Confessions of an Angry Pregnant Mama (Who Deeply Needs Jesus!)
This past week I sat and stared at the stunning images my photographer sent me from our family maternity shoot. They were perfect. I couldn’t have been happier with how they turned out and yet I found myself feeling so dissatisfied. As I looked at the beautiful images I realized it was actually BECAUSE they looked so perfect, because WE looked so perfect, that I felt this way. In reality, I have felt so far from perfect these past months. A stranger came up to me the other day and said “don’t you just love everything about pregnancy?” I had no words to even answer her. I smiled politely and tried to genuinely feel thankful that for her (and many women), it truly is a beautiful and enjoyable experience. My experience, however, could not be farther from her kindly expressed sentiments.
The truth is I don’t do very well with pregnancy. I am now 39 weeks pregnant and I realize this may sound awful, but I have spent most of my pregnancy almost forgetting a baby is even coming and just count down the 9 months until I am not pregnant anymore. The nausea, the aches and pains, the exhaustion, the feeling of being generally uncomfortable most of the day, the constantly having to pee and then on top of it all having crazy hormones that make coping with these things feel near impossible, it’s all just a little too much for me. Where I usually have exceptional patience with my family, I am short and snappy. Where I usually encourage and focus on the positive, when I open my mouth I find it to be full of complaints. Where serving and loving those around me was once one of my greatest joy’s, it becomes a weighty burden. It’s like I am standing in front of a giant window with the most amazing beachfront view. Instead of looking through it to stand in awe of the beauty before me, I am stuck focused on every little speck of dirt on the glass completely unaware of the stunning scenery behind it. Pregnancy, like nothing else in my life has a way of bringing me to the end of myself and sadly much of what I have found after my own strength fails me is one angry, irritable, pregnant mama.
God is so gracious to not leave me here. Even with only being a week away from my due date he is speaking into this place that I have recently found myself. He gently reminded me this week of a few truths that I am asking him to work deeply into my soul before this little one is born.
1. God promises to give me what I need for the task at hand- I am not talking about what I need to be a miserable ball of hormones surviving the day. If God has put something on my plate for that day he also promises to give me what I need to walk through it or accomplish it while exhibiting the fruit of the spirit. I have been given all I need In Christ to accomplish what’s before me with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. While I may prefer to use my circumstances as a justification for my grumbling, when I am walking by the spirit, I know it’s possible to experience this “fruit” in the midst of whatever challenges I face that day.
2. My lack of joy points me to my idols- Yea. I don’t always love being reminded of this one, but oh how my heart needs it. God was gently reminding me this week that joy is always possible as it results from being near Jesus and gaining more of Him. Because I follow a God who died and rose again to tear down the dividing wall of hostility between He and I there is nothing that can now keep me from him, and in turn, keep me from deeper joy. Jesus has made himself accessible to me in a way that even pain, nausea, sleep depravation, piles of laundry, husbands working late, floors scattered with toys, my 100thtrip to the bathroom and all the pregnancy hormones in the world could not keep me from Him. In fact, I have found that these types of circumstances, when given to God, are often the catalyst to me knowing Jesus even more. These past very pregnant weeks of my life, when I look over my own lack of joy, I see that it is because I have prioritized feeling physically comfortable, rested, and emotionally steady over gaining more of Jesus and treasuring him in the midst of those circumstances. Wanting and pursuing those things may not be bad, but when joy is lacking it shows that those desires have turned to demands that I have placed above God. My lack of joy has clearly pointed to my idols and I am learning to be thankful it’s bringing these into light. After this last week or two of pregnancy there will be sleep deprived nights and many other “trials” to navigate. My hope is that through the help of the Holy Spirit, I can put these lesser goals that center around comfort in their proper place. I know it will leave me with a far sturdier and more unshakable foundation that physical or emotional discomfort can’t touch over the coming weeks, months and years.
3.God can bring dead things in me to life- I am not left on my own to try and manufacture some kind of inauthentic joy. When I draw near to God in these small but very real moments of irritability, anxiety, pain or discomfort these parts of my heart that belong to my “old nature” rub up against the one who created all of life and is in the business of resurrecting things from the dead. It doesn’t take much these last weeks of pregnancy for me to feel angry, overwhelmed and exhausted by my aches and pains or the never-ending list of chores that I feel increasingly incapable of achieving. I know that when God is invited into those places of pain, frustration and anxiety beautiful things can spring up from the driest of soil. These parts of my old nature can be resurrected and transformed into beautiful things that God can use for his glory.
I am so thankful for God’s abounding grace. Even as I write this, I feel so heavily the gap between where I am and where I want to be with internalizing it all. I am sure I will have a few more “I’m sorry’s” to say to my family before this baby gets here and plenty more to say after her arrival. This truly has been a hard season for me, and I don’t want to minimize that but I also don’t want to be ok with allowing my attitude to stay where it has been. Maybe pregnancy is easy for you. Maybe you can relate in a totally different area. If your in a similar place for whatever the reason I want to invite you to wake up each day and grow with me in inviting Jesus into those hard places. Where we do fail, let’s also work on letting go of the mom guilt and grow in trusting that his grace is more than sufficient for the rest.
Thanks for being on this journey with me!