It seems that the message God is giving me right now is pretty clear...
I have a purpose for your pain, JUST WAIT.
Just wait. I feel like I've gotten pretty good at that over the last couple years. It seemed that every time I tried to forge ahead with a new brilliant endeavor, God stopped me. Just wait. As these past few months have unfolded in our family and we have learned new things about my youngest daughter, I get it. I understand the wait. I understand that I am supposed to be right here, right now. And for once, I am finally content with it.
It has been showing up everywhere I turn over the past year, at least. Just wait. Just wait and trust in the power of small beginnings (seriously, 3 sermons I watched on Sunday were about small beginnings. If you don't think God has a sense of humor...). Because right now, everything seems small to me, but I know in my heart that all of it is leading to something big that God has in store. There have been times in the last few years that the pain of my circumstances and the pain of waiting was physically uncomfortable. I had a tension in my body that I couldn't seem to release. I had made up my mind I was ready to move on, ready to get on with my life...ready to get "back" to my life. But the life I had before wasn't the life that God had in mind for me.
Waiting is hard. Appreciating small beginnings is hard, especially when you are the kind of person who likes to make things happen and be a "productive member of society." Our society has ingrained in us this idea that we must be constantly busy to be making an impact. And maybe like me, you've bought into that and have a hard time getting out. I still struggle with waiting. I struggle with the idea of small beginnings and I'll be honest, some days I struggle with feeling like "just a mom." But I've come a long way in the last few years and wanted to share a few things that have helped me and continue to help me.
Trust Him. Trusting that God has a plan for me, my life, the life of my family has been huge. I would say that having trust in God is what was the key in lifting me out of my depression. When we are hopeless and self-reliant, it is easy to get bogged down and into the dark pit of life. When I started believing in His perfect plan and trusting in His timing to make it happen, it relieved me of a lot of stress, anxiety and filled me with hope. We can't live without hope. Some days I'm tempted to rely on my self to make things happen and I just have to stop myself in my tracks and say..."I trust you, God." (*repeat as many times as necessary)
Patience. Not one of my previous virtues but I would have to say God has taught me to be patient. Without trust, we can't be patient, so you'll have to go to the "Trust Him" step first and then work on the patience. When we trust that He has a plan it is easier (I didn't say easy....just easier) to be patient. To just wait. When we push things at our own pace we will meet resistance. I think of it like banging on a closed door where nobody is on the other side. It's NOT going to open. Move on. This is sort of how patience works...stop banging on the closed door and relax in the hallway until you see that God is opening a new door. I have banged on a lot of closed doors and met with a lot of frustration. I have learned that patience and waiting on God's timing is a lot less frustrating.
Never "just a." I'm pretty sure we all do this on some level or another. Whether you're "just a mom" or "just a janitor" or "just a dad" or "just a student"...you're NEVER "just a". Every single thing we do has a purpose. If God has called you to it (I don't know, say, made you the mother of 4 kids) He has a purpose for it and it's not to be taken lightly. Sometimes being obedient to God's will can make us feel insignificant to society..."just a." But I like to remind myself that God has specifically chosen me, apart from everyone else, to raise these 4 human beings. I am not "just a" mom...I've been given a huge responsibility. And so have you...whatever your "just a" may be.
I was sure by now I would know how God was going to use my pain of the past but I don't know. I don't even try anymore. I just wait.