From the Sidelines

This morning I sat down to eat my second Lunchable of the week after hearing the healthy heartbeat of our baby girl. Our baby girl. I don’t know if that’s going to get old anytime soon.

But yeah, you read that right. I’m eating Lunchables, because somehow I’ve found myself at 36 weeks pregnant and managing to keep the pace I’ve been at for the last couple of months. The lunch meant for my son sounded delicious. So I ate it instead.

The world (my world) will be turning upside down in a few weeks, and it just hasn’t hit me quite yet. It’s as though I’m in a little bit of denial. “Yes we’re having a girl…but I’ll see it when I believe it.” “I’ll be pregnant forever probably.” “Four kids is probably going to just be an insane asylum, but maybe my life already is? We could probably add a few and not notice the difference!”

But that stuff is neither here nor there. I am going into forced sabbatical for the next three months. Pregnancy is sidelining, and the days afterward are better and harder and holy and refining. It’s as if time and space don’t hold much weight for a while. And I’m not in the game. I’m not dressed for going out into the Kingdom and doing much other than waddling through my house, unsure if my water is slowly breaking or if I just need to go to the bathroom again. (It’s the latter.)

Being sidelined is not so easy. God, when are you going to ramp it up? I’m right here. Send me out. Give me the task. I’m right here.

You know what I want to do? I want to be able to vacuum and shampoo the carpet in my boys’ room. My oldest has been wiping his boogers on those lovely fibers, leaving me to step in it with my bare feet. But I can’t do it. I can’t lug the carpet shampooer down the hallway. I can’t bend over frequently enough to clean it thoroughly. My body is on a “Heck NO are you doing that” spree right now, and not listening leaves me stuck horizontal on my bed.

So I shelf my pride and ask my husband to do it. I recognize that I can’t do what I want to do because it’s in my best interest not to, and I pass it on. I do what I can. I sit on the bench and wait for a day when I’m not so limited, knowing that effectiveness is not based on me. My effectiveness is based on my obedience.

Obedience for me is shutting my mouth. Getting quiet. Sitting down and taking a break before I start stepping out in something no one but my brain told me to do. Right now, it’s sitting on the bench. Praying heavy, effective, and wrung-out prayers for the people who need them. It’s passing on the things I think are mine and giving them to someone else. It’s hands high, heart light, eyes up.

Every season has a purpose in this life. The one I’m in feels too kind. As I was driving just the other day and praying over my sons and my husband, I just kept saying it over and over: Father, You have been so kind to us. You are more attentive to my needs than anyone ever will be. Even if I can’t see it today, I will see it soon. That’s what this has felt like. A difficult kindness that I’m uncomfortable sitting in, but when I let the holy peace of it wash over me, I cry. He is kind. He knows me and my heart better than anyone.

You are only effective when you are obedient. Even if it’s sitting on the sidelines, your obedience is effectiveness. You might not see the fruit of your season today, but soon, you will.

I’m 36 weeks today, anticipating a day soon when I can share my sweet girl with you. Until then, you’ll see me on the sidelines. Hands high. Heart light. Eyes up.

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