So I had a plan. It was all laid out. As a lot of you know, I volunteer with the local pregnancy resource center. As a lot of you know, I got pregnant at 16, and my heart is so fastened to loving young women even older women who are unexpectedly pregnant. God was really opening doors for me.
A trusted mentor who runs a daycare offered free daycare services for my three children not in school yet. So several days a week I got a 4 hour break. I was given the opportunity to volunteer at the nonprofit I mentioned above because of it. I was 14 when God showed me that I would be speaking. It had been 10 years of wondering what that means and with volunteering I was now given a plethora of opportunities to speak at churches. I thought, “God, is this it?!” God was really piecing things together the way only He does. Without going into much detail for the sake of getting to the point, I have strong convictions about birth control due to my beliefs and complications my husband and I both endured in the past. I’ve been wrestling with having no birth control but trusting God, the creator of life to decide when a baby should fill this womb and when a baby shouldn’t. Some say it’s a gift of crazy faith I have, and some say I’m an idiot. The ball was so effortlessly rolling in all things ME. I thought my prayers would be heard. Because me and pregnancy aren’t best friends, I knew pregnancy would derail a lot of these plans. From the moment I find out I’m pregnant I just want to hold the baby in my arms. It’s overwhelming how much I want the baby out from 8 weeks to 39. Waiting is so hard for me. I’ve never had a natural labor because I just want to hold the baby, NOW. Pregnancy is hard for me because I also have 4 other human beings to take care of and a husband who works a little over 40 hours a week, plus a three hour commute every day. I get so tired when I’m pregnant because I’m anemic and my body needs lots of extra blood that I don’t have to give. I’m so tiny that fast weight gain is difficult on my back and other body parts. It’s all exhausting. I knew if I became pregnant my balancing act would fail. I also deal with shame when I’m pregnant stemming from the first time this body carried a child. I was 16. I don’t look much older and I still get the negative responses. For some reason I can’t tell what hurts more, strangers and there questions or family members and there pity-shock.
So I had a plan on how I was going to announce my pregnancy. We were going to take a picture wearing the Catherine Foundation’s “Love Life” shirts! (That’s the name of the nonprofit.) I wrote a blog about how we should, as the pro-life movement, always congratulate a pregnancy no matter the surrounding circumstances. It was going to be so cute and perfect and everyone was going to read it and think I’m such a great Christian and I totally have my life together . . . right?
Things kept falling through. Problems with the photographer the morning we were going to do pictures. My friend providing day care had complications and could no longer help me. Because of this I lost my availability to volunteer. I was given a list of events to speak at and I heard the Lord strongly tell me not to take up the speaking opportunities. Things in my marriage started to fall apart due to poor choices my husband and I made presently and in our past. Things inside of me decimated. My depression that the Lord took from me 10 years ago when I was 13 years old and had so joyfully accepted Christ into my heart came back full force not leaving any ounce of pain and frustration behind. And now my pregnancy seemed like one more place I was called to sacrifice. There goes my body, which I was working out and almost had a four-pack. There goes my energy which I just finished nursing my son and recovered all my energy. I would read my blog post I was planning to post as the pregnancy announcement and think about posting it, but I couldn’t because I don’t want to be “congratulated” because I do feel like a slave due to circumstances. I didn’t want to read a blog where I was trying to be a “prolife-mom-warrior-blogger” who knows everything.
I begged God to help me not get pregnant. Yet, now I am. There are so many other things that are still falling apart. My heart has been broken up over so much that has transpired these last few weeks. My marriage feels like its barley made it. My sanity is still not intact.
Although most the time I’m shaking my fist at God angry and confused. Although most the time I feel so out of control and crazy I’m starting to kind of see the lessons here—three in particular:
- We sacrifice our good timing for God’s perfect timing. If you’ve ever been given a dream a vision or a calling, I want you to recognize that without God you wouldn’t know that calling nor would you be following it. So why do you think in your strength your going to make it happen? Humble yourself. You are nothing but the thing God is using so he gets his due glory. As believers when we submit our lives to Christ something happens in the heavenlies, in the spiritual realm that invades reality. God starts paving this way for us. We naturally want to please God and help him by showing him how his way for our life works. I heard this pastor give an illustration about his child helping with the dishes. We know how that works. We’re doing the dishes, getting through it fast, and a child comes along and wants to help. But its not really help when they are breaking things and putting things in the wrong place. Still, as a good parent we let them. You ever think God does the same with us? You think he’s on his throne with sovereignty laughing at us saying, “Sure you can help, because I love you!” and we do and make a mess. I’ve heard this before and can’t remember by who but, “God would really start to use me if only I could get out of my way.” This season of sacrifice is hard. Nearly impossibly but through this a lovely, life altering dependency on my creator will be birthed. It will be painful, but like this child I’m carrying, it will be new. This level of sacrifice is one I’ve never been at. The same way this child is different from the others. This pain is just labor pains.
2.)When you step back for yourself, you’re really helping others. My husband and I have HUGE hearts. We would have people over for dinner every night if we could. My love of hospitality and his love of the kitchen has created this want to just cook for anyone that comes to our door. But the Lord doesn’t want empty vessels. There are so many cracks we’re walking around with, and if we don’t step back and let the Lord fill and fix, we could still minister but it would be like trying to fill a 2 cup measure with 1 cup of water. It just wouldn’t be as good. We love people so much, we want to be overflowing with the spirit. So we’re taking a sabbatical for a year to focus inward on our family, our first ministry here and now. We’ve all heard the analogy of when you’re on a plane and the oxygen masks fall they ask you to put one on yourself before your child. Because if you don’t put yours on first and you pass out you can’t help your child. This isn’t self-care, this isn’t introspecting so we can put a band-aid on a wound. This is digging as deep and as hard as we can to find the sources of pain, division, and distrust, and give them to the Lord. We’re focusing on getting sound council and just resting. Maybe this will be like an arrow being pulled back in the archer’s hand. Who knows what doors God will open once we’re pulled back?!
3.)God is Faithful. When your circumstances say otherwise, God is faithful. When your mind says otherwise, God is faithful. When everyone you love betrays you, God is faithful. If God is that faithful to me, I want to try to be that faithful to him.
So we’re expecting. Many things really. Expecting to rest. Expecting to heal. Expecting to hurt a little bit. Expecting fresh vision and stability. Oh, yeah, and were expecting our fifth Propps baby Early November 2019!
To God be all the Glory.