For the first time ever, I felt like I needed to do it all. And if I couldn’t do it all, then I should probably give up.
This time last year, I was excited about the headway I was making in my life. I set goals that I accomplished over time, which was exciting after a long season of pregnancy and babies. I found myself again, and I liked her a lot.
This year, I’m back on the pregnancy wagon. And I love this part: knowing that within the year, we’ll have something new and important to add to our life, the excitement of finding out if it’s a boy or girl, still being able to fit into my normal clothes (for now). This part feels easy. But I know the difficult parts are coming.
I’m not sure that anyone ever told me that I had to do everything. It’s more that I’m convinced that only I can do what needs to be done. Success starts to look like, Admire me in my crazed chaos.
So I stepped away for a moment.
I have a deep love for social media, but I also have a tiring striving for “posting well and with intention”. It starts to feel like a forced rhythm, and it hurts even worse when my kids start to notice. So I decided to let it go for a bit. I didn’t want to care about the way life appears, and rather dive in deep with playing soccer with my son and tickling my toddler until we’re both exhausted from laughing.
I also didn’t want to write. I didn’t want to deliver some kind of joyful sermon or word that would go out and make waves when all I wanted was for God to just be near. I’ve needed Him badly in recent weeks. Not because of hardship; simply because I longed to just rest in His goodness, like I snuggle up to my husband after a hard day.
Snuggling up to God meant not putting so much pressure on myself to be whoever I appear to everyone else, but just be His girl, the one who is tired at 2:30 PM every afternoon and asks for forgiveness from her kids and looks in the mirror everyday at her growing belly wondering whose actual crazy idea it was to have four kids (mine). I just want to be His. Not some perfect idea of a woman, because I’m not her. I like the me that isn’t so scared to be vulnerable with herself and the God who loves her.
It’s easy to think of life in terms of seasons, but I also think it becomes an easy out for participating in the life we’re given.
In years and pregnancies past, I nestled into gracious rest, which was good for me then. Good until I realized I wasn’t participating in my life outside of my house. So I “got back out there” and let God work in my life, willingly choosing to serve and love in ways that I had stifled.
And if I’m being honest, I’m scared of what gracious rest could do to me this time. I’m scared of losing whatever momentum I’ve gained thus far. Isn’t that for real? What woman hasn’t thought that?
But God. But God! He changes things. He changes my fearful idea of gracious rest into a principle that will protect me from stress. He changes my fear from needing to do everything to being humble and accepting of help. Pregnancy is a whole humbling 9 months + 3 months postpartum, at least. It is a glaring reminder of my important need for a God who always has room for me to snuggle close.
I don’t know exactly how the year will look, how my goals will change, how I will do anything of great magnitude, let alone mop my floor. But God. Stepping away doesn’t mean giving up, letting go of perfection doesn’t mean I’m unfit for whatever.
It just means I’m willing to let the world continue turning while I rest in a gracious space with the Father.