Corrie Ten Boom is one of my favorite people, ever. She survived a Nazi concentration camp and lived to come face to face with who she discovered one of the worst prison guards from one of those camps. She forgave him. She knew the face of suffering and the ugliest of the ugly of human behavior. She knew suffering. She was not a naive Pollyanna about it, and for that I appreciate her writings even moreso. I wrote on another of her quotes here.
This pregnancy has been very unique in that, much of it has not held the exuberant joy I normally find myself at. (Surprises, in the form of children, tend to have a little less joy sometimes. After all, they completely change your world, and when you are already feeling like you can barely be a good mama to the ones you already have, it is hard not to have utter worry and fear and maybe even some dread at the prospect of going from three to four. Nevertheless, she persisted. )
Nevertheless. I like that word. Nevertheless holds hope. It holds resolve. The quote above reads:
Worry is a cycle of inefficient thoughts
whirling around a center of fear.
-Corrie Ten Boom
Wow. It so rings true to my heart right now. If I'm being honest, it was not until just a few weeks ago that I really started to look forward to being a mama to four. It's hard to look forward to what you know will be hard.
But with that hard is also so much joy.
It's hard to look forward to what you don't know will be ok or not.
But in the "not ok" are still so many moments that take your breath away and fill your love with the deepest love you did not know what possible.
It is hard to look forward to what in the past has just been painful. Post partum depression is something I would wish on no one. You literally can't breathe. Your energy is completely gone. You want to just be done being a mom. In fact, if there were an option to leave right then and hand it over to someone more capable, you would do it. Eating is hard, physically. You want nothing to do with the baby. Everything makes it hard to breathe. (What is it with the breathing?!) The intense tears are triggered by nothing and yet everything. You cannot even function as a human, let alone as a mama. You don't have the remote to your brain or life. It's like it is controlled by something else, and that is scary. You feel like you are driving a car at lightning speed, but without the brakes or steering.
Josh starts classes on my due date as well as phasing more into a second job that same week (A really really big second job). His engineering classes are hard. Our kids are just bundles of curiosity and energy that cannot be squelched and I see proof of it all over the house daily. Oh, and did I say, we're having our fourth baby around April 4th? Oh my. This is not how I would have planned any of this. My heart wanted something more... calm and blissful and babymoon-ish.
Nevertheless, I know we're going to make it.
I am thankful for what I know now. I am thankful for the "peace that surpasses all understanding." I'm thankful for a mother-in-love who can visit for three weeks!!!
I am thankful for a midwife and doctor who have listened to help me find a good balance of natural and prescription help so that my mind is not attacked by every silly thing. It's a little hard to function when a pile of kids' books on the floor, and their need for another meal to be made sends you reeling into uncontrollable paralyzed panic.
I am thankful for a husband who is so wonderful about making those random stops at the store and suggesting bubble baths and giving the best hugs ever. I tear up at each and every one of those.
I'm thankful for the best friends who offer help however they can and caring words.
Worry. Cycles of worry. I am thankful I do not have to give into that. I am thankful I have a God who loves me more than my undone laundry and floor that looks like it was decorated by sticky art monsters (because, it was!). I'm thankful that the days that are just Netflix all day and less than stellar responses don't phase God. He can use those too.
Those days always seem to have huge hugs by little arms with words like, "You're the best mama ever!" "This is the best dinner... EVER!!" (Over pancakes and oranges.).
I am blessed. I am loved. I don't have to worry because even when I don't know whether it's all well or not, I am His and I am loved. He truly will carry his children through the hardest, darkest, nights.
When you cannot feel the certainty, find His promises and feed them to your soul. He will sustain you.