God is pulling out of my heart the deep root of striving.
It seems common to manufacture our worth with many, many, many tasks so we can feel purposeful. Let’s be honest, what kind of people would we be if we got nothing done? We’d be worthless, right? That’s not what God says. We put our worth in how much we can earn, or how much we can cram into one day, or how much we can busy ourselves so we don’t have to deal with what hurts. We become professionals at avoiding and cover it with a sticker that says “productive” and somehow we lie to ourselves that being productive is what makes us worthy. God had to put in rules and laws about His people doing nothing so they could understand that He was the source of their worth and provision. He was and is worth a Sabbath, and a seventh year. My worth and yours are hidden in Christ, our only hope of glory.
Ever since childhood, competition was a thrill to me. I wanted to win medals. Part of it was the feeling of accomplishment, but part of it was medicine to my soul, to say “you know what, you’re pretty great, and anyone who doesn’t see that is just a total idiot, and this award is proof.” I just wanted proof that I was worth all the things! Then people would realize I was worth relationship. I was worth the call, the visit. I was worth missing and loving. It’s orphan behavior. Not knowing that God was that perfect Father, I carried on like that. I was expected to be smart, to work really hard. These are great things when the fuel is relationship with God, and not hoping to convince others (and myself) of my worth.
Motherhood bulldozed all the striving. It wore me down to my very basic core, like a spiritual boot camp. First there were nine months of menstrual bleeding catching up to me postpartum (haha, sorry that was gross), then it’s this roller coaster of emotions which are intended for bonding but also amplify all the events around me so that my reactions are altogether exaggerated for a little while, then the baby cries and who knows what to do? Anyone? She’s fed, dry, 5S’ed, gripe watered, and prayed over, still crying and this is normal. Cool beans. They call it purple crying, google it. It’s a thing. Thank God that passed!
God was giving me so much grace the first two months when it came to redirecting my thoughts. Someone is gonna kidnap my baby? Nope, let’s think of pizza. Someone is gonna come inside my house at night to kidnap my baby? Nope, let’s turn on the radio and sing anything. I think it’s relatively normal for a new mom to assess danger and protect her little one, and I was doing very well training my brain that God gave us this precious gift and He was going to protect us all.
Fast forward a few months, I was driving with baby girl, and we passed a fatal wreck. We were so close that the dead person was still there. For a regular person, it would be like “oh wow, that’s terrible” but for my new mom brain, still full of hormones and strong emotions, it was panic-inducing. I don’t know why I couldn’t yield it back to God at the time, but I took it all on myself and became some paranoid statistician. What are the odds that on an extra exhausted day where I had, say, less than four hours of sleep (thank you, sleep regression), someone does something stupid on the highway and I am slow to react? Then the enemy crept in this giant door I created with doubt, and affirmed the heck out of my bad scenario.
I lost it. I’ve usually been the strong one that knocked sense into others, but this time it was me on the struggle bus, no stops for miles. Some of you have been reading my blogs for years and are familiar with me sharing the ups and downs, and how to navigate an imperfect life with faith. I think it would have been an unfair picture to show only the giggles and not tell you about the tears, and not tell you about the breakthroughs, and give God full glory for the whole thing.
I was working twice a week, but now I am home with my little one. It’s not what I had intended or planned for. I am learning to embrace this season of healing, to see God’s blessing and cherish each priceless moment with my little one. Today, she used a straw cup for the first time and beamed in excitement, and I was there to clap for her. That’s priceless. I am reminding myself that God has never let us lack any good thing.
I would love for you to join me in prayer for trust that God is just redirecting me into the good works He has already prepared for me to do, without striving. I know that the work I am doing now at home is holy unto God. I am praying about ways I can help moms, moms-to-be, and even people who are just looking to simplify their lifestyle (something God has been helping me do!). And even if it isn’t a monetary thing, I pray that God uses my words to bring encouragement to another mom, to validate that postpartum isn’t easy and isn’t supposed to be easy, but that in Christ we have so much hope. I pray that the striving ceases. I pray that we find our worth in Him who is the Giver of every good and perfect gift. He doesn’t change like the shifting shadows. I pray for more grace, and for acceptance of what God is doing in our hearts, for His eternal means.
“The moon will shine like the sun, and the sunlight will be seven times brighter, like the light of seven full days, when the LORD binds up the bruises of his people and heals the wounds he inflicted.”
I know there will be much greater light and healing coming ahead, and I am filled with hope for God’s plans for the future.