Post partum is hard. I love being a mom and feel content many days, but at the same time, have to ask God for so much help every day. Change, contentment, and waiting are also hard parts of life. Three tough issues for me, and for many of you as well, I’m sure. So let’s talk about it! I’m writing from an ‘I’m-not-there-yet’ viewpoint, so take all of this as reflections on my journey, and apply through your own filters, most importantly, the Word of God.
Why are these things so hard? Change. I see our little man growing up so quickly, and though I love it, I just can’t keep up now that he’s moving or know how to prepare for what’s next! For me, it’s hard because whether what we know is good for us or not, we’re used to it. Comfortable in our cozy mess of sin, beauty, and braving the known rather than desperately clinging to God and others in the unknown. I’m there, friends. Change could be coming soon, and as much as I’ve wanted and prayed for it – I’m scared! What will it be like? Will I like it? How will my guys respond? Which leads to contentment. When we’re comfortable in our daily mess of beauty, love and life, we have found ways to be content, whether that includes idols or not. But when we are given something we’ve prayed for, and we’re still not content? I get really annoyed with myself, and can I say it? With God too. My heart remembers, again, that that next thing, season, or beautiful something is not going to fill my aching heart. But waiting on God is hard.
Waiting in the mess is where the beauty happens, but if we beg and cry out enough, often God does move us on to something new, even if it’s not best (Romans 1 – a hard word, for us, our communities, and country.) I usually do not enjoy waiting on God. And my little person reminds me how slow I am in waiting. But what I have slowly started to learn, is that patiently waiting on God is directly related to knowing God. If we don’t seek to know God, why would we trust Him? Why would P trust me, unless he knew I loved him? Why should we, if all God is to us is a comforting Santa Claus who randomly answers our prayers? Perhaps that was harsh, but like I said, I’m there too. However, I am ever so slowly leaning into the whispers of God, the words of Life, and finding that He is in the still small voice, calling us to know Him, but usually not explaining what He is up to. He is the I AM. Emmanuel. He is All Mighty God, worthy of our praise and immune to our demands, but He IS with us. This is what we must ask Him to do in our hearts – help us to trust, when we don’t fully know Him or what He is doing. It’s a beautiful battle.
Why do we avoid the messy? Mom brain is in full force now…and I find half-finished tasks everywhere I look! I forget what I’m doing when my chunky monkey needs something NOW! (I also feel strangely productive about the smallest things getting done.) A nice reprieve lately is enjoying the Marvel TV shows with my husband while little P naps. Super Girl and The Flash, to name a couple. We feel burnt out on life after trial upon trial, and it’s nice to turn off your brain so you don’t keep thinking. My husband has always been able to do this – most guys can I think? But I am very new to the ‘nothing box’ in which you do, in fact, think about nothing!! I used to not be okay with that and insisted we watch dramas and documentaries, but as I watch my steady husband face life with a strong faith in God, rooted in Truth, I’ve realized that Supergirl and The Flash can be a gift too.
But not always. Anything can become an excessive addiction and distraction. We know when we are there, and we pull back or God does. (It feels nicer when we realize it first!) But He is gentle. And He will gently lead us into the hard places of life. I say that, knowing full well, and having experienced myself, that often trials come like a head-on train wreck, and you are begging for hope before you even understand what hit you. There’s no way to prepare for those times. Because we know (maybe only in our heads) that God is good and gracious, we must fight to find our way back to Him, cry out and ask Him to make it real in our hearts. We must refuse to believe lies that tell us He is holding out on us. We must find kind companions to remind us to care well for ourselves. But often, we must wait as He refines, slowly weaves our stories, and does not promise to give us the answers we want. We must accept the hard with the good. Up and down emotions (bring more hugs and grace), house is rarely put together (so I can legitimately ask for more help :)), and the most adorable little guy needs and wants me at every point of the day. (Hard, but good.) I like things to be wrapped neatly in a bow, but God prefers mind blowing glory for Himself and good for us, only in His timing. On That Day, (but hopefully before) we will want His will too.
We don’t need another Savior. Idolatry is a thief that promises hope, and robs you blind while you indulge. (Like most sin is!) It’s like a deceptive marketing scheme, or another gimmicky direct sales company banging on your door (trust me, not here bashing direct sales, but my husband has begged me to never sell again! 🙂 He says I’m not a sales person, and that is mostly true. I like meeting new people, talking and being persuasive, but asking you to buy something you might use once violates almost every part of who I am. Or maybe I’ve just been burned too many times by trying to sell with no results! Haha.)
Sorry for the rabbit trail. But bringing the bunny back around to the Garden of Life that God intended for us in Eden, we humans are hard-wired (in my belief) to choose poorly more often than not (Like, every time, except for the mercy of God). We are depraved, but we constantly look for alternate saviors! The next president will fix XYZ, a new church might be the answer, a different haircut, exercise regimen, book to read with plenty of formulas, or a relationship that starts out safe and quickly turns immoral. I’ve heard preachers say that we are idol-factories. And that doesn’t sound too far from the Truth. The Truth is, we have a Savior – Hurray!! And we can run to Him anytime – Amazing! [i.e. He doesn’t read texts and reply later 🙂 ] He HEARS us as soon as we cry out! And He will never turn away from us, no matter what we might throw at Him or wrestle through with Him – glory be to God!
We won’t stop sinning this side of heaven. The hope in our very slllooowww sanctification process is that we’re ALL there. Different issues, varying severity, controversial or not, we need to remind ourselves that the guys and gals in our spaces of living are hurting too, are wanting to grow (usually), need God desperately, are bound in sin and shame, and fail Him miserably, every day, just like we do. What the heck!? How am I giving you hope, you might say?
When we realize that we ALL are there, we can start asking for grace and forgiveness. We can talk about that hard thing because she probably understands, he usually has messed up that way too, and most of all, God was human like us, and fellowship in His sufferings is the most beautiful experience I have ever had. Living in a hard place, and instead of complaining, timidly walking into the Gates of Heaven and laying out my heart to him, asking – Have you been in this hard place? – changes and softens me like few other things. You will realize, as I have, that Jesus had to wait, he had to face drastic changes, he couldn’t trust anyone, but His Father, and even then, Father God had, for a moment, to turn away in His deepest time of need, so that we could have hope. We call that betrayal when it happens to us. My hope for all of us, in this changing world, filled with discontent, brokenness on all sides, battles that must be fought and others that needlessly destroy – we all have a broken place inside that needs a Savior. I pray you go to Him today. Pray that I will as well.