Everyone handles pain a little differently. Usually when I'm pregnant, I have this weird inclination to watch birth videos, or old episodes of "A Baby Story" on the Internet. Kind of a funny little thing I do, especially considering I have given birth five times myself. I will occasionally see a woman in so much pain, maybe screaming or writhing...and I scare myself thinking, "Is that how it is? Because I can't do that!"
It's so easy to compare ourselves with others. It's so easy to watch other people doing and living and think, "Oh, that's how it is supposed to go." And you know, it's not just that everyone handles pain differently, it's that we handle different types of pain differently.
We have experienced some different types of pain lately. Although, all at the same time. And as I think back on my labors with the kids, I tend to just go "radio silent." Quiet. Not that I never utter any whimpers of pain, or writhe around in it. But for the most part, I stay pretty quiet. And I think maybe, that's where I have been lately. I don't know if it is just my way of processing through it all. My brain has been frantic in its attempt to "figure things out." And I haven't felt as well, so I can't do the normal amount of reading or studying that I normally do. And that's how it is with my labors. Sometimes, I just have to be still, and wait for the next wave of pain to come. And it's painful! I don't understand the pain of the next contraction any more than I did the pain of the one before. But I have the big picture. These "light and momentary afflictions" are ACHIEVING something...something glorious that far outweighs the pain.
I have a large "bleed" in my uterus. If it remains, things become dangerous for this sweet little girl that I already love so much, and they become dangerous for me as well. I'm more than halfway through this pregnancy, and the kids have prayed faithfully everyday for this sweet baby girl.
There are other pains....physical, emotional, relational, financial....
And in the midst of each wave that comes, I don't understand and it certainly doesn't feel "light and momentary." BUT IT IS.
I wasn't promised a healthy baby girl. Oh, I do HOPE for one. But my hope is not IN that. I wasn't promised relational ease, or physical comfort, financial ease, or emotional stability (think hormones!!!).
But I am confident of this.... It is all ACHIEVING something. Something glorious.
I'm always afraid to talk about my own suffering...because there's always someone, somewhere suffering more than you are. Today, I just lay it before Jesus, who is a faithful High Priest, able to sympathize with my weakness. And in my spirit, I feel my weakness give way to His strength bit by bit. I feel my body tired, worn out....and I feel it's weakness give way to God's power. I feel the pain, and it gives way to what God is achieving in me. I will not be the same. A dear friend said to me the other day, how she was loving the gift of entering God's court with praise and thanksgiving. So maybe, in these "quiet times", I am learning that I don't have to hunker down and be strong and figure it all out. Maybe, in the quiet moments, I am learning to give thanks for a God whose power is made perfect in my weakness.
"[God's Word] reminds me that my life need not be imprisoned by my own rebellion, defeated by my own foolishness, or paralyzed by my own inability. God's grace is most powerful and effective at the moment of my greatest weakness."--Paul David Tripp
"We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies. We know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus, will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself together with you. All of this is for your benefit. And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory. That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever." (2 Corinthians 4:7-10, 14-18 NLT)