Monday, December 10, 2012

Not My Life, Not My Baby

I haven't written anything in a long time and its not because I haven't had anything to say or even that I haven't thought God had anything He wanted me to share.  It's because I have been in a season of life these last months that have been very quiet.  A quiet season... never thought I would have one of those!  Probably because I have never sat still for long enough to ever even have more than a few days of quiet.  To think it has been nearly seven months of quiet... is crazy to me.

I remember feeling a loss of purpose around January 2012.  We had just settled in our new home in Wisconsin so life was very different.  I was happy, but all the change sort of tossed me into a place of not knowing what I was supposed to do next.  Brett had adjusted to school and new friends so quickly.  Plus was getting to that age of not really needing his mama so much that the load of motherhood seemed to be lightening enough that there was more "free-time" in my schedule than ever before. Ryan was happy working from home and being close to family, he was helping out a lot and seemed to not really need me as much either.  I hadn't had enough time here yet to make any close friends, those relationships were just beginning or maybe not even in the picture yet and I didn't feel as drawn to the recovery work I had been doing in Texas as I thought I would have.  I was happy and living without regrets yet feeling a bit lost, wondering what big job God had for me next.  I was kinda bored. I didn't really want to go out and get a job, but there was this hole that needed to be filled. I distinctly remember asking God to tell me what my new big purpose in life was.  I have to be honest though and say, I didn't really listen for an answer.  As bored as I felt, I was kind of enjoying not having to do much.  I didn't want it to change because it was comfortable.  What if my next purpose was going to stretch me or make me dive into something I really wasn't wanting to do?  It was kinda nice to be able to watch TV whenever I wanted to and not have any real obligations to attend to weekly.  It was kinda nice to feel freedom from any hustle and bustle.  Nice but also boring.  Maybe I could just get used to boring?.  That would be great.  "Hey God, scratch that request for a new purpose... I'll just chill over here and work on getting used to boring."

I thought I was generally happy, I really did.  But looking back I suppose I can see an emptiness building in me.  I was becoming more introverted, which any one who knows me knows that is not really who I am.  I was beginning to have these crazy mixed emotions of sadness at my boredom but then I'd get angry at my son or husband when I was interrupted from my boredom. I was participating in volunteer work and Bible study but it was always a struggle to actually make myself go. I thought I was content, but deep down I was nothing of the sort.

My world was rocked in May when I found out I was pregnant.  I was about to turn 40, had just found out I had fibroid tumors that needed to be removed and totally not on board with the whole idea of being mom again.  This baby was REALLY gonna get in the way of my life plan.  I didn't want my life to change, I didn't need my life to change and I didn't think there was any way I could handle starting over with kid number two again.  I was mad.  So mad... at my husband, at myself, at life but mostly at God.  How could He let this happen to me?  How could He do this to me at this point in my life??  Why God, what are you doing messing with my life???

Luckily, I have had enough experience in my spiritual life to recognize that being mad at God isn't a sin.  In fact, I talked to Him about how mad I was at Him often. I think that was the whole of my prayer life for many many weeks... me telling God how pissed I was at Him.  I became depressed and withdrawn.  I shriveled inward into myself not wanting anyone to touch me, talk to me or try to understand me.  I just wanted to be left alone.  Eventually, I turned to our new Pastor and asked him to meet with me.  I don't know why I did that, I mean I didn't really want help - I wanted to be miserable but my hand reached out and dialed the phone as if it had a mind of its own and once the appointment was made, I just went ahead and went.  He helped me realize that a better use of my anger would be to point it at satan, instead of everything else.  Thus the writing I posted on May 17th called "Mocked".  That was very cleansing to me.

From there my heart began to slowly (oh so slowly) open to God and His will for me.  I slowly began to realize that my stubborn need to be in control of my life was blocking God's will for my life.  I admitted to Him that I didn't really want His will, and asked Him to help me change that.  I've been around the block enough times to know that God's will is gonna be whether I want it or not, so it's a lot easier to just get on board and stop whining.  I had this notion that I was supposed to just have a total change of heart over night and be ready to go with a smile on my face the next day cheerfully announcing my commitment to God's will to the world - yeah!  But when I woke up and that wasn't my reality and I didn't have the energy to fake it, I was confused.  I was still so sad about this change God had for me.  So sad, to the point of despair.  Faith got me through though.  I've had some rough times in life and the experience of making it through those rough times with God's help led me to know... without doubt... that this rough time was going to be okay, even though I didn't like it.  I realized that even in my deep despair, I trusted God fully.  It was then my relationship with God began to change and become something it never had been before.  Intimate.  Quiet.  Nearly silent.  Effortless.  I began to let Him take care of me without worry of what I needed to do to earn it.  I stopped working so hard to achieve a relationship with Him.  I sat quietly, just me and Him, no need for words, just there together.  Me in His hand.

My husband began to worry that my relationship with God was slipping.  He was so used to me being a crusader for Christ and a loudmouth, hard working, go-go-go Christian that this quiet wife of his who barely even spoke of God was very concerning.  I assured him that he didn't need to worry, but I think he did anyway.  He had no idea what was churning inside me, and I didn't really either.

I was having no fun with this pregnancy at all!  I was very sick, throwing up almost every hour some days.  I found it difficult to eat, my digestive system was whacked and the pain from my fibroid tumors was so intense some days I would just cry and cry. I was miserable.  I began to wonder why I wasn't happy.  I mean I had this faith and trust in the Lord, wasn't that supposed to get me through this with a smile on my face and great attitude?  Then one day God popped Paul in my mind.  I imagined him sitting in prison and how miserable he must have been.  His faith was there, his trust was there... but it was a hard time and it is highly unlikely he was overflowing with sunshine everyday as he sat there.  I gave myself permission... actually I feel like God gave me permission to be miserable.  I decided to be okay with my miserable days but not let them make my whole life miserable.  There were good days and when I had them, I needed to make the most of them and be thankful.  By some miracle I was able to do that, without guilt.  Just me in God's hand.

Each stage of this pregnancy has been a challenge, emotionally, physically and spiritually.  I don't know how God has done it, but He has ever so slowly changed me and my heart through this pregnancy for the good.  This baby has been a completely unexpected gift of new life... new life to me and new life to this little girl in my belly.  I am so very thankful for this gift now, so in awe of His plan and His will.  I hope I can hold on to these lessons for years to come.  I hope I can remember how much I get in the way of His will when I try to control my life.  I hope I will remember that my life is not my own at all, it is His fully... and my baby is not my own either, she is fully His as well.  Thank you for giving me people in my life to speak Your truth to me through this when I have needed it... Mary, Justin, Pastor Decker, Jess, Stephanie, Stef, Jen and Jenn. Thank you for the gift of my friend Cindy here in WI who has been  so very helpful in so many ways.  Thank you God for forcing me to step up to the plate.  Thank you for giving me this opportunity to follow Your will, truly lose myself so I can gain so much more of You.  Thank you for helping me turn my fears over to You as the devil tries to haunt me with them. Thank you for trusting me with another one of Your children.  She is very loved already even though she won't be here until Dec 19th!