It’s been a year now since I was pregnant with my Little Bear, and it’s taken me that long to process how truly difficult those nine months were. Carrying him was such a deep -and dark at times- struggle.
I did not want to be pregnant that year. Since Heidi and Everley were born seven months apart, the last thing I thought wise would be to conceive when Everley was just over a year old. Turns out, I was right. My body took a beating with the third pregnancy. I had multiple infections- one of them was in my finger nail which limited me in many ways and was a slow painful process to heal. My stress levels were through the roof- I couldn’t sleep normally anymore; I couldn’t relax in social situations; I felt lonely and scared and fearful all the time; I desperately wanted to give birth at home but my husband couldn’t emotionally invest in my fears & hopes; I was constantly tired and at times emotionally distant from my toddler daughter. Essentially, it was a nightmare.
But, I prayed. I prayed every day, every hour, every time my body hurt or my heart ached or my mind warped. I begged God for help, for peace, for nearness, for intervention, for answers, for truth, for strength, for joy in my suffering.
Did I expect him to reply with resounding impact SINCE I was praying so fervently? No, I didn’t. I am coming to understand that though I pray for good things, and though he loves those good things, sometimes he allows a crises, a trial to continue, a variety of challenges BECAUSE he is encouraging and producing character in me and the willingness to trust him to be who he says he is. That is the crux of it all- I must die to self and he must be known.
Yet, in the midst of my suffering and wailing and cringing, God showed up. He didn’t make it all better, he didn’t magically make me sleep through the night, he didn’t take away all my stress triggers, he didn’t heal all my infections…. BUT he came through in the little things: the beautiful sunrise, the compassionate and kind doctor, the dear midwife who became my friend, the laughter of my daughter, the baby boy gifts from friends and family, the sweetness of an intimate weekly women’s bible study, renewed friendships, the strengthening and reshaping of my marriage. Those were good things and God was in each of them; the little things accumulated over time and gave way to BIG joy when I gave birth at home during an afternoon August rain storm…
As the midwifery team lay me down on the kitchen floor after Gatlin’s delivery, the sun suddenly broke through the clouds and shone brightly on this boy who had been set free from his mother’s body. Not only had he been given new meaning to life, so had I. I had been given the gift of trusting God again with the impossible….
And he was faithful. Since he can not deny himself and since he loves me as his own child.
It was an arduous journey. Would I want to do it again? No. Am I thankful for all the ways God was there with me and for the precious gift of my son? YES.
I pray you’ll discover God standing right there beside you in your trials and suffering. No matter how dark, he is not afraid of your circumstances and he really does want to go through it WITH you.