Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Life as I Know It... Is Going to Change





Oh, it’s been a long time. I woke this morning with words on my heart and as I lay in bed with paragraphs running through my mind I knew it was a sure sign that I desperately needed to write again.

It seems that these days I’m trying to hold onto the moments of familiarity with a tight grip. I don’t always notice, or perhaps I cover it well, as I speak of the excitement of Spring and make plans or the Summer, but I know that there is something inside me that is clutching to the cold days of March.  

It is hard to believe how faraway February is and that we are coming upon the last days of March. It seems difficult to think that I am coming to the end of a lifetime journey as a student in just a couple of weeks. It is hard to process that life as I know it is going to shift dramatically.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am off the walls ecstatic about meeting our little girl. In just under 7 weeks (fingers crossed) she will make her debut and completely change my life for the better. But it is that sneaky six-letter word that always catches me off guard and leaves me with anxious thoughts in the middle of the night (when I’m up for the second time using the bathroom... the joys of third trimester!).

Change.

I know this is a subject that I have talked about before and certainly never shy away from. I have shouted, ‘Embrace it!’ and have encouraged others to forge ahead into the unknown. But when it comes to my change? That is where I can feel the tension.

It seems that this idea of walking into the unknown is perhaps the most terrifying. I am realizing that I live my life with a false sense of control and the idea of having a little baby to care for and love shatters that. I’ve learned the game of school, writing papers with my eyes closed and one hand tied behind my back. I’ve learned how to communicate with and mentor others in a pastoral role (although I constantly grow in this). I’ve gotten over my fear of seeing clients and I feel more confident in my ability as a therapist.

But motherhood? That’s a whole new change.

Over the past 33 weeks of housing our daughter, I’ve grown more and more comfortable with her in my womb. She has stretched me and left her mark (or should I say marks... oh the joys!). My body has become unfamiliar with weight gain and a bulging stomach. Her movements from small flutters to full on rolls have become what I look forward to most each morning as I lie in bed, and continue to love it as I feel her throughout the day. I’ve grown to love having this babe inside of me for many reasons, but I know that in part it is due to my sense of control.

The questions and self-doubt of when she arrives can overwhelm me sometimes. ‘How do I maneuver a newborn?’ I type fervently into Google, watching short YouTube video after video watching other new moms give tips. How will I know if my baby is too warm? What do I wear after pregnancy? How do I lose the weight? What should my baby sleep in? How do I know if she is being fed enough?

My mind races and as I think of each question, a desperate attempt to feel more secure, more in control before she even arrives.

And as I scrounge through the internet and share my fears with others, I know that it is normal to feel this way. I do have confidence that I will be able to learn and adjust. I know that there will be days when I surprise myself at what I do know and days when I think I’m a total failure.

But the real question I must ask myself is where is my trust is found? It seems that with my fear, doubts and insecurities, I am looking to put my trust in myself. I want to find my confidence from within. I want to be in control.

And yet, we are told to trust in someone so much greater, so much more capable, so much more loving.

“Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go, he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to God!” (Proverbs 3:5-6, MSG).

Don’t try to figure out everything on your own... whew! Easier said than done, but so necessary in order to flourish, in order to find peace.

So as I come to the end of my pregnancy, with labour approaching quickly, I must learn to recognize my accomplishments, grieve the tough changes as necessary, and most importantly, look to God. It is going to be a wild ride and I know I will learn each day.

How about you? Maybe you aren’t pregnant but maybe you are going through life with this false sense that you need to control everything. It’s exhausting! What would it be like to release this to God, to trust in someone higher than yourself? What would it be like to let go?

Here’s to the not knowing, the fears of the future, and the desire to laugh at the days to come. Here’s to the big changes and the small, and the truth that we really aren’t in control. And here’s to the daily decision to put our trust outside or ourselves, to let go of the control.

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