What if we got what we wanted when we wanted it? That’s what we demand…
What if I had gotten pregnant in the first months we tried and we never went through the years of infertility? How would my life be different? How would the world be different?
If that…then I would not have been able to spend concentrated time with my Dad in his last year of life. I would not have been able to help my mom when he was in his last stages of Parkinson’s where his brain and body were greatly hurt. I would not have been there to spend the last two weeks of life with him in the hospital. I would have missed some really rich time.
If that….then I would not have had time and energy available to begin discipling girls. Then, I would not have gone on the journey to start Women’s Discipleship Concepts. I would have missed out on some beautiful opportunities to know and walk with many young women. Retreats and trips and lunches would have been much more difficult. I would have never undertaken this as a new mom…I know myself.
If that…then I would have missed out on the opportunity to grow as a writer–I probably would have a mom blog instead of a blog like this. With the time to sit with my pain and to learn to trust God, I have grown to trust Him and to share that journey with others through writing and speaking. I also would have missed out on the opportunity to write curriculum and Bible studies for Women’s Discipleship Concepts. Big gaps of time were needed to concentrate that kids do not create:).
If that…then I would have missed out on growing as an artist. I would not have had the time or exact pain that creates that opportunity and risk for creativity. In that time, I have learned to share my work and be a bit more confident. He has birthed many paintings from the things I have learned in the whole process of pain. I would NEVER have made an Etsy page and sold paintings.
If that…then I would have missed out knowing some pretty special women who have gone through the journey before me and behind me. Depth and maturity come through pain that is filtered through God’s truth. It is a privilege to call these women friends.
If that…then I would have missed out on knowing God the way I do now…He plunged me to the depths and He became my only hope. I would like to say that I would chose this on my own, but I like comfort too much. I have truly seen the “joy of the Lord” as my strength. I have tasted and seen the Lord is good. I also have seen that the Truth is really true.
If that…then I would have missed out on coming together with Greg in the same way. God used this to strengthen our marriage–to sharpen both of us–to mature us as followers of Christ–to prepare us for disappointments in parenting. He became my partner.
If that…then I would have missed out on doing Precepts Bible study with some special women. In this, I learned how to study God’s word inductively. This has changed how I read and study the Bible. I also have written several inductive studies to help others learn to study God’s word. So rich to know His word more.
If that…then I would have missed the opportunity to serve in the same way by leading worship. This created time for me to grow in that and serve weekly for several years. After leading with a child and without, I see the time commitment it takes when you are parenting as well.
God has done many things that I wanted to be in different timing…but I am reminded, when I stop and think, that He works ALL things for the good…even and especially pain. He knows better than me….period.
In the last few weeks my mind has been buzzing with all these expectations (see previous blog). I think I have been wanting to continue in all of these things above that I could create and know before children. I realize that I cannot produce at the same rate as before. God sovereignly set aside the time for me to grow in so many areas, and he has called me to focus in a couple of areas now. In this season, I do not have the time to paint and write as I had before. Both of those things take longer periods of time with a clear heart and mind. That is just not available as I have this precious boy to parent and love. There will probably be another season where I can continue to grow in those areas. I am called to pour into and love young women that God has given me to lead. I want to do that well–to love well and speak the Truth with grace. I have less unscheduled time to sit with the Lord and be taught and filled so that I may then pour out into others. However, I cannot let things that are not priorities in the now become part of my expectations for myself. I have to be realistic. I cannot keep producing art to sell on Etsy the way I want. I do not have time to write Bible studies. I cannot participate in extracurricular Bible studies in this season. In order to love my husband and child and ministry girls well, I have to say goodbye to the beautiful growth of last season and to look to what God has for me in this season. I love Him so much…may I trust Him in the letting go right now to embrace how He calls me in faithfulness right now. I do not want my mind to be clouded with unrealistic expectations that blind me from the opportunities to serve and grow in front of me.
My mind has been so filled that I have been ineffective. I want to pair down what is important…Loving Him with everything and loving my neighbor as myself. If I seemed frazzled next time you see me…remind me of this!
One thought on “What If?”
Love you Jen…you’ll never know the impact you (God through you) has had in my life! I miss your sweet and truthful heart all the time. Thankful for a God who gives and takes away.