Things are starting to get real around the White House. (And no, I’m not talking POTUS).
The reality is not just in my every three-hour eating schedule that keeps me and my nausea in check. It’s not just my ever-expanding waist line which seems to be high topic of conversation. Or the fact that I’m visited Victoria’s Secret twice in two months trying to lift and cover my other expanding needs. Or the relentless baby talk about the future. What to buy. What to do. What do we not know . . . everything!
The reality is that God has chosen this time, this season, and this pregnancy for His purpose. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that one year ago today I opened my mouth, posted a blog, and confessed my heartbreak to the cyber universe but ultimately to God, my Father.
“God has a sense of humor,” I wrote. “He knew that our hearts were set on family and home. As with Noah, God brought a flood that washed away all expectations and ability to plan, control, and He restored our home to something far greater than we could have ever imagined or truly deserved” (Adventure).
Looking back on my own words, God has once again done it. This past year of vulnerability, frustration, and weakness has brought down the walls guarding my heart, just like the unexpected flood of 2015 brought down the sheetrock and flooring of our home. God knows I’m a kinesthetic learner. I must do to fully understand. We spent eleven months in 2016 rebuilding our home preluding the eleven months in 2017 that God would take to rebuild my heart. As with our home, He brought me down to my foundation, stripped away my ability to control and slowly, in His time, with His plan, restored my reliance on Him and His word.
It hasn’t been easy. In fact, I’ve hated most of it. I hate being reliant on someone else, even the One who created me. So, on November 8th when that first ultrasound revealed two floating orbs, two beating hearts, I didn’t hear “Well, you want it. You got it, Sister,” from our Lord. Instead I heard, “You will need me. You will always need me.” And in true Natalie fashion, I clammed up, got quiet, and pushed back. I would go sit in my spot with my tiny can of Gingerale (since my beloved coffee has been betrayed by my pregnancy nose and taste buds) and would sit in silence. “God, I don’t know what to read. I don’t know what to say. I don’t know what to write.” My entire office is filled with works on heartbreak, loss, waiting, and patience. Now that I am getting everything that I ever wanted (times two), have I already lost my identity as the one with empathy, who could relate to the downtrodden and brokenhearted? “Hey, I know your pain, I’m in the midst just as you are,” was my story. What will my story be now?
So, I would sit in my spot, on my leftover sectional couch piece, in my yearbook stacked office, and would ask out loud, “Father God, never let me forget this season of heartbreak. Never let me forget this season of whimsy where you took a worst-case-scenario, control-obsessed girl, and spoke truth over her life which opened those white-knuckled hands to your will.”
Now that I’m in the middle of my second trimester, it’s not the fear of loss that I’m pushing back from but the panic of gain. Again, God knows me. He knows you. And He knows that with one baby, I might could still aggressively hustle my way through my own “perfect plan” leaving Him and my last three years of experiences at the door. But let’s face it, if these nineteen weeks of pregnancy has taught me anything, it’s that two babies are a whole different ball game. God is literally slowing me down day by day, action by action, and even pound by pound.
I am not one of those women who is in love with pregnancy (gasp!). It’s hard. I’m exhausted. I can’t breathe. I can’t sleep. I can’t teach spin at 5:30AM, and see five schools in a day, and still be home in time to cook dinner and do a load of laundry before crashing on the couch. I’m tired of eating. Of making decisions. Of thinking about the future. Of pulling up my pants!
But in the midst of all that I can’t do, don’t want to do, one day last week I get a gentle “tap, tap, tap” from the inside and my gripes cease. Right there in the middle of the Chick-Fil-A drive thru, God reminds me of these two miracles, and His promises. “Yeah, Natalie. You can handle two. You have done hard things with and without me but because you are slow to learn and stubborn to boot, I am taking control once again by physically slowing you down.”
“Enjoy life without hustle.
Enjoy letting someone else take the reins.
Enjoy not being in control.
Enjoy My plan, My timing, and My miracles.”
So, I pulled out of the drive thru and into a nearby space. I sat in my car and continued to feel the first flutters of life thriving in a body that had almost given up on the dream. And after a few minutes, I walked inside, ordered, sat, and ate alone. No text messages. No emails. No Instagram feed. Just the silence and presence of these miracles that God has entrusted me and my family with.
So, that’s what I’m working on these days. A new adventure. A marathon of sorts. And just like the marathon I trained for in 2015, it wasn’t about speed (can I have an Amen?!). It was about dedication, endurance, and completion.
So, if you see me out and about and I’m eating alone, be proud.
If you ask me to do something, and I say “no,” send a cheer.
If you come to my home and find it’s not immaculate, start a slow clap.
Slowing down is hard.
Not trying-to-keep-up feels counterintuitive.
But like all my friends keep saying, “pregnancy truly prepares your body for what’s to come.”
So, thank you Father God for slowing me down the hard way.
For preparing my body and my life for what’s to come.
For answering our prayers.
For the past several years of demolition and reconstruction.
For preparing something far greater than we could have ever imagined or truly deserved.
The Big Bang Theory, Series 03 Episode 23 – The Lunar Excitation