Sunday, May 08, 2005

Labor Pains

I spent a lot of time outside with my family today. My sister was busy gardening, my father was busy washing the car and making a game out of spraying everybody with the water, and my mom and niece were busy doing what grandmothers and granddaughters do. I spent a lot of time relaxing on the swing in my mom's garden, reading my book, soaking up the sun, enjoy the peaceful afternoon. It was a wonderful break from the stress I've been dealing with.

It is always fun to watch my mom and dad interact with my niece. Today, my mom had her in the swing that my dad put up for her a couple of weeks ago--a cute little baby swing, with a seatbelt and handles and bright colors. As my mom was gently pushing her on the swing, she was singing to her..."Heidi, come out and play with me, and bring your dollies three, climb up my apple tree..." For a moment, I saw what my mom must have been like as a young mother, enjoying every wonderful moment with her babies, realizing and yet perhaps not really understanding how quickly those babies would grow up. Now, she is enjoying every wonderful moment with her youngest daughter's baby. How time goes by...

I also enjoy watching my dad interact with my niece, although we do have to watch him much more carefully. I believe that each of us, my siblings and I, have nearly died at least once while in his It is for this reason that my niece, as much as she loves her Poppa, is rarely left with him for too long without appropriate interventions. "Dad, she shouldn't be putting that in her mouth"..."Dad, she probably shouldn't be playing with that,"...."Dad, what is she eating?"....and so forth. My mother assures me what we see when he is with my niece is exactly what he was like when we were babies. I have to say, when he is with Heidi, my dad really does seem about 30 years younger, and amazed by everything she does.

Growing up, and even now, I have strong disagreements with my parents about things. I have learned to handle the disagreements better over the years, and realize that disagreeing with my parents does not mean I have to fight with them to see my point of view. It simply means we disagree.

But watching them with my niece, I realize that even though there are clearly things we do not see eye to eye on, my parents provided all of us kids with a tremendous amount of love, and a foundation of faith. There is almost nothing I enjoy more than seeing my dad pray over my niece before she leaves to visit with her dad. It is such an awesome testimony of love and faith, and what I believe is truly intended in God making man the head of the household...not something to be lorded over the women of the house, but a divine commission to provide that home with spiritual leadership, a foundation of faith, and an atmosphere of love. Thank God for Heidi, who has helped me see more clearly.

It has been a bittersweet day, though, because the realities of my situation at work are beginning to sink in. I am beginning to feel the sting of the brutality of the "attack" on me, and I'm beginning to realize the full scope of how viscious it continues to be. I am treading water right now, struggling to stay above the sadness and disappointment, as well as the worry of having no idea what I am going to do next, how the bills will be paid, or where I should live. There are so many things I do not know, and that has really hit me hard the last couple of days.

But, I am holding on to the belief that God is moving me on to something better. I don't know what His plan is in all of this, but I know He has one. Right now, I am truly walking by faith, not by sight, because I can hardly see ahead to tomorrow. I believe God is birthing something new in my life, and this is all part of the labor pains.

It is funny, how quickly you realize your utter loss of control in times like this. I am definitely feeling the weight of my financial mistakes right now, and I realize I have no control over the repercussions of that. I'm just doing what I can, praying I can get by. I have no control over my situation at work, and I cannot snap my fingers and make a good job appear before me. I have no control over...any of my circumstances right now. There is nothing quite like the feeling of flying through life by the seat of your pants, hoping you don't fall.

"Hold me, Jesus, I'm shakin' like a leaf..."

I truly understand being in a "blind spot". Funny, our situations have a lot in common. Hold on! You will make it too!
"I am treading water right now, struggling to stay above the sadness and disappointment..."

I know exactly what you're saying, and I've been there too. But, we don't have to stay above our sadness. Jesus meets us in it when we invite him. He comes to sit with us in the ashes like Job's friends, but without the judgment.

"For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin." Heb 4:15

You probably already know this; I just want to remind you that you're his girl.
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