Life has been crazy! I started this blog post a month and a half ago and I’m finally getting around to finishing it! I pray it’s an encouragement for anyone reading.
Thankfully, all three of my deliveries were fairly easy ones. Other than having a couple of somersault babies that wanted to flip in the opposite direction and a c-section that ended up happening a little earlier than planned, my labor and deliveries were pretty typical. And for that I’m extremely thankful! Unfortunately, I know that’s not always the case. There are many women, a few very dear to my heart, who have experienced much more difficult pregnancies and births. My heart aches for them and the pain they have endured. Although I don’t know exactly what they’ve experienced, I do feel like the last couple of months were a season I could liken to some of the general pregnancy woes.
It was my reading in Isaiah 37 several weeks back that really resonated with me. King Hezekiah summed it up really well when he said, “today is a day of trouble, insults, and disgrace. It is like when a child is ready to be born, but the mother has no strength to deliver the baby” (verse 3, NLT). Yes, yes, yes!!!
I. WAS. EXHAUSTED. It had been 15 months, since I first heard the words, “take your family and move.” Our “Limbo Living” had been an emotional tug of war, mental battle, and physically draining experience. As a wife, a mom, and a woman, I was longing for stability and security but those 15 months had been nothing but the exact opposite: upheavel in every direction.
With Matt starting a new job finally, FINALLY, there seemed to be motion stirring instead of just sitting still! You would have thought I would have been raring to go, but instead I found myself completely overwhelmed. As I was waiting for the next season to be “birthed” I was finding that I had little energy left to give. Forget pushing! It felt like I was trying to drag myself through a heap of sludge and my brain felt like complete mush.
Now listen, I know all the good Christian answers. “When we are weak, He is strong. He never changes. He loves me no matter what”. I get it, I get it….yes, all of that is true. In fact, I believe all of those things! Yet in the in-between space, the wilderness if you will, the struggle is real!!! It’s the hardest when you know The Lord has called you out, told you to move and go but still the end is far from clear. There are glimmers of what’s to come but there’s still a whole lot of uncertainty and questions. And in the midst of that uncertainty isn’t it just like the enemy to stir up “trouble, insults, and disgrace” when you’re in that wilderness place? When you’re weak, weary and barely holding on? Stupid devil!!!
But in that final push, I really think The Lord allowed me to see MY need for The Gospel. Even though I’ve been following Him for many years now, He’s reminded me how I need The Gospel every single day, every minute of the day! He was calling me to reflect on His sacrifice often, to be broken over my sinful flesh, and be challenged to keep Jesus the main thing. I mess it up every single day, multiple times a day – needing Him all the more! It should be a revolving door of brokenness, repenting, and turning back to Him, yet so often I think we look at our salvation as a “once and done” event.
He also reminded me the necessity of having others around me to point me to Him. Being a more introverted person I’m perfectly fine cocooning and living life as a hermit. (I know, not the healthiest way to live!) Yet He’s called me to live a transparent life connected with others. In fact, community is vital. Since our move to OK, being 1200 miles away from “my people” I’ve often felt disjointed and alone … causing me to retreat all the more, but God in His mercy and grace led us to one of our church’s community groups that met in our area. These people have welcomed us in and offered a safe, encouraging place to voice our struggles.
It was at one of our first C-groups when the flood gates broke wide open for me. It had been such a discouraging and difficult day. As I sat there that night, still really new to the group, listening to prayer requests and serious situations that needed God’s intervention, I hesitated to speak up. After all, we had a roof over our heads and warm beds to sleep in because of the generosity of wonderful family members. We were clothed and well fed. Why should I be complaining?! But my dear husband realized the toll this season was taking on me. He spoke up first and opened the door for me to share. From there, it was an avalanche of emotions and tears. The encouragement and support from these new friends was a blessing and a reminder to keep looking to Him.
Later that evening, Matt told me he’d pack us up and move us back to NC, I just needed to say the word. But I knew, that was not the answer. We were to stay the course… keep pushing and pressing forward. As hard as it’s been, I know this is what God has called us to. He’s stretching and growing us and I don’t want to revert back. He’s brought us so far – literally and spiritually!
Wouldn’t you know it, it was the very next week, I had the keys to our rental house in my hand, I was writing a check for our first month’s rent, and Matt was flying back to NC to load and haul our stuff to OK. Our official move-in day was October 1st! Thank You, Jesus!! I’m overwhelmed at God’s goodness!!!
So, all of that to say, if you’re in a difficult or wilderness place right now – God loves you! He hasn’t forgotten you even though it might feel like He’s far away. Keep leaning into Him, surround yourself with some faith warriors you can be real, honest, and open with, and think often upon The Gospel of Jesus!!! More often than not, the plans He has for us look nothing like what we envision. Just remember, He’s trying to make us more like Him. Life is hard and messy but His yoke is easy and His burden is light! Keep pushing ahead dear friends!