God has a way of making you stop and realize that you are not in control. This summer has not gone as planned at all! We wanted to go camping, go to the beach, take a train trip, and countless crafting and pottery projects. But, alas, none of that has happened. I haven’t even been able to blog (so sorry). Instead, I’ve been nearly confined to my bed. Why?, you may ask. It’s not as horrible as it could be. In fact, it’s not horrible at all.
This is where that control thing comes in. I’m 35, I have 4 kids, and I had plans of a great pottery business that I started building now that my youngest was old enough. Life was looking like it was slowing down a bit for me. I was getting comfortable. But God doesn’t want us to be comfortable. He wants us to be stretched to our limit so that we reach Him. I believe our whole life is a series of stretching and releasing. I was in a release, then God began to stretch. It started slowly and then increased dramatically.
The slow stretch started in April. We found out that we were going to be grandparents! My stepson had gotten married and they were expecting. Although this was a little shocking, it was wonderful news. Nothing like a grandchild to bring you joy and make you feel old all at the same time. My husband jokingly said with a little seriousness behind it, “Well, we can’t have any more. It would throw off the whole balance of things, having an aunt or uncle after a niece or nephew is born.” We laughed and life went on for a bit like normal.
But God, in His infinite love and wisdom, was just beginning to stretch. May started out just fine. School was coming to an end and we were working hard to finish on a good note. Again I was getting comfortable. My stepson and his wife live several states away, and although we spoke to them often, their news didn’t affect our everyday life. At the end of May we got that news that would affect our everyday life. We found out that our grandchild would in fact have a younger aunt or uncle. I found out that I’m expecting! A fifth child was not planned but was not unwelcome either. It showed us that we were not in control like we thought, and that was ok. The kids were super excited when we told them. We told them fairly early on because we knew I would be sick and we didn’t want them wondering why mom was throwing up all the time.
My morning sickness was pretty bad but it didn’t make me think twice about anything. I’d had it with all the other pregnancies and was expecting it. I tried to keep things as normal as possible but there were days that I was so exhausted and nauseous that the only place I had any comfort was in my bed. My first ultrasound was scheduled for the day before my 35th birthday. I went like I was visiting an old friend. With 4 kids already, I have had numerous ultrasounds. This one seemed no different, until she put the probe on. The big stretch was here. I could see it right away, TWINS! Two beautiful heartbeats! The whole time she’s measuring and doing whatever they do, I’m praying, “Jesus! God, what are doing? Twins! Really?” In my mind I was barely taking care of the 4 I had and He wanted me to have 2 more at the same time!
The tears didn’t start flowing until I somehow made it to my husband’s work. I handed him the ultrasound pictures and just started bawling. He thought something bad was in the picture, men can’t read those blobs. Finally, I blurted out “We’re having twins!” He just laughed and laughed, relieved that we were having 2 healthy babies instead of 1 sick one or worse. He took the rest of the day off to help me cope and calm down. We told my mom and kids. She cried too. It was a whirlwind of emotions.
At first, the tears were out of fear. Fear that I’m not good enough. My children are many great things but easy isn’t one of them. When you’re being stretched you can’t always see what good the stetching will do. Sometimes being a mom is the hardest thing I do. Ok, most of the time it’s the hardest thing I do. It’s so hard to see God working in their little lives when they are fighting and I am yelling. But then there are those moments when they are best friends and they are laughing together and growing together and learning to love. I have to force myself to believe that I helped teach them that.
The fear tears led to reality tears. How are we going to afford twins? We need a bigger car. We need double of everything. Diapers! I didn’t stop and think of just how wealthy God is really is. These things are nothing to Him. It was in His perfect plan that we have twins, He was going to provide us with everything we need from the start. God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called. We’ve all heard that. I have a long way to go in my pregnancy and He has already taken care of most of the reality fears.
In my humanness, there is still something that I cry about. It may seem strange, but I often feel very lonely and burdensome. I am sick constantly. I still have a few weeks left of my first trimester which, hopefully, means just a few more weeks of nausea, vomiting, and extreme exhaustion. I don’t leave the house much, in fact, I don’t leave my bed much. My husband is amazing, and I know he is tired after working and taking my place on top of his is hard. My mom helps a lot, too, in addition to her own job and home. Even my older kids are helping out a little more. I still often feel like a burden. In these times, I’m reminded of all the lame and sick that Jesus healed. He didn’t find them burdensome. Part of the stetching is being humbled and allowing others to be Jesus to us. We may not like it because it looks like weakness, but in our weakness He is strong. As humans, this is so hard for us to comprehend. We want to be the strongest, the best, the one that people look up to. We forget that when people looked up to Jesus, He was dying on a cross. Suffering is a stepping stone to heaven. This experience of suffering reminds me of an amazing book I’ve read several times. It’s called Hinds Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard
I highly suggest this book. It is a small easy read that uses analogy to explain suffering and Christ’s love for us through it.
There have been tears of joy, too. Basking in the miracle that not one but TWO babies are growing inside me brings this pregnancy to a new experience. The joy in the kids faces when they ask for the hundredth time this week how big the babies are is contagious. Life with twins will be hard but oh so rewarding! I can’t wait to touch their faces and hold them close. I can’t wait to watch them snuggle with each other. I can’t wait to watch them bond.
This stretch that I’m experiencing may last a while. It will be hard but it will not be more than I can handle with God. There will be sleepless nights and days where I sit in a corner and cry, but they won’t last. And in the end, I will grow to be a better mom, a better wife, and a better daughter of the King. These stretches will help me get to heaven.
I would love to offer my suffering right now for your intentions. I know there are people out there suffering so much more than I am that do not see an end or have something to look forward to like I do. I want to pray for you. Feel free to leave your intentions in the comments and I will pray for all of them. I ask for your prayers for me and my family as well. Great things can happen when we pray as a community. Thank you!