“And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness”
If only I lived in a manner of belief.
Abram was so old when God made him this promise of life.
“‘Look toward heaven, and number the stars. If you are able to number them…So shall your offspring be’”
//Genesis 15, v. 6 and 5//
He must have been so tired. His skin wrinkled, like his years and experiences. How raw and exposed his hands, his eyelids hard to hold lifted, I’m sure. His heart’s place, too. And yet, He believed God at His word.
Hardly–at least as I should, as I can.
This morning I drank my glucose drink, played a mindless game on my phone and waited to see my midwife. I remember hearing, “Ms. Morris”, being called to the back to meet with the nurse.
Are you alright? Her name’s Melissa, so in tune and kind and motherly. You look tired.
I smiled and half-laughed. Oh, I’m good. And yes, tired.
But in the back of my mind I’m thinking–but I did my make up? I actually have a bra on. I am smiling, don’t I look great?
She must have had telekenesis, or whatever that word is because then she said,
I see your smile. But I see underneath it too.
And as she small-smiled at me, I about broke down. I almost wanted to crawl right up into her lap and bawl like a baby.
On the outside my smile doesn’t lie.
I am alright. I’m happy and busy and I infinitely love the healthy, little man growing inside of me. His kicks bring me wordless joy, his brother is all kinds of wild and yet my greatest source of peace this side of heaven, and I get butterflies thinking about their brotherhood bond coming in a few, short months. We have a home, Jeff works so hard for us, I am physically well, I have great friends and a supportive family, church life is growing and my business is flourishing.
But yes, I am tired, too.
And if I dig down deep, I have longings and desires and aches and pains like Abram that seem void. That feel like they’ll always be void.
There are things from my past that feel anchored and harbored as much as I try and loosen the rope from its post. There are hopes that I’ve tied up so strong in light, but seem to unravel time and time again by the most delicate snag. There are dreams buried so far within me that scream out of reach, like a lost treasure you know exists but no one has handed you the looking map. There are bones in my body that I thought healed, but come morning they swell and I bruise so easily. Some things seem so simple too, like it should just be a certain way, but they aren’t no matter how hard I try. Or how hard I pray. Feeling in control and out of control and wanting someone else to take all the control.
Finding myself saying, Okay God, You can show up now.
And then rolling my eyes at myself because the answer is always the same. He’s always, already there beside me.
Sometimes big and loud and obnoxiously so.
Sometimes letting me trip on my face, in that stub-my-toe moment that forces me to grace.
Other times He is quiet and still, just a peaceful knowing.
Or in my weepy prayers and shake-it-out dancing before hopping in a shower where I lose all my cool.
He’s always there, just letting me be present in what is.
Do you ever catch yourself saying,
What is my life?
[sarcastic or serious or numb or gut-laughing or crying…I think we all have asked it]
My life right now looks a lot like
Baggy clothes & dry shampoo, grocery lists & laundry lines, dodging ball-balls coming at my face & redirecting a toddler who thinks he is a grown up. Trying to decode his manner of sentences, all while pouring “jewwwwce” mixed with water and cutting up as many apples as he can chew. Picking up disasters waiting to happen, and kissing the ones I showed up a little too late for. Speaking “toughie” life into my sensitive, brave boy and reminding him there will be another one to love soon…but not too hard because babies heads are fragile. And then reminding myself they are made for this. Like this. For the bumps and the bruises, and the holding close and offering a hand. They are made for the unpredictable, as we are, and the warm grace that wraps us up in it. They are built for the yesses and the nos, the good guys and the bad. Because they weren’t made alone. And neither are we. They don’t have to go alone. I can keep I love you and forgiveness and telling stories on repeat. The reel of their life can be the simple and the mundane and the adventure and the swift. And the aha discoveries, pumpkin patches and sensory engagement can be as fruitful as wiping poop off of bottoms and making sure they’ve heard Jesus’s name in the beauty and the mess of the day.
Mama-ing is hard.
But being a person is a bigger hard.
I’m not just a mom, and I can’t hide behind the facade of
This is just life, keep yourself together, paint it cool and collected.
I’m surronded by those types of people and they do not make other people feel safe or human or not alone.
I’m not cool, and I’m not collected.
The belief in my good God doesn’t look like waiting on generations of offspring and life in my womb, and that’s okay. Belief is trusting, having faith or confidence, that something exists.
Everyone has a something.
Belief for me looks like mending old wounds and not ignoring the cracks in the sidewalk of my life. It looks like continuing to pray into the things that make my heart burst–in both the jaw-dropping way, and the glory-bending way. It is slowing down enough to say I desire this and I dream this or I need to let this die. Belief is trusting that those seeds I have planted will one day reap a harvest that baskets can’t hold. It’s trusting that what feels like a beast of a world won’t touch my babies roots that are in heaven, and knowing that I am doing the best I can by clothing them in warrior’s outfits. It’s believing that my husband sees me as enough, on the surface and beneath its depths. It’s counting it as righteousness to say I need you God, you are my literal breath when I can’t catch my own and when the humans tell me I should. It’s believing in the safe harbor that is my need of a Savior, in a rescue from the dry that is life without Him. It is believing that victory in the day isn’t found in a giant roof-top show-stopper, but in the tiny–sometimes secret and never known– millions of momentary miracles that make up this life.
What is my life?
It is tired.
It is good.
It is in need of belief that is counted.
What is yours?