Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The Things We Learn in the Valley

Let's talk about Mother's Day.  A day wrought with emotion for mothers who are waiting to receive their official title. Especially women in the church who are still waiting.  From my observations from the sidelines, (which are many, and not the most reliable point of view of course) in many Christian circles it's basically a race to achieve life milestones the fastest and all within your timeline. (Married no later than 22. Kids and lots of them, 18 months a part, done by 30,  then boob job and tummy tuck, don't wanna be an old and unattractive mom, I want to be a young grandma! And an attractive one at that!) All of those "mandates" have all been things said to me or in my presence--I'm not making this up! (I'm not really worried about being an attractive grandma?! I guess thats something some people worry about from a young age?! Am I taking crazy pills?!) Nothing is wrong with wanting a family, or even wanting a family when you're on the younger side. Everyone's journey is different (she said obligatorily, but really meaning it as well).  It all starts to feel like one big "mom-petition" if you will. And sometimes children being used as notches on a belt.

ANYWAYS, I really didn't intend for this post to be a whine fest about church culture. I'm glad God didn't listen to my timeline wishes (we all have them!) I don't know why it's so seducing to see yourself as "so young, but so together". I prefer a bit of patina to my life.  I needed time to grow up. It has been a long and difficult journey, but I know that I am a better person for it (thanks to His mercy and grace) and more fit to be a better parent to this particular child who is coming to us.

Throughout our marriage and struggles,  I can look back and see that God was using all of it. I know...it sounds so cliche! I KNOW IT DOES. I'M HEARING IT TOO! The cliche red flags are waving violently at me! I'm so thankful He got a hold of me at the moments I was truly at my lowest...letting me know He was still good. Even if I didn't get what I wanted, I was worthwhile and He had a plan for us. It's soooooooo hard to hear this when you're going through it. You can't see the plan, you're stuck in a tiny mosaic piece with no hope of ever seeing the big picture. You're stuck in pan in mode when all you want to do desperately is to PAN OUT and see what you're life will look like! Each of those pain filled bricks I was building with was building a foundation...and it could be a firm one or shoddy one, depending on how I reacted to my circumstances, not depending on my circumstances. I saw a quote that spoke to my heart the other day:

(quote courtesy @Chad Veach, Author of "Unreasonable Hope")

Oh, I love this! I think I had quite a few years in the valley. And for far too long I wanted nothing to do with the valley. My eyes were all mountain top. I could see it looming in the distance and I watched as so many others reached the summit. I wanted what they had. I didn't want to put in the work, either. I wanted it to happen MAGICALLY!!!!  I wanted to skip being cured from Vaginismus and go straight to being parents. I was trying to rob my marriage of what God wanted. And try I did. Thankfully He closed a lot of doors and kept kindly redirecting me (just like a preschool teacher) back to what I needed to be working towards. I didn't want to train for mountain climbing! I didn't want to endure the process, because there was no guarantee it would even get me to the top of the mountain I wanted! Being stuck and and camped out and STARING AT THE MOUNTAIN took up a big chunk of the journey; stubbornly willing the mountain to come to me. Slowly I began to move, or God dragged me, pushed me, prodded me into taking baby steps. Seriously. I want to wear my valley experience like a badge of honor. While I'm so happy to be nearing the mountain top (although I know there are so many things that could go wrong ect)  I would not trade my valley experience--there really are things that only the valley will teach you, if you let it. 

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Dear Whoever You Are Part II

Dear Whoever You Are,

Last year I wrote a post telling you how hard it was getting to keep waiting for you. How we missed you every day even though we'd never met. How we sensed the lack of you in our every day happenings, our thoughts, our hearts, our arms. I wrote you that letter hoping to beckon you out of the place you were waiting until the time was right. We're so glad it is you who is coming. You who I wrote that letter to. You that we will Lord willing get to watch and help grow.

 We have been so joyful and thankful every single moment since we found out that you are FINALLY ON YOUR WAY. I don't know if you will ever be able to know what pure joy that fact brings us. Real joy. You are worth every moment of waiting. Worth every moment of doubt. Worth every moment of heartache. It is all incredibly worth it--to know that it was you we were waiting for. The one made specifically for us. Every day I feel more and more connected to you. It's hard to tell what your personality will be like now, but we can't wait to spend our days figuring you out. Cheering you on. Praying for you. Loving you. We are so thankful this gets to be our "job"!!! Woo hoo!

I know you're inside right now, doing your thing, and preparing yourself for us and outside world. Keep on doing that and we'll keep on preparing for you out here. Team effort. We promise to do our very best. Can't wait to meet face to face but also enjoying every moment of this stage of your life as well!

We are so glad we get to live in joy and anticipation and that we can say we'll be seeing you SOONER rather than later!