Monday, September 12, 2016

How God Broke In

   We had the immense blessing since 2011 of being a part of an amazing ministry in Kentwood, Michigan - Encounter Church.  Since making the move out of state, we've begun regularly attending a new church, but I am so grateful that Encounter consistently posts Dirk vanEyk's messages online, so I'm still able to soak up the word as he delivers it.

At Encounter, Dirk recently wrapped up a series entitled "Interrupted: When God Breaks In."  I laughed, I cried, I nodded my head in agreement....a lot.  I can't help but feel like the last year of my life has been a series of divine interruptions.  In September of 2015, if you had shown me what my life now looks like, my reaction would be that of utter shock.  There's been a lot of heart conditioning happening to get me to a place of acceptance for everything going on here. 

I would not have pictured myself in North Carolina.  Starting over completely in every way.  Pregnant.  With a girl.  These changes are exciting, and ultimately I see the positive impact it all will have on myself individually, as well as my family unit.  But, the challenges have been real, and have knocked me down to my knees more times that I can count. 

A year ago, my main priority was my own fitness.  Exercise and nutrition were literally everything to me. What started out as a way to spend some quiet time alone and with God each morning became an obsession that bled into every thought and action.  Then God broke in.  He knew the end game, but was interrupting my day-to-day to let me know that the way I was living was not meshing with His plan and He was going to do something about it.  He also made it clear that I wasn't going to like it.  

My addiction to exercise and restrictive eating habits had robbed me of my fertility.  This hadn't really mattered to me, as we were not planning on any additional children. I got to send my boys off to school each morning and spend my day working out, meal prepping, working out some more, and planning my workouts.

*I'm thinking about posting this for my next #transformationtuesday. Haha!*


  Why would I have any interest in giving all that up to sacrifice my body to another pregnancy?  I didn't.  But God had a plan and suddenly, I knew it.  And, it terrified me.  I fought this plan for a while, and quickly watched my health deteriorate.  I couldn't focus, my stomach was always mad at me, I had no energy, and I stressed about food and exercise constantly.  Finally, I waved the white flag.  
"You win, Lord!  This isn't working!"  I couldn't believe I was saying it, but I did, and I resolved to trust His plan and started a journey toward gaining weight in an effort to regain my fertility.  At this point, I was still in denial over the part of God's plan that involved another baby.  I was willing to accept that I needed to shift my priorities in order to be a better wife, mother and child of God, but no way I was going to do the whole pregnancy and baby thing again.  (If you've passed the baby stage with your kids and reached that 'sweet spot', ya'll feel me!) 

We are a family of four.  I am a boy mom.  We drive a sedan.  Someday when we take our kids to Disney World, we'll be perfectly paired on rides.  Our household has slept through the night for six years. This is it. 

Then, God broke in.

I didn't just regain my fertility; within four months of easing my workouts and lifting my food restrictions, I gained fifteen pounds, and found out we were pregnant. 

I would love to be able to tell you that saying yes to God, and surrendering to His will has made everything easy.  I wish I could say that being given this purpose of becoming a mother again, and the amazing blessing of a daughter was enough to magically erase the mourning I experience for my former life, but I can't.  It's a daily struggle to accept my new body, my physical limitations, my need to focus on keeping my baby healthy instead of pushing myself and reaching new goals to being a better, faster, stronger me. That all has to fall away, at least for now. Because God interrupted my plan.  Because He had a better one.

This all may not be easy, but He has dropped gifts along the way to encourage me and help me remember that I am on His path, and it's all working out the way it's meant to.  I get to do and experience things I never thought I would again, like feeling sweet little baby kicks.  We get to watch our boys become big brothers.  I went through a period of mourning the fact that I would never have a daughter to experience that oh-so-special bond with, and now...wow. A girl. Words truly escape me on that one.  

The greatest gift of all has been feeling and knowing God's presence in my life in such a real way, unlike I've ever experienced before.  He saved me from myself.  He asked me to relinquish so many of the things I held so near and dear, and has shown me that all I really need is Him.  My initial fear, anger and frustration toward His interruptions did not cause Him to turn away from me. That is the overwhelming, faithful, reckless love of our Father. 



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