Thursday, March 17, 2011

running through my head...

maybe i should be napping...but i also have a need to write. i am a "writer"...not in the published sense of the word (although that would be so cool someday)...but moreso in a processing my thoughts sort of way. warning...these are my thoughts...they aren't all pretty...but they are where i am, and i am learning that being real with where i am is a good thing.

this morning we had MOPS...what a blessing that everyone in our household was healthy, and we were able to go. double blessing that it is absolutely and completely GORGEOUS outside...that i could wear a skirt and flip-flops. hooray! i wanted to laugh at the number of people who complimented me on looking spring-y...the number of people who said something like, "oh i'm so glad jilly isn't in the hospital are you? how are things? well, you look great!" i actually wanted to laugh every time i heard it...apparently my exterior was masking my interior that is weary and exhausted....but operating on an abundance of God's grace (and perhaps a bit of caffeine!).

but truly, i am weary. the immediate weariness of the past month or so has an obvious culprit...the end of pregnancy. i won't lie...i tried my best to smile and not complain, but the last month or so of carrying luke just plain hurt...hurt more than pregnancy has ever hurt. he was low...he was back ached, i could barely move, and i just plain hurt, but God's grace is big. my soul was weary of the flesh was a bit frightened by his potential size and the idea of getting him "out"...but God's grace is big! (have i mentioned that in spite of those fears and all the talk of induction luke's labor and delivery was EVERYTHING i was praying for) induction, no meds, no epidural, no "complications", i labored during the day instead of all night, i was able to hold him right away...and on and on. see, He gives us gifts we don't deserve....EVEN when our hearts struggle to trust Him in the waiting.

but it isn't just this past month. when jillian was released from the hospital on monday i was hit with a barrage of emotions...mostly internal, but i have had my moments of tears. i'm surprised the emotions haven't hit harder, but God's has been so gracious, and i am doing much better post-partum emotionally than i EVER have (then again, i shouldn't be surprised...did i mention that His grace is BIG!). anyway...when she was released i think it hit me how much has gone on in the past several months. i don't know that i ever took time to fully process jillian's scare with MRSA or her time in the hospital or how hard it was to be away from her during the time while mike lovingly tended to her in the hospital (it was the RIGHT choice...but still hard!). then mike headed to the ER with her this past week, and being the second ER visit for respiratory problems my mind immediately went "there" know, that place of doubts and fears and unknowns. my mind didn't stay quickly went to the place of "doing life"...keeping up with elizabeth and kate...caring for luke...spending time with family in town...visiting jilly...just trying to maintain. and then she was released...and with that came the emotions and the thoughts...with that came the weariness and exhaustion (exacerbated by lots of interrupted sleep lately thanks to a certain handsome and precious little man).

i know that LOTS of people have harder trials...but the reality is that i am not OTHER people. God has given me grace for MY circumstances...just as He gives them grace for theirs. He doesn't call me to compare what the "hard" in my life looks like with the "hard" in someone else's life. and so i am being real...i am at a place right now where i am fighting to put one foot in front of the other and CHOOSE JOY amidst the chaos. love this quote a friend posted on FB today, "Don't postpone joy until you have learned all of your lessons. Joy is the lesson." (alan cohen). i have no clue who alan cohen is, but boy does that quote sum it up for me...JOY IS THE LESSON. it is not about life becoming "easier" or "less chaotic" is about choosing joy...choosing joy even when a child disobeys me for the umpteenth time....choosing joy when i am up with a bright-eyed, wide awake baby boy and everyone else in the house is sound asleep...choosing joy when my baby girl is in the hospital struggling to breathe....choosing joy when i realize how often i am "dropping the ball"....choosing joy when i feel like wallowing in the weary and the exhausted....choosing joy when things don't work out the way i WANT them to....choosing joy in the HARD of my personal life and my moments and days. i am learning...slowly...but still, even slow learning is forward progress, right?! i am realizing that i need to be spending FAR more time in His Word...soaking in His grace and truth and strength...letting His Words be my portion. i am in a season of struggling to do that...but i am striving to walk more closely with Him...and remembering that even when i "feel" alone...i am NOT...He never leaves me...He never forsakes me...even when i struggle to give Him the priority He deserves.

and then there is this John Piper quote from a short podcast a dear friend shared with me..."Yes, it is hard, but God is mysteriously loving and sovereign in ALL that comes our way. To lose him as sovereign in that moment is to lose your hope for the future." truth...sweet truth...rolling around in my soul. you see, it is so, so, so easy for me to struggle with His sovereignty and His let my momentary circumstances (and i'm not just talking about sick kids...i'm talking about marriage...i'm talking about disobedience from my children and the disappointment that can come with that...i'm talking about the day to day mundane things that happen...i'm talking about LIFE...all of it) cast doubt upon His sovereign plan. but the TRUTH is that He is sovereign in all that comes our way...HE IS SOVEREIGN in ER visits and hospitalizations (and hospital bills!). HE IS SOVEREIGN in the timing of events (like the reality that pregnant and with a brand new baby i was not the one in the hospital with jilly...something i wrestle with emotionally). HE IS SOVEREIGN in the lessons my children are learning. HE IS SOVEREIGN over the weather. HE IS SOVEREIGN in ALL. i could go on and on listing one thing after another...but the word ALL covers it...He is mysteriously loving (oh how i LOVE that) and sovereign in ALL THAT COMES OUR WAY. wow.

and so, if you see me...know this...i might have washed and dried my hair; i might have even attempted to lessen those dark circles of fatigue under my eyes with some make-up (or maybe i didn't...come by my house on the average day and you'll likely find a ponytail and yoga pants)....but under the surface i am clinging to Jesus...i am weary, exhausted, doubting, and on and on...i am not holding up on my fact, i am struggling to maintain my "grip" on Him...BUT His grace is BIG...His grip upon me is tight...His strength is unending...quite simply, when i am not, HE IS. and i am simply choosing to trust Him...with my husband, with my children, with my circumstances, and most of all, with my heart.

(ps...for an update of the past few days, jilly's hospitalization, our time with my sister here, and some cute pics keep reading the next post)...and hopefully posts with jillian and luke's pics will be up SOON!


Rebecca said...

cried through this entire post...seriously! thank you for sharing. so much of this is also me right now.

Betsy said...

Amanda, I so appreciate your raw honesty and ability to put your feelings to words. I am praying for you, friend. :)

Wendi@EveryDayMiracles said...

Tears here too. I couldn't have said it better myself. Each sentence resonated so much with me.

Love you friend!

Nikki said...

Praying, praying, praying for you, sweet lady...knowing that as you so beautifully put it, He is sovereign and loving over ALL. My heart resonates with everything you said--different circumstances, but I totally totally know the ache and the struggle to "hold on" to Jesus and just wanting to give up. Your honesty compels me to search my own heart. Love you so much!