the ponderings of a mother

These are the ponderings of a mother in love with her children, both in my arms and in the grave. Some of these ponderings are quite emotional, some are funny, others contemplative and spiritual. All are sincere. May these writings bless you in many ways and bring you closer to the one, true God and Redeemer of all things.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

You Win

(Pre.Script: I am actually going off the grid tomorrow J I will be entering a silent retreat center for Fri/Sat, so there will be no writing. Please pray for my time. Thank you.)
One of my most treasured things that is coming out of Jonan’s death (and life) is the quieting that has is happening in my heart. I have generally needed for all seasons of my life to be a time for everything. As in literally…all at once. I have had no sense of season so I have often pushed so hard to make things happen & happen all the time; a time for everything versus an actual time for everything…in its own time, but not all the time. Something has slowed in my heart this year. Something permanent. Something that I was certain, if I ever let it go, I would lose myself. I thought if I moved into a way of acceptance and slowness of heart in life I would lose motivation and a sense of God at work; gaining only despair and apathy. So I pushed things forward that should have stayed still.

I feared having children for the way it would change my life…for the ways I would have to slow down and be present to someone so needy of me. What about my graduate studies? What about my career desires? What about our finances? Travel? My desires for ministry? This is the first time in my life I can remember saying something my not happen for a many years…and not choking on those words. If the Lord has these things in mind for me, and some of them I feel He does- particularly the ministry part- I can trust Him.  [I am not using this as an excuse for an apathetic lifestyle, though I could see it how that would be for someone of another temperament, but more as an antidote to my destructive pace of life and faulty perspective.] For the seasons of life do not hinder us from things. Though they may in the superficial sense, but not in the deepest sense. In the place of immobility or physical limitation, of lack of friendship, separation from loved ones, of trauma, of healing, of lack of resources, lack of imagination or opportunity, maybe someone needs our special love & focus for a time…these things do not hinder the work of God, they are where God is at work.

The years of pushing forward into places I simply didn’t have resource to fulfill left me empty and worn out. From 23 to 28 years old I went through extensive medical testing three separate times to determine what was wrong with me because of some chronic symptoms. Each time the doctor would say the same thing…all the tests are clear, Kimberly, you are likely very stressed. I remember hearing this for the first time thinking… “I am only 23 years old, that can’t be!”

But it was. And for years I suffered until things became so bad I had to take a leave of absence from work and go through extensive counseling to deal with the deep things within my heart that kept me busy and pushing to make right now a “time for everything.”  That was only 3 years ago.

Since that time I have had a series of challenges vocationally, relationally, financially, and personally. It truly has not let up. This time it has not been because of poor choices and lack of wisdom as it was before, but simply things out of my control. God has, piece by piece, disassembled my life. Today as I sit and write I see maybe some of what this constant change in my plans has produced. I have a desire to live in each season in its time. I don’t want to cram 4 (or 14) seasons of life into one because I am afraid I am not living up to Someone’s idea of who I should be. And by accepting where I am and what life is right now I have not lost my energy or turned apathetic as I had feared. In fact, life seems so much more exciting. I want to engage it in ways unprecedented by me, and I feel energy to do so. But not to prove something about myself, but to be myself. All I proved about myself before was my lack of wisdom and that I had kept life full to fill up the places of insecurity.

The serenity prayer has really become my prayer. I am finding this really helps with envy as well. I have realized recently I have lived long with envy. It is easy to come by in the suburbs if you are looking for someone to envy. Money, beauty, indulgence: it’s everywhere. But trusting, I mean deeply trusting, that I am where I need to be right now, that God is with me, that He will direct me, that He has made me, and that I am in the right season of life is a powerful antidote. God says I am loved and that He guides my life. I don’t need to have the external beauty, the houses of Wheaton, the children now (by my age) that others have, the degree, the career path. I have been in a season of getting worked over by God in my soul for a few years now, and honestly I just haven’t had the energy/ability to attain all those things. Healing your soul takes energy. Healing a relationship takes energy. Will I ever attain any of those things? Probably, Lord willing, in some form. But I truly love where I am.  

So, God…you win. You are right. You are good. You have the strength to bring me low or raise me up. And I would do well to lean into You for all things. You give and You take away. And it’s Yours to do so. As I look around my life right now I see I am given a husband to love and grow with, a home to help him take care of, friendships to nourish, two jobs within which to serve the greater good, a church to where I can worship and offer my skills, pains - both local & distant – for which to pray, and hopes to trust You with. Here is my season.

With Solomon I see also that “there is nothing better than that a [wo]man should rejoice in [her] work…” Ecclesiastes 3:22. This culture lies to me saying I can have it all…I cannot. And I lose myself as I try. Yet here I gain myself as I trust the ways You have walked out before me. Those things I still long for in career & family, ministry & friendship. I will still be hopeful and discipline myself for what is to come, knowing that You, Lord, will make "everything beautiful in its time.” Ecclesiastes 3:11.

1 comment:

  1. Iryna Shturba AruteMarch 25, 2011 at 7:54 PM

    You've said so many profound things here, Kimberly! May the Lord abundantly bless you in this current season!