized and paraphrased from Exodus 16)
Somehow, I had more peace. Maybe God was asking me to trust him to provide Peppy’s food. This was my baby’s manna from heaven. Rather than focus on not having milk stored up for her, I needed to trust in God’s daily provision.
Believe me, I am just as bad as the Israelites. On days when I just can’t pump enough or my daughter seems to be insatiable while I am away; my stress level rockets even with my husband’s reminder, “Aren’t you praying for manna?”
Tomorrow marks 4 months since my return to work and praise God; he has provided for our little girl. Right now, we are literally just one day ahead of what she needs and my daily prayer has been – “Lord, please provide over and above what my baby consumes today while I’m away.”
Thank you, Lord, for our manna, our daily bread (Matthew 6:9-13).