Be Still, Mama
I am the worst at “being still.” Not only am I an average woman who has 8,6097 things on her mind at any given moment, but I also have adult ADHD, am an extroverted thinker, and can hardly finish a thought once I start it. I worry and I over think almost everything you could put in front of me. In a typical day, I lose my place about a kajillion times, and by the end of each day I find myself with a whole lot of things done half way because in the middle of each new task I get distracted and start a different task. My poor husband is often frustrated with my thought process because processing is easy for him. He is presented with an idea, processes it in his head, makes up his mind, and moves forward. Me, on the other hand, well, I am presented with an idea, then think of absolutely every single possible outcome… logical or illogical… make up my mind, then quickly abandon ship and start all over again. Often times, once we finally come to a decision together, it’s generally not long until I have second thoughts and try to put it back on the table wanting to hash it out all over again. Thankfully, the Lord made him a man of great patience, and he plays the role of my better half by constantly helping me to make even the simplest of decisions. I am sure that this makes life more frustrating for both of us, but I don’t want to pick the “wrong thing.” Isn’t that a funny part of life? Sometimes, we get so caught up in not wanting to choose the “wrong thing”, that we end up not choosing anything at all. We grow stagnant in our chaos and instead of making progress, we wear ourselves out running in circles. At the end of the day we are exhausted and we haven’t even gone anywhere.
Lately, I find myself feeling depleted, worn out, unproductive, cowardly, and useless. Instead of standing firm and fighting the good fight, I resort to a quiet state, hiding behind whatever reason I can think of to not be bold. It’s disgusting. It seems the devil and angel on my shoulder are constantly duking it out and by the time one of them is louder than the other, the opportunity has passed. This leaves me feeling guilty and no matter how many times my sweet husband reminds me that there is no condemnation in Christ and that the next time I see an opportunity I need to take it, each one of those missed opportunities seems to leave a scar. In more recent months, I find myself face down before the Lord desperate to hear from Him about what He intends to do with me. I have found myself crying out, “Lord! I’m a mess! What can I do to please you when my heart is exhausted and worn out? I’ve got nothing and I’m coming up empty. I don’t know where to go from here and I wouldn’t know how to get there even if I did. What is your purpose? Because, I feel like I’m getting it all wrong.” I get myself so worked up having this conversation over and over and over again in my head with God. No wonder I’m exhausted. Then… relief. That still small whisper.
“Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” -Psalm 46:10
Hearing this reminder generally leaves me speechless, convicted, in awe, humbled, and raw. While I’m so busy being busy, all He wants me to do is be still before Him. This verse amazes me because it doesn’t just stop at Him commanding me to “be still” before Him, but it follows with the hope that He WILL be exalted amongst the earth. He WILL make Himself known. He WILL receive all the glory that is due to Him and He WILL accomplish His global purpose. Most of all, He WILL do this with or without me. This gives me hope because it reminds me that I really only have one decision to make, and that is, “Am I on His team or not?”. I desperately want to be part of His purpose and what He is doing, whatever that means. So, when it comes to making decisions does it really matter what I choose? Because if I trust that He is leading and guiding me, then all, or at least most things put before me can be filtered by that one question: “Is this for His glory or mine?” If it’s for His glory the answer is “Yes”, and if it’s for mine, the answer is “No.” At least, it SHOULD be as simple as that. Right?
In the upcoming months, I am certain that “being still” and choosing the things that bring Him glory will be even more difficult than ever. In 9 weeks our beautiful son is expected to make his arrival into the world. To be honest, I am so excited, but I am also terrified. I figure that every new mom feels this way, maybe every mom always feels this way. This little tiny, sweet, innocent, precious life growing inside me that is our responsibility to train well and love well. Um, what? I can hardly take care of my own hot mess most days. Thankfully, God is Sovereign and I’m counting on Him stepping in for me when I get knocked out in round 1. All jokes aside, pregnancy has been a beautiful journey for me, but it has also been a difficult one. I was adopted out of the hospital as a baby, and so while my mom has the desire to help me through this part of the journey, connecting on that level has been challenging and painful. While I am excited to connect with my mom when the newborn stage comes, I often think of my birth mother and how hard it must have been for her to give up her baby after 9 months of being “one” with me. I cannot imagine holding my sweet baby boy in 9(ish) weeks, then handing him off to someone else to raise him, snuggle him, and love him. I like to think that if I was in a situation where that would give him his best chance, that I would do it, but I really don’t know that for sure. I feel guilty for wishing I had known my birth mother, because from the moment my mom held me in her arms at 9 hours old, she has selflessly given everything she has to give me my best chance and I love her for that. It’s all very confusing and something I don’t know how to find peace with; it has been scary and kind of lonely. From this side of things, for 7 months I have felt my son move and grow and I feel bonded to him in a way that I have never experienced with anyone else. Did she feel that? And yet, God whispers, “Anna, be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
No matter what happens, through all of my successes and failures as a parent, I pray my son will always know how loved he is and how precious he is in the sight of not only his mom and dad, but in the sight of His King and Creator. So, with faith in the Lord we continue on this journey to being still. We will become parents. We will become terrifyingly aware of how human we are, and we will be challenged deeply by the desires of our flesh. Above all, we will continue to be desperately in need of our Savior to provide for and sustain all of our needs. Chaos will take on a whole new meaning. Exhausted and worn out will mean something it never did before. We will have to try even harder at choosing to be patient with one another, to love one another, to respect one another, and to fight for one another. We will begin a whole new chapter in our journey to “being still” , and we will continue to ask ourselves, “is this for His glory or ours?”. My prayer is that He will transform me as a wife, and as a mother to fit His purpose and that I will recognize what I need to let go of in order for Him to do so.