Looking back over my short years, I see a trend. Not just leggings and hairstyles, but a true God-lead trend of maturing. Of forming and contouring me to His image. And the biggest continuous movement I see looking back and thinking of our current trial is God causing me to rely on Him. That me, Ms. Planner, cannot all things and know their usual outcome. That is by far the most constant thing I see God teaching me over the years.
A few recent case in points...
Seminary. My husband had a great job as an engineer and we loved our church, but God's call is all encompassing, taking over and directing you to do what He is calling you to. We knew we would head to seminary at some point, but one day we were there and we were going. It's never the right time for seminary, just like there is never the right time for having children. So we did both at the same time :) 1 born just before we left and 2 born during our time there. And as we wrapped up our time there, tearfully saying goodbye to the dear brothers and sisters in Christ God allowed us to fellowship with, we were left clueless. We were due in 2 weeks with our 3rd baby, and a month after her birth we had to leave our apartment and go... somewhere. After her birth (2 weeks after graduation) we still didn't know where we were packing for. But I was reminded over and over that God knew. He allowed me to know what I needed to do in the baby steps (have our daughter, pack our home, clean, etc.) until He revealed where He was preparing for us to go. He told Abraham to go, providing fully for him all things (even a son!). So why would it be any different. 2 weeks after she was born, and 2 weeks before we had to leave, we were given an opportunity and we knew where God wanted us for a time. Praise Him.
And a little more recently, after some turmoil and now a time of peace, I feel once again called to wait patiently on the Lord. I started bleeding at 12.5 weeks with our now 4th child. I cried out to the Lord, never having bled with our 3 others. It seemed more than spotting and I feared that what the Lord so graciously gave He had decided to take away. After listening to the baby's strong heartbeat, the Lord comforted me. But I continued to bleed every now and then. So they called me back in for an ultrasound. What's going on God? Baby's ok, but am I ok? "I wait for You because You are my strength. A mighty fort, a stronghold is my God..." (Psalm 59). Maybe that's why when I heard we have placenta previa currently with this child, meaning the placenta is too low and that's what's causing the bleeding, I didn't feel frightened. They didn't say bed rest (Praise the Lord!) but they told me to take it easy. They encouraged that it usually rights itself as the uterus grows. So we're under surveillance for the time.
Take it easy doesn't make me think of my life with 3 kiddos. We love to take mile walks, and I love waking up early to workout (2 miles) with a friend. We are active in the church (as a pastor's family, of course we're gonna be!) and busy. I help tutor with our homeschooling community and watch friends' kids when they need a moment (or a day). What does "take it easy" look like? Then my husband reminded me it's good to allow others to serve and good to learn to be served. I said "If they do put me on bed rest how will we stay afloat?" And I am reminded that I am not necessary. Not in a hopeless "They don't need me" kind of way. But in a realistic "God does it all" kind of way. I'm reminded of a dear friend that within the first year of their first pastorate, she was put on bed rest with their 2nd child. With 20 some-odd weeks left in the pregnancy, she was unable to serve (as she saw) in their brand new congregation. But it brought the congregation into a time of love and service towards their family- caring for their daughter, bringing meals so the new pastor wouldn't have to be overwhelmed with cooking too, laundry, cleaning. Seriously. It was an amazing time of learning to serve in the church. And God grew her in godliness during this time of waiting, giving her ample time to study His word and rely on His providence. O Lord that I may have her patience!
But the thing that comes back to me over and over again is that God will provide. He will provide strength. He will provide patience. He will provide care. He will provide answers in time. He will provide all things that are necessary because He has promised His loved ones. And God never lies, never falters, never goes back and changes His mind. His yes is yes and His no is no. Praise the Lord!
As I feel the baby kick, I know He's already providing and caring. I need not worry.