As I looked toward this new year, I am overwhelmed. Yes, we are having a baby (still sounds crazy to say), but that is not until June. I am seemingly overwhelmed by every task and relationship I face even before the new year rolls.
This Christmas season has been busy. We traveled for a full week to Texas, and in our time there my heart was burdened for family and friends. There was not an extended time to focus on Christ–to be in and savor His word. I came back feeling empty and defeated. I began thinking through next week and next semester and the things going on in girl’s lives that I disciple. There is a lot to prepare for for the future child, but there is so much to be faithful in NOW.
As I walk with these 20-something young women, I see the battle is so fierce for their affections. A day without truth poured in breeds so much falsehood, deception–spaces where the gospel truth is robbed and they fall back into self-reliance and/or guilt. I reflect back on this fall. I feel like I have failed these girls because of my complete lack of energy and the intense sickness that I had with pregnancy. I guess the balancing act begins as I see the struggle between caring for a child (whether in my womb or out) and serving others in the body of Christ! I want to be purposeful in planning and taking advantage of this time before the little one enters the world. I long to run well and faithful–pouring out His truth and honoring Him above all. Pray for me that I prepare now to help these girls as my life transitions and I lead in ministry.
The good thing about the way I am feeling now is that it puts me in a posture of complete need as the new year commences. Is there ever a time where I am not in need? Is there ever a time that I can do any of this on my own? No. However, there is always a time when I think I can. There are times when I walk in self-reliance, self-preservation, self-righteousness. Unfortunately, those times come too often, and I forget that He superintends the growth–He is in charge. I try to give myself honor instead of Him. Or I tend to think it is all on my shoulders. So, yet again, I am reminded that my hope is in the Gospel. Jesus took the punishment for my self-reliance, self-preservation, and self-righteous pride. It is finished. I am to repent of my rebellious ways and cling to Him yet again. There is such peace in that–such release. And yet, everything within me fights that truth. If there is anything I want and need to pass on to these girls, to our children, it is this beautiful way that Christ has made–the Gospel.
If there is anything that this season of life has taught me, it is that my hope is not in circumstance or people. My hope is in Christ. In this time of joy and preparation for a child, it is so easy to get side-tracked from that hope. Having babies has become like having a wedding. We are tempted to plan for a nursery or ceremony more than a life and marriage. More than nurseries or diapers, I have been thinking about the overwhelming task of discipling children, of teaching them a God-entranced worldview. How do I do that from birth? If there is anything I want to be faithful in, it is that. He is so faithful to teach me through these girls that I meet with–to trust and rest in Him, in His word.
So, with all the swirling thoughts in my head entering this new year, I pray for a continued reliance on the beautiful Gospel of Grace. The Lord is so good, and I am in such need. In my feeble ways, I pray that this year, each day, I point others to the beauty of Christ, the truth of His gospel, and remember it myself.