When I am stressed, I clean. When I am frustrated, I clean. Justin calls me an angry cleaner, and although I HATE it when he calls me that, it is very true. I was in a cleaning frenzy Monday. And truthfully, I was pretty frustrated with our situation (and by extension, with God). I was praying (kind of venting) as I cleaned. Here is a glimpse into my thoughts while I ran about like a mad woman: “How much longer are we going to wait, Lord? I am over it. You say that you won’t give us more than we can handle but I honestly don’t think I can handle much more. Please open a door for us. Please. Please provide a great job for Justin. Please bless him. He is so talented. So faithful. I can feel his frustration and discouragement mounting. Please blow him away with your provision. Please show him your love. Please Jesus. Be near to my husband. Open the right door. I don’t know how much more we can take. I just feel so weak and so helpless. I know I am worrying. I know I’m sinning. I don’t want to feel like this anymore. I want to be faithful but I just AM NOT. Please help me Jesus. Help my unbelief. Please help us. We need you so much.” I honestly went on and on like that for a while. I was heading into my room and I was praying/ranting and it suddenly hit me. The answer. The word that came into my mind was “PREGNANT.”
I remember in therapy that there were times where my wonderful Godly therapist would say things and it was like the room shifted around me and suddenly I could look at a problem from a completely different angle. That is what the word “pregnant” did for me on Monday. My world shifted. It was so comforting. It was EXACTLY the right word for this season.
For my friends who have not experienced it, let me just tell you about one weird factor of pregnancy. Towards the end, all of the sudden, you are just DONE. You are massive. You are constantly hot. You are uncomfortable. You can’t sleep. You have terrible heartburn. You can’t see your feet or move around like you want to. Your hormones are, by definition, insane. You have all of these things you want to be doing, you need to be doing, but you are just so tired and can’t do them. You are irritated and frustrated and OH SO STINKING PREGNANT. Hopefully, if you are lucky, this stage comes a week or two before delivery. But with my first, this stage came at about 7 months and I still had forever to go. Let me also tell you another cruel thing about pregnancy. They SAY it is 9 months long. But it isn’t. Pregnancy is 40 weeks long. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that 40/4 is 10 months. TEN MONTHS. They have lied to us for, what, centuries? They just thought that once we had carried this baby for 9 months we wouldn’t notice that the sweet thing stayed in there another 4 weeks? It is cruel and wrong. Ladies, let me be a friend and tell you, pregnancy is 40 weeks, 10 months. So just when you thought you were good to go and you could not possibly hold this baby in another day, you find out that you have another month.
That feeling, that oh-my-goodness-I-am-so-ready-for-this-to-be-over feeling, is exactly what I am feeling. I remember those days of pregnancy so clearly. I have been down this road before. This season feels EXACTLY like being “overdue.”
This is why the word “pregnant” gave such comfort.
#1 – Pregnancy has a purpose. My mom is totally one of THOSE women, those completely crazy women that says her pregnancies were the best 27 months of her life (30 if she’s being honest). My response – “Yeah, right.” Truth is, without the incredible immeasureable blessing of a sweet beautiful cuddly miraculous baby, none of us would endure pregnancy. Pregnancy, by definition, is a temporary state with the purpose of giving birth to new life. What great comfort to us in this season of our lives. This season has purpose. Something new is about to be born. Something new is coming. And that something is worth the discomfort and irritation of this season “carrying” the vision for what is coming. I did enjoy having my sweet girls in my stomach and the tiny glimpse into their personalities that time afforded. But it was NOTHING compared to the joy of holding them, seeing their little hearts and minds through their eyes. We have a vision for what is coming. We have dreams and hopes and goals, but I know the Lord well enough to know that the reality of life and ministry, when it is RIGHT, can blow away our dreams and visions.
#2 – Pregnancy is, by definition, temporary. What a comfort both when you are 8 + months pregnant and when you have been praying and waiting for something as long as Justin and I have. This season is temporary. Praise Jesus. That is such great comfort for us who believe. I’ve written this before, but this is where I have to battle my mind. This doesn’t FEEL temporary. It FEELS like it is redefining our life. But nobody is pregnant forever. This is where I have to battle my heart, which is deceitful, with truth.
#3 – Pregnancy prepares you for parenting, and gives you a glimpse of what’s coming. And from what I’ve seen of adoption, it is setup to do the same thing. God is good to give us time to catch up, time to adjust. We don’t just BOOM have a teenager to raise with no warning and no preparation. While we wait, we prepare. We nest. We read. We learn. We rest. And our heart and home gets ready to receive an amazing blessing. This season is good for our souls. This season is preparing us for what’s next. This season has hints and glimpses of what is to come. And OH HOW HE LOVES US. Oh how He has blessed us. Christmas was such a tangible demonstration of His love and provision for us. And if that is just a glimpse? Wow. I feel like dancing around like Grace in her Cinderella dress.
I was not a great pregnant person. My family can attest to that. But here’s what I LOVED. I LOVED being in the hospital, having these beautiful baby girls. I loved the times at night when all of the visitors would leave and the nurses would come in and wake me up to bring my daughters into our room. The quiet dark time where it was just me and them, getting to know each other. When I would look at their fingers and toes and I would completely fall in love with them and with the God who gave them to me. I loved that the 2nd or 3rd night I would wake up when I heard them cry down the hall. I recognized my baby’s cry! I would sit and wait in that room while the nurses pushed my babies towards my room and I would get SO excited. I LOVED that time. And there is not much I wouldn’t endure to have the chance to do that again. When we think about adoption, I don’t think about the paperwork and the waiting and the expense, I think about when they are in our home and I get the chance to get to know their hearts. I learn if they like Macaroni, or what makes them giggle, or how to discern their cries. Getting to know why Jesus would choose Justin and me before the beginning of time to be their parent, seeing how they change us as we become a family. Getting to know the child the Lord has chosen for us. That’s the fun part.
This next season, the season of fulfillment, the newborn season – I LOVE it. – I just get excited when I see this from this perspective. What an amazing word – “pregnant”. Thank you Lord for giving me that word – that peace. Thank you Lord for taking your time and crafting this in the way only You can, just as in my tummy you crafted these beautiful baby girls. You are good. We are excited. We are in. We are ready.
(One last thing – Monday, during my frenzy day, I had written some friends and asked them to pray for me. THANK YOU GIRLS for praying. I felt your prayers as the Lord gave me this comfort. I believe your prayers played a part of this comfort. I don’t know that I’ve ever felt prayer support like during this season or seen immediate results like in the past few months. That is the definition of community and I LOVE it! It is growing a new urgency to pray in me and I thank you for the part you are playing in that! Love you girls so much.)