Dave had to go. Duty called for work and he was off to California for an entire Monday through Friday. Pretty sure I cried when I watched him go. It wasn’t even so much all the responsibilities of mothering that I was dreading as much as it was just being alone with myself all week.
During the few weeks prior I just found myself feeling so down. Dave lovingly and constantly prayed for me and encouraged me and I wondered how I would be without him around. My hormones are raging, the heat has kicked in, the kids are a wondrous cacophony of “Mommy!!” and I just couldn’t…find…the place of thankfulness. It was missing. You know, the place that gives you smiles and joys to make it through the small hard moments in life. I wanted to feel happy and excited and expectant for good things to come for my family and baby…its just the feelings weren’t there.
Try as I might, I have been having a hard time connecting with Samuel. He is simply not real to me yet and I think it is because my heart is not allowing him to be. So I wallowed in the hardness of it all. I was lumping everything together past, present and future and sitting in it.
It felt hard to be heavily grieving for Gideon still, even while pregnant with a new baby blessing.
It felt hard to feel like I have been pregnant for forever and still not have a baby to hold.
It felt hard to have 7 weeks to go and already no clothes left that fit comfortably.
It felt hard that my husband, my biggest support, had to leave for 5 days.
It all felt hard, and so I became whimpery and whiney and wallowy. Then more whimpering and whining.
Tuesday came along and I was helping at a leadership conference at our church called Sticky Teams. I figured any type of a distraction at this point was a good one and so I sat and listened to one of my favorite pastors (Chris Brown) teach on Jesus washing his disciples’ feet.
In the Gospel of John it reads, “When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them.“You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.”
The obvious emphasis in the passage always being that a true leader is one who serves. That sacrificially laying yourself down for those around you is truly the only way to lovingly lead them. Jesus, above all else should have been the one being waited on, but instead he got down and put others always above Himself. But it is what Chris Brown said next that stuck to me like glue. He posed these question:
Who in that room had the most on his mind? WHO had the biggest and best reason to be distracted? Who was having the toughest day of them all…knowing He was about to die? Who had every excuse in the world NOT to serve?
Jesus had all the good reason in the world for once, for just this once to make…it…all…about …him. So much pain and suffering was coming His way and yet what did He do? He put Himself aside and focused on teaching and serving those whom God entrusted to Him. Regardless of His circumstance, regardless of the fact that he was about to be accused, tried, suffer and die it was his priority to remind the disciples…remind us…that its not about me.
Quite honestly, between Gideon and Samuel I was letting my circumstances and sorrow make life all about me. In my family, in my days, in my marriage, and in my parenting I was so distracted by my pain or trial or discomfort that I had gotten accustomed to selfish focus. And not even in a way that comes off as “bad,” in the way that just looks like a woman trying to make it through. But I was quickly reminded, God calls us to so much more than that. The call is higher for those who claim Christ as Lord. For He came to be last, and regardless of life…so called are we.
The whining, the whimpering…for me they had to stop. I had to refocus my attention on what others around me needed and serve again with a heart of joy, passion, and patience. Even in the minute small details…serve others, my children first. What they want and need coming far beyond my own mental distractions and the serving washed over my soul like healing water. Ah, how refreshing it felt to stop caring so much about my self preservation (however justified it felt at times). How healing it was to be reminded of how little to no focus on self is important in this life. To get the most dividends out of our days is to give instead, without ceasing.
And so, I’m getting there. Getting excited about Samuel is still not an over night thing, but I am gradually opening up my heart more. On Saturday my Sister in Law Nancy planned a perfect little surprise shower for me. My closest family and friends were there and I soaked up every minute. Opening up presents was especially sweet. Its jolting going from being pregnant shopping for an outfit your baby will be buried in, to being pregnant and receiving a 3-6 months old outfit, but with every one my smile got deeper and deeper.
He is coming? Is he really really coming? Will this 80 week pregnancy for a little baby boy to keep really come to an end soon? I pray so. And in the meantime, when it all seems like too much I will remember what my Savior did for me and try…just for a moment…to serve endlessly those whom God has entrusted to me.
This jolt back into reality carried me through the week of Dave being gone and launched me into a weekend of blessings. Between a sweet, special and surprise shower for Samuel on Saturday and my amazingly spoiled Mother’s Day my days somehow so quickly went from down trodden to perspective filled.