When we found out we were pregnant a lot of feelings coursed through my body. The first was shock, followed by love and gratefulness to God, and then excitement. Occasionally I have had days that were filled with anxiety and certainly impatience, but lately, as the baby because more ‘real’ and my stomach gets more large I have felt fear for the first time.
There is a lot that goes into having a child than just conception. There is the planning, the dreaming of a life together, the finances, and not to mention about a billion ways to parent your child. There is a lot to screw up to say the least.
The sin in my own heart now seems to be an all consuming thought. There is something about bringing another life into this world that makes you want to be better. From my personal life and marriage, to my spiritual life, to my work – I want to be the best I can be for our little one in hope that my failings and shortcomings do not shape them in a destructive way.
In my own life I have known a lot of that. My mother has been absent from my life for almost a year now. She has never met my husband, she didn’t come to my wedding, and to be honest, I don’t even know if she is aware I am having a baby. I know the loss of losing a mother and I don’t want my children to know that sort of disappointment.
In many ways her sin has shaped me in ways I cannot undo and I suffer everyday because of it, my marriage suffers because of it. A parent’s affect can do just as much harm as good… especially a mother’s. We see our mothers as ultimate caretakers. They are the ones who made our lunches, dried our tears, cried at our proms, and always had a warm hug waiting. Unfortunately not every mother is like that.
I fear often that I won’t turn out at as the mother I envision, but instead, the one I am trying so hard not to be.
And then I get that little flutter as I’m standing in line at the grocery store or a hard nudge when I’m laying down to fall asleep and am reminded at what a beautiful gift God has given my husband and I. This seemingly alien-like life fully depends on me, a feeling I have never known. Though I am filled with trepidation for this new job I have been blessed with, my main focus is to put my trust back in God.
As in any trial, trust in Him who is all powerful. I trust that all my fear and anxiety is simply NOT trusting in God enough. I accept that I am a broken person and that He is constantly at work in me, every day, shaping the mother I am destined to become, the person I am supposed to be. When we decide to take our pain, suffering, and trials all on our own shoulders a few things happen…
The first is that we forget that we are “children of the light” (1 Thessalonians 5:5), we forget we are His. We resent our Father because we don’t feel powerful enough to accomplish all that needs to be accomplished so our relationship with Him suffers. Forgetting that we are God’s is detrimental to our lives and our general disposition. It can make us feel alone, abandoned, or stuck in a state of unbelief – when really it is us who have shut the door to God, not the other way around. When we forget that we are God’s children we forget that we serve a purpose and that He has a plan for our lives.
Second, we forget how powerful God truly is. Its easy to trick ourselves into thinking we can be in control and fix everything, but without God, nothing is accomplished. It’s the dangerous thinker who believes that ‘God’ is a Sunday tradition. Living your life for God is not an easy thing to do and no one does it perfectly. BUT nowhere in the Bible does it exclaim, “If its too hard, just don’t do it!”. We will fail every day at living for Him, but we must try, every day, anyways. Forgetting God’s power gives us a false identity of ‘all-powerful’ and in that way, we pull from the only true sense of power in our lives.
I’m guilty of both of these, especially the last few months. Its hard to remember that God has a plan for my life and that He is working in me RIGHT NOW, not in two months or two years, NOW. Its hard to turn to God when sometimes I feel so angry at Him that I teeter on the fence of unbelief. Its easy to think I can do it all, I can fix it all, and then when everything comes crashing down I turn to God and wonder, “Why did you let that happen?! I had that, everything was fine”.
The truth is, I need God. We all do. But its really easy to live a life that doesn’t reflect that.
This past Sunday we had an amazing sermon on Desiring the Kingdom – basically, are we living a life that is reflected by the fact that we believe in Jesus or are we more desirous of other idols in our lives (work, hobbies, etc.). He said a few things that really stuck with me. The first was that God uses trials to turn us back to Him. In a sense it is a reality check, but ultimately it makes us more desirous of God and focused more on our relationship with Him. I wish I could view every trial as an opportunity to get nearer to God. Instead I lash out, I get frustrated, and more often than not, I turn away to lick my own wounds. The second was that we need to be in love with God’s word. There is no way to be more intimate, more in a relationship with God, than to be in Scripture. He mentioned that so many people spend all their free time outdoors claiming that they want to be closer to God, to be in His creation. And yes, His creation is good and magnificent and simply awe inspiring, but if you want to be close to God you go to the Bible. These are both things I knew, but certainly things I needed to be reminded of.
This week I’ve been trying to get back into His word, back to praying constantly and back to living out His love in my marriage.
It feels like so many of the elements of my life that are suffering right now are simply due to that I’m not desiring the kingdom first and foremost, and I’m letting the fear of a newfound trial take over the comfort and peace that comes from resting in Him.
As I part ways today I ask for your prayers, that I may once again be able to rest in Him. And please know that I am praying for all of you, my readers, who may find this a comfort or a reminder. I find it inspiring that so many of the most personal struggles are also the most universal, the ones we all have in common, in one way or another.