Thursday, January 22, 2015

Letting Things Go

When I was pregnant with Jayci, I stopped volunteering at the preschool in inner-city Atlanta where I had served faithfully for the past year. When I was pregnant with Caden, I stopped driving downtown for Metrokidz and to see this boy with any sort of regularity. This pregnancy, I find myself mourning the things I feel like I've given up. That I haven't opened the library as planned, or that I cant always be present for craft nights and basketball games and all-of-the-things. 
But I guess I'm learning the slow and often difficult lesson that sometimes growth means letting go. That as my stomach swells and I try to ride out tides of nausea, I have to let go of some things to make space for new ones. I read this morning in John about the God who prunes and cuts away, and I think of the ways that has been true in my life. And sometimes I grieve the losses. Because letting go isn't always easy, even when I'm trusting it can only be for my best.

Motherhood, then, blooms as an ebb and flow. As growth and life, and death too. Of dying to myself, and of letting pieces of myself die. But in ways that bring resurrection, new life.

Even now, as I sit and sip peppermint tea from my favorite mug, the two loudest boys you can imagine play in the other room. Their voices are shrill, three and four year old boy-voices at a timbre I can't block out no matter how hard I try. They encourage each other, discuss good guys and bad guys, and occasionally fight over a wheel or a hat for their lego man.

Of course I can't write I sigh. I have no quiet, no ministry these days, no stories that extend beyond the frayed edges of the quilt I tuck myself beneath. I sleep late, or just lay in bed and listen as Adam gets the kids ready for school. Jayci runs in for a hug and a ponytail before leaving for the day, and Caden often climbs into bed and kicks and climbs and snuggles in all the best and most intrusive ways.

But what, I wonder, does God have for me in this season of rest. Of dark winter days and nights, of ordering my day not around shared meals but around the foods that maybe hopefully wont make me sick. Of letting go of all things I thought I needed.

I go to church on Sunday mornings amidst the flurry of pancakes and syrup-stains on our table-top. If I'm honest, the only reason I do is because there's not enough for all the kids in one car. So we caravan, and I sip water and sometimes even muster up small talk before worship starts on the rare times we arrive early enough. I sit close to the back, with all our boys and Adam, though they slip out loudly enough to make me cringe and head to youth group after worship. I stay seated for worship, and hope there's no one in the bathroom when I have to go throw-up.

The music washes over me during communion, and I shuffle forward, desperate for the only food I know will satisfy. I desperately need the body and blood, and they give it away for free every single week. I remind myself of all the ways that death brings new life. That the very Jesus who broke His body and shed His blood offers me hope in darkness and life in death.

I learn again and again the discipline of surrendering parts of myself for something greater. To give up ministry to meet Jesus in my weakness. To surrender quiet for the life and lessons of kids and busyness and new life. And sometimes I get it all back as a gift, and sometimes I don't. All I know is that motherhood and this new life that grows again inside me will bring far greater gifts than the ones I leave behind.

5 comments:

  1. Becca, I just want you to know that I'm desperately awaiting your book you never told me you'd write. I love hearing your thoughts turned to poetry. Thanks for sharing :)

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    1. I love you sweet friend :-) Thanks for your kind words. Also, tell your family hi for me :-)

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  2. Favorite in the land. I needed this today.
    Love you. Praying for you.

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  3. This post is such an encouragement to me, as I am 32 weeks and the pregnancy has been a storm of ups and downs. Thank you for openly sharing your heart where so many have shied away.

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    1. Thanks Michelle, and I absolutely hear you on those ups and downs!!

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