I’ll be 29 weeks pregnant tomorrow—one week into my third trimester—and I’m amazed at how good I feel compared to my previous pregnancies. My weight gain has been lower, I’ve had no swelling, the nausea is minimal now, and between the chiropractor and the gym, I’ve really had very few aches and pains. Basically, I have no reason to be grumpy about this pregnancy. I feel so blessed!
But, I AM also starting to feel pregnant. AND TIRED. The past few weeks I have barely been able to make it past 2 o’clock without passing out, and it doesn’t help that we’ve had a very demanding schedule lately. (Although, the lack of energy may have more to do with anemia than busyness or my stage of pregnancy, come to find out.)
Last weekend, I had several people mention that my baby bump has really popped out. Did I mention I’m a little claustrophobic? If you panic in confined spaces, then try sharing a body with another human being. As Eva grows within my 5’1” frame, there have been moments where I am JUST DONE with pregnancy—DONE sharing my personal space and more than ready to reclaim my body.
While I was not-so-patiently waiting for my Riley to make his arrival two years ago, I wrote this blog post about the importance of process. Here is a small exerpt:
Process is so important to our personal growth. Sure, we start off with a great deal of motivation. And in the beginning, when the start of something new is exciting, we get a burst of energy that’s sure to last us through until the end. But here at the end of this pregnancy, it’s so easy to get discouraged. Energy is low. Discomfort is hard to manage. And the packed suitcase in my closet is no longer an image of the end being near; it’s a reminder that I’m still waiting. But it’s during the struggle, the waiting, the stage right before the end, that we discover more of ourselves—what we’re made of. The glow in my complexion has faded, but does it still burn steadily in my heart? That’s the real question. Do I have what it takes to still hope for a positive outcome, to still push through the increasingly frustrating circumstances and to believe in God's goodness? To get everything out of this experience that I was intended to?
It always amazes me how we go in cycles, revisiting seasons of life in which I find myself having to re-learn certain lessons. Like the lesson of process. There are several aspects of my life right now where I’m in the middle of a process, and I’m stuck in a slow cooker when I just want to be nuked in the microwave. Pregnancy is a looong process, and every day it brings some new development that is so vital to that process. Like in pregnancy, it’s not our place to rush the process, but to step back and let it complete its work, not just for our own growth but also for the benefit of those lives we are meant to touch (like the ones growing inside us).
“Perseverance must finish its work in you so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:4
God is not in a hurry like we are. He sees the beginning, the middle, and the end, and all of the miniscule details in between. He sees the whole picture: our past, present and future all interwoven like some intricate tapestry, each thread a striking component to the complete picture. So He holds fast to the loom, working diligently and slowly through the process to make sure He leaves no holes. We have to trust His process if we really desire His best picture of what our lives should look like.
Some processes are taking longer than I’d planned. Specifically in the areas of career, ministry, and our family finances, I’m nowhere near where I thought I would be by now, and it’s hard not to turn to the Lord and start tapping my foot and pointing to my watch, reminding Him that He has violated my timeline.
When things aren’t happening quite the way or at quite the tempo I want—despite all of my striving and working the system—it’s time to take a step back. Instead of trying to force His hand, I need to open mine to expose those things I’m holding onto. Instead of white-knuckling my agenda, my expectations, and my dreams, my response should be to surrender them at His feet and beg for His Kingdom to come, His will to be done in my life. However long it takes. He’s asking me to trust His process and just enjoy the ride.