I write this post tonight not really for anyone except for me and for the possible chance our kids will one day read this blog. There are so many times I write posts in my head…they are beautiful posts…discouraging posts…real posts…and often I just don’t have the guts to write out what I’m feeling and thinking. But in the hopes for my kids to understand me better, I’m wanting to write more about these days. The days that are not so glamorous being a mom…those days when I have to choose to stay married and choose to love…the days that most people don’t blog about since life can be so hard. So hard that it aches and you think no one else is walking through the same thing. This very reason is why I choose not to read a lot of other people’s blogs (especially people I don’t know or have a relationship with) since it can easily breed discontentment in my own heart or jealousy that other peoples’ lives really are always fabulous. But then again I should no better because people don’t blog about their dirty laundry. But I’ll choose not to get on that soapbox. However, if you are reading my blog and think our life is perfect, you’re utterly wrong and should probably not keep reading even if I don’t post all the hard stuff.
Our little family is finally walking out of a dry season. A very hard season of marriage…a hard season being pregnant…a hard season personally for probably both of us (but I’ll let Aaron share his own journey). They say there will be hard seasons in marriage, but I had no idea how hard it really would be…and that I would walk through it. But we have and we are still alive. Water for my parched heart has finally come and I had no idea how great the feeling of relief would be when I finally experienced it. Sometimes you don’t realize how thirsty you truly are until you get a cold drink of water and your stunned at how much more water you need.
While it’s not necessary to go into lots of details there are many things I have learned or relearned in this season. Here are just a few…
Isolation is one of the enemy’s greatest tools in trying to keep you in your place of hardship. The lie that no one else struggles is very easy to believe…that’s why Jesus taught how important authentic community is in the life of following Him. I have to continually swallow my pride and admit to myself and others that I’m not doing as well as I think I am.
Marriage is the best and hardest thing I have ever done. I know Aaron is the perfect spouse for me and me for him. But sometimes you have to choose not to walk out the door when things are hard and no one is budging. No one told me how important it is to keep relearning how to love someone since we are constantly changing. How I loved him 6 years ago isn’t how he needs to be loved today. I always need to be a student in this way.
Having young kids can be physically taxing and if you don’t save anything for your spouse, you’ll be in a world of hurt. That’s why I now take naps when they take naps and try to reserve some of my heart and mind for Aaron. Then again, the gauge of how great of a parent I will be will typically depend on the status of my marriage and relationship with Jesus. Gotta work on both or all will flop.
I always underestimate the grace and mercy of God. Going into this pregnancy, I was terrified that our birth/postpartum time would be similar to how it was with Sam…a l.o.n.g labor, breastfeeding issues, extremely worn out, physical pain, and disappointment. I desperately hoped for a different experience and would talk with my doctor about how we can do things differently so we wouldn’t walk through the same situation. While I knew many many people were praying, I still didn’t believe God would graciously give us a good experience. Call me a doubter, but the past year of harder circumstances had jaded my heart to believe He would. But He did. His mercies have been very new this past month and they were very new on May 31st when little Gwen arrived. The labor was significantly shorter, my beloved OB got to deliver, our parents were here to celebrate with us, we had a GIRL (what we both secretly desired!), Aaron and I were on the same page and enjoyed the whole experience, Gwen has nursed like a champ, I have recovered so quickly, Sam is adjusting to being a big brother pretty well, and we’re still in amazement how seamless this transition has been. It’s been the largest glass of ice water for our parched souls. How grateful we are…and grateful to know that only Jesus, in his timing, brings us the water that quenches our thirst.
While I’m grateful this season seems to have passed, I’m thankful for it. Thankful for how it’s made me press into Jesus more…to know how important it is to hope and that love ALWAYS hopes.