Wednesday, March 30, 2016

How many life events can I pack into a year and a half?

So many emotions and thoughts fill my mind and heart as I consider the past year and a half. A few people have commented recently that there is no way we could squeeze more major life events into such a short amount of time. When I stop to think about it, we sure have lived a whirlwind since August of 2014. I decided to create a timeline of major events to help me put into perspective the things that have tugged at my emotions at times and made me feel more vulnerable than usual.

*My grandfather actually passed away while we were on our honeymoon, so add death in the family to the list.

I’ve found myself quicker to tear up and become anxious at times, and I get frustrated because that is not typical Allyson. BUT, when I think about all of the big changes we’ve been through, I’ve decided to give myself a little grace. My desire is to turn to the Lord when I feel overwhelmed (Phil 4:6-9), and it’s been so helpful for people I love remind me of His faithfulness when my perspective gets clouded.

As I review the timeline and consider all that has happened, I am reminded of the Lord’s faithfulness:

  • At 28 years old, my longest prayed prayer was finally answered through an unexpected meeting in Colorado Springs at a Focus on the Family conference that I attended by myself: I met my future husband. I have seen (and I’m sure will continue to see as the years go by) so many different small prayers about my husband answered in Jacob’s past and his character. We see how God prepared us for each other at times when we found ourselves wondering what the future held.
  • Moving to Kansas after our marriage and proposing a work-from-home situation to my boss gave me an opportunity to prove I could be just as productive remotely in a typically non-remote role, which paved the way for me to continue being able to work remotely as I struggle with constant, daily pain while we wait for an opportunity to address the issue once our son arrives. I don’t know if I would have been allowed to work remotely due to the pain if I had not already worked from home when we moved to Kansas.
  • Jacob passed the CFA and God paved the way for us to move to Texas right at the beginning of the pregnancy. The opportunity to experience this pregnancy with my family has been so special, and it’s been such a lifesaver with having regular physical therapy and other doctor’s appointments to have extra help.

I’ve also recognized the need to begin releasing our son to the Lord even before he joins us in person. I’ve caught myself thinking “As soon as he is born, I won’t have to worry anymore about each sharp pain or discomfort of pregnancy because I’ll be able to see him and know he’s alright.” But his birth will begin a new process of lifting him up to the Lord. I can only work to be a good steward of the opportunity God has given me to mother my son, but I cannot protect him from all harm or know where he is all the time (when he’s older), etc. What I can rely on is the fact that God knows my sweet little boy more intimately than I ever will.

"For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be" (Psalm 139:13-16)

How incredible to read that God knows my son’s frame even as it is still being woven together inside of me. He knows exactly when he was conceived. He knows what organs formed and when. He knows when the eyelashes came in and when he started to be able to hear my voice. He knows the exact time and date of my son’s birth.

How can I not trust Him, the Creator?

And so my prayer is that I will turn to Him in the moments I feel overwhelmed and ask Him to “search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24).

Thursday, March 17, 2016

When is he/He coming?

A few days ago, a really intriguing analogy popped into my head, and I’ve been marinating in it like a good, juicy chicken dish. At 32 weeks pregnant, I know the best thing for Baby B is to keep cooking until 40 weeks; however, I’ve heard enough real-life stories recently to know a few things:

  • Babies don’t know there are American Academy of Pediatric (AAP) rules/standards/odds for when they should arrive
  • Babies don’t tell you when they are coming
  • The third trimester pretty much means anything goes

The third trimester also means I’ve got a heavy case of nesting going on. There are all sorts of preparations to make:

  • Assembling furniture
  • Organizing clothes
  • Stacking diapers
  • Figuring out “systems” for how to organize baby stuff (although I’m sure all these “systems” will be subject to change once our little man appears on the scene and teaches us a lesson or two!)

As I think about the fact that 1) I have no idea when he will arrive, and 2) we are busy making preparations so we will be ready, I am reminded of the second coming of Christ.

  • Only the Father knows when He will return (Matthew 24:36
  • We are advised to “keep watch” and “be alert” because we do not know when He will come (Matthew 24:42; Mark 13:32-33
  • We should devote ourselves to prayer with an attitude of thanksgiving (Colossians 4:2)
  • We must prepare for His return, intentionally putting on faith and hope and encouraging each other (1 Thessalonians 5:1-11)

Am I preparing my heart for Christ’s return like I’m preparing for the arrival of Baby B? They are both imminent, although I *feel* more connected to Baby B since he is physically inside of me, moving around. And yet, isn’t the Holy Spirit inside of me, stirring me to action?

I’ve got more thinking to do about this analogy, but it’s captured my attention!