waking up at home.
mornings have always been my favorite. quiet, alone. the first daylight of the day. it's mine sweet time when i open up the house to first light and enjoy the brightness as i rise and make the coffee.
i am 24.5 weeks pregnant. it is pure bliss growing this baby.
after so many years of what i thought was infertility but was probably just God's timing, my heart is expanding and seeking Him more than ever before. why now? what is the plan for this kid's life? will this kid live? grow up? will i see it all? how do You want me to change before this baby makes its way into the world? why am i so attached to my relationships here more than i am in a relationship with my Savior? would i choose to leave my family today if Jesus came today?
francis chan says, "i don't have any statistics to prove this, but based on my experience, i'd bet that at least 95% of american "christians" would choose not to leave their families today if they were given the choice to be with Jesus. you can justify that all you want, but something is off. paul recognized the value of staying on earth to minister to the people around him, but his burning desire was to be with Jesus (phil. 1:21-26). if you'd rather watch your kids grow up than see the face of your Savior today, you don't grasp the beauty of God. if you worry about what would happen to your children if you were gone, you don't understand the providence of God. pray for a deeper understanding of His worth and sovereignty. pray earnestly until you are infatuated with seeing His face. "
"there's always something. marriage, the birth of a child, watching the kids grow up, watching your grandkids grow up. there's always something immediate and attractive that keeps us from anticipating heaven. for some, your lack of excitement could be caused by a lack of meditation. you don't dwell on heaven much. but for others, the lack of anticipation could stem from something deeper : a lack of faith"
(from his amazing book you & me forever)
i feel this has also been my experience and can already hear the arguments from other christians. (and my own old-self!) which i should probably just get used to by now.
a beautiful soul and deeply important friend in my life shared with me some of the most encouraging words i've ever heard just a few days ago. it was actually on a super hard day, though she had no idea. which is even sweeter and more perfect and exactly how godly friendships operate. she told me i am the best at riding the waves of life. the very best example she's seen of someone going through horrible sorrows and still seeking and finding and living out joy. when i told ethan this he just sweetly smile/smirked. he felt it was true, too. thankfully it was on voxer so i can just keep re-listening to my friend's encouraging voice lifting me up and reminding me when i need it most.
i am very confused in this time of my life. it's altogether lovely and perfect and also sorrowful, experiencing and navigating the death of both of my parents. but at the same time not that sorrowful at all. and that's hard for people. and myself when i feel alone in that truth.
even in the grief i feel great joy because of Jesus. i mean, my faith has been tested and i believe proven to be true. i do believe. i believe my both of my parent's have now seen Jesus's face and will be rejoicing for eternity with Him. like paul has already been for two thousand years. and all the other believers who have gone before them. of course i am sad. of course i wish my parents could see my growing belly and i wish i could have them over for dinner and game nights and visit and do life together still. and hold their grandbaby. but those are all selfish. those are desires for myself. not for my parents. why would i wish them back here? when they are WITH ACTUAL JESUS CHRIST. how could i?
i feel like God has given me a real picture of life and death with losing mom just weeks after finding out we are finally going to be able to start our family. (finally, again, selfish)
it's this living, breathing, moving picture. my faith is made stronger. i literally feel life inside my body. and i very clearly see the death of my father and mother both within two years in the same horrible hospital room every time i close my eyes. it's a mystery how long any of us will live. and what's it all for? this is the big question for us all, right? now i know for sure. for me it is Christ to live. and to die is gain.
i will lose ethan. i will lose this baby. they are not mine to hold on to.
i did lose my parents. they weren't really mine. they belong to the Creator.
and there will be others. just wait longer.
this is truly how i live "love intensely", our favorite phrase of all. it is impossible to live unintentionally and without intensity when our hearts are set on eternity.
i do find myself struggling with desiring earth more than heaven. i have a lot to live for here. obviously ethan burt is very attractive to me and having his baby is um, AMAZING. so.
i feel very convicted about this. and i am tired of others telling me differently so they can feel better about the things they treasure more than heaven. it's so damaging. we are all just molly-coddling each other and keeping each other out of heaven. i fear in living that way i run the risk of telling Jesus i know him and him telling me "i never knew you, depart" (matt. 7:21-23)
i don't think there's been another book that's blessed me more. i would highly recommend it. my favorite part is that it's a marriage book but it's more about individual relationship with God/Jesus than it is just about marriage. which then in turn results in a perfect marriage. which we have found to be so true! so i enjoy francis and lisa very much. i'm thankful for harsh, even painful reminders to get back to Jesus.
"so we do not lose heart. though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. for this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. for the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal" -
2 corinthians 4:16-18