Friday, December 16, 2011

{ Is it All About Me? Really? }

I am a complainer.
A whiner extraordinaire.
Really, to hear my internal dialogue on most days is to conclude that it's all about me and life is really really crummy.
If perhaps some small part of your heart disagrees with those statements, my pride would like to thank you. But unfortunately for my pride, the past six weeks have brought my whining, complaining, it's-all-about-me belief system firmly into the light and kept it there. And it's ugly.
This pregnancy, while not nearly as difficult as many I've heard about, has been quite uncomfortable at times. I've thrown up on a few occasions, I feel nauseous pretty frequently, my energy levels are lower than I ever remember. Pretty standard first trimester stuff. How I've responded to these inconveniences is another story.

I describe my miseries frequently and publicly. {Hello, Facebook friends!} {I'm very grateful, by the way, for my friends' gracious feedback--they've provided my best anti-nausea tips. What I'm saying is that my motivation for frequent "woe is me" posts is less than stellar.}
When people ask how I'm doing, my responses center around my most recent {unpleasant} physical symptoms.
I feel sorry for myself. So, so sorry.
My thought life consists of how I'm feeling, what I can do to prevent myself from feeling worse, and what will I do if I puke??
I cautiously pencil in plans with friends, making it very clear that if I feel crummy, we'll have to reschedule.

A couple of weeks ago, I realized that I think I deserve better than this. I don't deserve to be saddled with food aversions and a stomach that spontaneously empties with no warning. I really truly believed--the same way I believe that Jesus is God and my birthday is always on April 18--I believed that when I had babies, I'd be spared this stuff. See, I like kids, and we want to have a lot of them. The Lord says that children are a blessing and He loves them--Jesus even rebuked the disciples for trying to keep children away from Him {Matthew 19:13-15}. So I figured that since I'm eager to welcome these little people that Jesus loves, He wouldn't make me go through the nasty parts of pregnancy. I know, I know, it's absurd...but it was a very real, if subconscious, part of how I carried out my days.

I'm a wimp to begin with. I don't like pain and suffering. My preferred method of dealing with pain is medication and sleep. I suppose it's part of our culture: It's so easy, so normal, to choose that which is easiest, most comfortable, less trouble, more convenient.

And there you have it: Pregnancy isn't convenient. Much as we already love this little grape-size person, his/her presence inside me is wreaking all kinds of havoc on my comfort-and-convenience-centered heart. But isn't that what all the truly good things in life do? Stretch us, usually in places where stretching is uncomfortable {that's why it's called stretching, Nikki. Remember that.}. I'm so familiar with this concept in the context of marriage; it's almost a cliche in some Christian circles. "Marriage is about holiness, not happiness." So true but my ears can become dull even to truth and I so easily gloss over that which is familiar--yeah, yeah, I've heard this dozens of times before, I know, I get it.

I never thought to consider that this truth may apply to the next big life-change as well: Children. What if children aren't about making me happy, but another tool God uses to chisel away my ugly parts and remake me into someone who reflects His beauty, rather than her own ugliness? What if
parenthood is about holiness, not happiness?

What if this refining process doesn't begin when the baby is born, but when you feel the first pangs of morning sickness?
What if God uses even an unborn baby to transform me more into His image?
What if I've been believing a lie: that life is supposed to be easy; and the stripping away of this lie is not hardship, but mercy? Love performing soul surgery, pouring antiseptic on a soul-infection? What if nausea and weird ligament pains and strange food aversions are ways Jesus is loving me? Showing me how much I need Him?

What if this is all Love?

So this is where I am right now, what I'm wrestling with. If you ask me how I'm doing and I start to b**ch about this and that, feel free to rebuke me. Remind me that it's not all about me. Remind me of Jesus. I certainly am glad I have seven months to work through this before the real challenges begin!


  1. hugs my friend! And may mercy, love (and seabands) ;) be your companions on this journey :)

  2. My favourite parenting scripture is a quote from good old Isaiah: "He gently leads those that are with young." Yes, parenting is like nothing else in how it sanctifies us. But it is also like nothing else in how it ministers grace to us. You may see uck, but He is so gentle. You can only anticipate goodness because if that! : )

  3. Wait, when you are pregnant, it IS all about you, right?! (Well, you and the baby.) :)
    No, seriously, some beautiful, deep, profound thoughts here. I love how you always take your current trials and circumstances to better yourself and your relationship with Christ.
    You bless me! ~T
    P.S. I promise it will get better 2nd Trimester, and I promise that one day you will gladly do this all again and again and again.....So. Worth. It.

  4. Said in advance: You are such an impressive person.

    I guess this pregnancy is, what you are doing with it. It's all about belief: humanity, mercy, evolution. And I guess also, that Jesus only wants you to be happy with all your heart. You are so loving and thoughtful, I guess you're reflecting Gods beauty right now, with all your thoughts, your deep and loving words and your dubiously mind.

    "For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’

    Then the righteous will answer him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?'

    And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me"

    Love your child, and you will love Jesus. The love to your child will be love to Jesus. Your happiness will be his happiness. Your happiness about caring a new creature (?) of God.

    (Postscript: my ENglish is pretty bad, but I'll keep learning from you ;)" )