“At times, to choose the will of God over our own is excruciating. We love our flesh and it hurts to have its desires crucified! Never misunderstand pain as permission to forego the will of God.” - Beth Moore.
I could not have said it better myself! I can definitely relate to that quote these days as I am currently almost 10 weeks pregnant. I am in the thick of all day long morning sickness that will most likely last for 20 weeks, fatigue, congestion, and moodiness. Next trimester I will probably look forward to migraines and pubic symphysis pain and the third trimester, gestational diabetes, constant contractions, preterm labor and bed rest. After the baby is born it will most likely send me into a flare-up with my connective tissue disorder which will cause me to have debilitating joint pain and muscle weakness for 9 months to a year. I've been thinking lately that people would be right to think I am insane to put myself and my family through a 7th pregnancy. It really was not a very logical decision especially as my oldest daughter is getting ready to go to college in the fall and we are still wondering where all the funds are going to come from.
I went to Eucharistic adoration last Friday and the Lord helped me have a better attitude. I felt like he told me that yes, I am insane...insanely in love with him! That was a good reminder for me and a very good reason to make the choices I have made. Tom and I really believed the Lord wanted us to have another child and that is the reason we were open and conceived again. We did not choose this because we selfishly "needed" another child. Don't get me wrong. Human life is precious and sacred and we are very blessed. I just do not have the suffering part of it down yet.
People often say that God will not give us more than we can handle. I think they get that from the scripture that says, "God will not test us beyond our strength." 1 Cor. 10:13 I see this as two separate things. God gives me more than I can handle all the time but isn't that the point. We are supposed to let go, surrender, and learn to find all our strength in him. We need to come to the place where we realize that we can do NOTHING without him. I used to pray for healing and that the Lord would take this condition away from me. You know what he said to me? "My grace is sufficient for you."
It is ironic. When I was in college, I was discerning the religious life (becoming a nun). I think one reason I decided not to go that route is because I was afraid of losing myself and my identity. By choosing the beautiful path of marriage and family, that is still happening to me. I think however that that is what is supposed to happen. We are supposed to lose ourselves. We are supposed to lose our lives! It is no longer supposed to be us who lives, but Christ who lives in us (Matt. 16:25). Once I have this baby, I am pretty sure there isn't going to be anything left of ME. I think that might be the point though and I think that might be when the fruit of joy comes in. If there is nothing left of us and all that is left is Christ, wouldn't that ultimately bring complete joy and freedom?!
Sometimes the Lord takes me on adventures. Not because I am anything special but probably because I am able to open up my imagination to him in that way. He has taken me on a hot air balloon ride to China where we talked to an elderly lady who had a lot of wisdom, we have stood on top of a mountain overlooking a river valley at a National park and most recently we watched people skiing in the Alps. One thing I believe the Lord keeps saying to me as he takes me on these adventures is, "Do not feel bad if you do not get to experience everything this world has to offer. What I have prepared for you is greater than ALL this!"
So, I will look forward to losing myself in the hope of gaining more of Christ and I look forward to the day when my joy will be complete!