No Waste

Something wonderful happened this weekend. I've been feeling like God has been trying to show me something, but I couldn't really figure it out. Then, thanks to some pursuit from a godly counselor it began to form. Enter two timely videos and an even timelier yesterday's sermon  and it all coagulated into that something wonderful.

No waste. Get it?
[Click image for source]
So, the story :)  I've been really caught up in my own head. I'm trying so hard to ensure that I'm responding properly to God in the midst of pregnancy that I'm missing out on God himself. On the one hand, I don't want to waste pregnancy. I don't want to moan and whine and complain so much that, when my baby-having days are over (or even just this pregnancy is over) I wish I could hit reset and start over. I want to learn and grow and experience Christ's grace in the midst of pregnancy, the highs and the lows.

Somehow, though, I just got all sorts of stuck on the lows. Have a fun [read: chaotic and pretty depressing] look into my head over the last eight or so weeks.

  • How do I receive grace when I'm so sick?
  • Do I rest today, or is laying on the couch and watching TV sin? Or was that grace?
  • How much do I work? (I have a pretty sweet gig doing transcription from home, and much of it is set by how much I can / want to do.) Did I sin by working today when I felt so awful or was it wise to press on?
  • How do I handle cleaning? Do I ask for help from Jason and others who love me or am I being lazy? But if I don't ask, am I being proud?
  • Reading my Bible today made me puke, literally. Was it sin that I stopped, said a short prayer, and took a nap? Did I quench the Holy Spirit by not finishing today's "assigned" scripture reading? Am I sinning if I get behind on my "read the Bible in a year plan" since I felt like God was the one who led me to commit to doing so?
  • Ever since I stopped typing my main prayer time out in Word (because looking at the screen makes me dizzy and nauseated), my prayer life has become pathetic. Mini prayers are said to God here and there, but I get discouraged and give up when I try to pray and can't focus and all I can think about is how awful I feel. How can I power through this? Why am I such a sucktastic daughter of Christ?
  • When I'm not feeling well physically I don't "feel" like being obedient spiritually. Why am I so awful? Why can't I just want to want Jesus and want him?
Blurg. You see how I started with grace, but spiraled into judging myself, how successful of a Christian I am, by metering out my works? And do you see how I talk about Christ but I wasn't ever talking to him? Yikes. 

This could be a long, introspective post into why I did that, and how to learn from it and not do it again. But that would just be bunk. There's a time for that, to be sure. We're to be wise and discerning about the ways we tend to trip up and miss the gospel. But sometimes I spend so much time discouraged by how sinful I am that God can't even convict me of sin. Sound weird?

Think about it-- the Holy Spirit is specific. He never says, "You're so disobedient and never trust me. Repent."  He says something more like, "Today, when you chose to skip reading your Bible, you missed out on spending time with me, the Son, and the Father. You broke relationship, and you need to repent so relationship can be restored because you are loved and you are meant to glorify God!" When I'm feeling bad about missing the point, I miss the point even more!

To be sure, there is sin God can and will convict me of specifically. But he's shown me two major themes:

1. I have been so concerned with living "right" that I haven't had intimacy with Christ.
2. I have been so stuck in my head, trying to please God, that I have robbed myself of his joy.

I could say so much, but I'll wrap up first by saying that I had a wonderful time with Jesus today. I wasn't checking off a list or getting my prayer time done for the day. I just listened to Jesus by reading his word and talked to him by praying for others and my own family. I say "just" because it's simple, not because it's easy! It was sweet.

Here's the cool vignette that I just can't get over. In the midst of trying to "live right" and "not waste pregnancy" I didn't just miss Jesus. I sort of missed the fact that I'm pregnant. I know, ridiculous. But I did. But then I saw the video of a friend who recently had a little boy. He's about six weeks old, and so cute. She posted a video of him on Facebook, and all she's doing is talking to him and he's smiling. It's not earth shattering. But, for me, something woke up. I realized that this is her little son, a little human being that she gets to love and nourish and teach and enjoy and pray for and know and tell about Jesus. An actual, live baby. He's her son. He's her baby! He was in her a few months ago and now he's out and experiencing the world and in her arms! And... being pregnant means that's my future to look forward to!

Then, as I mentioned at the start of the post, I saw this video on my BabyCenter iPhone app. Oh, man alive. Something happened inside of me that I can't really explain... I just became utterly and absolutely in love with my little baby. What grace! There's a sweet little baby growing inside of me! What joy! S/he has fingerprints. Fingerprints! Those unique marks that not a single other human being in the history of the world, billions of people, will ever match are forming on my little baby's fingers as I type this. I'm going to be a mother, and it will be my son, my daughter, and not someone else's child that I pass off at the end of my time with him or her. It's my baby, forever!  And Jason will be a daddy and he'll hold the little baby that is him and me and the grace of Jesus embodied in one sweet little human baby that came out of me! 

My words can never come close to what happened in my heart. But I can tel you this-- I felt such awe and wonder. And then, when I quit worrying about if I'm responding properly according to my theology and doctrine about who God is in the midst of sickness, I felt such incredible joy! I'm pregnant! I get to have a baby! God has blessed us with fertility and, be it his will (and I am praying and believing him that it is!), in six months I will get to hold my little baby, my firstborn child, in my arms. Oh, the grace! Oh, the joy!

I have to gush. It's incredible! I've been so mentally constipated that, for as sorry for myself as I've been about the bowel constipation (truly my least favorite part of pregnancy thus far, even worse than the puking, honestly!) it can't hold a candle to my mental constipation. But, by the grace of God, he got me out of my head and into his presence and there's nothing but joy there! And that, for sure, is something I will never regret. To have no joy and stay stuck in my head would be the number one way to waste pregnancy. No more!

I am done now. But, sister, I hope you can rejoice with me! It's so freeing!

1 comment:

  1. That was lovely, Tami. Thanks for sharing. In a way I love that you are experiencing all the growing that happens aside from the physical growth of a new life during pregnancy, even if it feels painful at times. Jesus was very patient with my pregnant self as I trudged through a bunch of stuff I definitely was not expecting to deal with after seeing those double lines.