A year ago this month, things were dark. Fear and anxiety were my masters as I worked tirelessly to curate a world where my feeling of safety could never be disrupted. This meant giving into thought cycles that were totally founded on my perception and not God’s truth. I begged God to pull me out of the mire of that season but felt only cold. There was no freedom. Not that God hadn’t been there to give it to me; I know He was all along. I was leaning on my own unsteady understanding instead of the Rock of Ages, who doesn’t shift like the wind.
I asked Him through those months “why won’t this end?” Just once I felt an answer, and it wasn’t about me, it was about other people. “So you can love my flock through their dark nights.” I was determined then not to waste that season, however dark, however cold, however long. I felt (maybe for just that moment) privileged and thrilled that God would think to use a broken ragamuffin like me, one who couldn’t leave my house without googling where the nearest hospital was, to care for His kids. What grace that He defines our seasons!
Now, a year later, I am enjoying some light. Last week our missional community reflected on the Ecclesiastes verses “there’s a time for x and a time for y.” As I listened to my friends share their stories, I was moved to tears. I saw how beautifully the natural rhythms of our lives work together– when we are desperate for truth, He makes others strong enough to carry us to Jesus. My heart was provoked, and for the first time in a very long while, I felt like I had something to offer people. I got to use some of what I’ve learned about God’s faithfulness and goodness to (I hope) encourage other believers, like they showed me when I was completely blind to it.
Now, of course in hindsight, I see that without those many months of terribly painful training, I wouldn’t have had a shred of ragamuffin wisdom to give to anybody. In that dark and shadowy place, I got to experience intimacy with God in a way I couldn’t have anywhere else. There, I got to know Him as Father and Counselor and Divine Author of my story. He did gracious work in me there, and my mind feels new. I can’t pin down a moment when things shifted in my heart and mind, but that kind of crippling anxiety has stayed pretty much a memory. I’m in a new, more joyful season, and I want to let God define it.I don’t want to waste it on me. I want to be fully present and engaged with the season I’m in, attentive to the new facet of Jesus–just the one I need–being tenderly revealed to me.
I have about five months (give or take, I hope it’s take) of being shaped into a mom before I become one, and I want to use what He’s showing me in this joyful time to love other women and get to know my husband. I want to use well the time I’ve been given, whether it’s a time of darkness or light, to learn and grow, to let God make me a better lover of Himself and a better lover of others. I want to speak and write and serve joyfully from this season, because today is all I have.
How far along? 17 weeks as of yesterday
Baby is the size of a: Navel orange! Over 5″ long (crown to rump) and 5 ounces! Bigger than a Big Mac!
Total weight gain: Probably 2-3 lbs.
Maternity clothes? Finally bought some maternity pants. I don’t really like them. They’re dark skinny jeans from Gap – how could they go wrong? Well, the pregnancy band helps, but the butt and hips are sloppy looking. My biggest pet peeve with jeans. So I mainly wear my regular pants with the belly band I talked about a few weeks ago, which has been working well. I need to get a black one of those. Right now I only have the nude color.
Sleep: Picture perfect dream world.
Best moment this week: Tim and I had some really good time together Saturday afternoon. It was the first Saturday he’s had off in a very long time, so I felt refreshed to be able to laugh with him and have him home with me.
Movement: The baby woke me up on Saturday night! I felt this flutter in my belly and my first thought was “What is this baby trying to tell me?!” So I got up and ate a snack. :) Turns out kicking isn’t morse code.
Food cravings: Salty/crunchy, sour/cold. I.e. kettle chips and cold green apples.
Miss Anything? I had an ornery moment last night when I couldn’t have any of the herbal teas in my house. I guess lots of herbs are a pregnancy no-no, so it’s best to avoid herbal teas (pretty much anything but peppermint. Oddly, even some pregnancy teas aren’t pregnancy safe). Since I have to take it easy on caffeine too, tea isn’t a big option. Hot water with lemon did the trick!
Symptoms: Not much lately! Light indigestion and lethargy, but nothing to write home about.
Mood? Restful, but only because God is faithful in sustaining, not because circumstances are any less chaotic than usual.
Looking forward to: A short work week! We celebrated Thanksgiving with Tim’s family on Sunday, but we also have plans with some friends on Thursday. Count on a green bean casserole…or five. Also, as mentioned in previous post, my best girl and her hubs are coming to visit next Friday!!