Do you wonder why you have to
Feel the things that hurt you
If there’s a God who loves you where is He now
Maybe there are things you can’t see
And all those things are happening
To bring a better ending
Someday somehow you’ll see you’ll see
Would you dare would you dare to believe
That you still have a reason to sing
Cause the pain that you’ve been feeling
It can’t compare to the joy that’s coming
So hold on you gotta wait for the light
Press on and just fight the good fight
Cause the pain that you’ve been feeling
It’s just the dark before the morning
My friend you know how this all ends
You know where you’re going
You just don’t know how you’ll get there
So say a prayer
And hold on cause there’s good for those who love God
But life is not a snapshot
It might take a little time but you’ll see the bigger picture
Once you feel the weight of glory
All your pain will fade to memory
Oh the pain that you’ve been feeling
It’s just the dark before the morning
This might be a LONG post. The song lyrics above was a song that came on a few weeks ago on the radio as I walked into my bedroom. Usually, I just enjoy music for the sound and don't listen as closely to the lyrics as I should (I have liked many a depressing lyrical numbers, until Doug has told me what the song is actually about oops!) So as I walked into my bedroom, this night...which was a LATE night for me (and Doug was off on a run), this song started and it felt like it was playing to me. For some reason, I sat in bed and listened to the lyrics and my heart sang with joy as this song SPOKE to me. One part that especially touched me (besides the fact that there would be joy at the end of this hard time) was that all these things were happening to bring about a better me. I laid there, after this song was over, just thinking about what God would choose to teach me after going through this situation and when I really mulled it over, I saw this whole thing in a truly different light and the lessons it has taught me. Its amazing really, how much I have changed in the last 8 months. Although I am still human and spend quite a bit of my time scared of the surgery, I can see how this journey has most definately lead me to a better ending.
Before this pregnancy, I was a selfish person. I went into this pregnancy, feeling that little soul tugging on my heart. I wanted another girl, I was sure it would be another girl, and why did I want another girl?? So I could dress her up in dresses and tights and bows. I wanted a "more fun" baby to dress one last time. And my girls had been easier and I didn't want another challenging boy at all! So if you had told me that little soul would definately be a boy, well honestly, I don't think I would have taken the plunge initially. I am embarassed to admit it bc I adore ALL my children. But I thought if I prayed hard enough for my girl, I would get my girl and all would be great. Honestly, I was like a selfish kid. I would worry a little bit about things not going perfectly "to plan", but then I would tell myself that God would grant me what I wanted. How selfish I was.
I think I started to realize and address my selfishness once I found out it was a boy. At first, when I found out I was having a boy, I was like a kid in a candy story, having a fit. I was so mad and couldn't believe I was risking my life for "another boy". As soon as I muttered those words, I started realizing how horrible they were for me to even think. But I still prayed for my boy to turn into a girl. To think that I thought that was the WORST thing that could ever happen to me at the time.
And here I am today. I have seen that there is MUCH worse then just having a much wanted girl turn into a boy. I have gotten past the point of even worrying about ME dying in this. I know God would be happy that even through my selfishness, I was able to make the "right" choices. I have no worries about where I am going when I die. But to think of never meeting this baby I HAVE fought so hard to bring into this world, to think of leaving my other 5 children motherless as well, very likely to be lost in this very much lost world, to think of leaving my husband with the sadness of losing his best friend and partner in life...well that hurts more then some petty loss of not being able to buy pink clothes. Ansen has shown me what life is truly about. Its NOT about me. Not at all. I was granted this wonderful life, and my purpose is not how I can fulfill my "wish list" of things I selfishly want. Nope, instead, my life itself was my one and only gift, and now my purpose is to bring more beauty into the world (through my children, through kindness, and hope and love and faith, all the while helping others and showing them the true beauty of life).
When you realize your days might be numbered, you suddenly see life in a totally different view. Each warm, sunny day feels like a gift from above. Gloomy, rainy days may be no fun, but suddenly you realize that rain has a soothing rhythm to it, and it brings life to the green all around you. Our kinda run down, practically grassless (thanks to little feet trampling it all the time), .12 acres of land adjoining our house once was nothing but an embarassment to me...but now I sit on a blanket, watch my kids play and see our yard as they do, a joyful place that our family is together and enjoying the beauty of the world around us. I sit there and cross stitch, and these beautiful projects come alive right before my fingers. Just now, Kylie looked up at the sky, at a giant cloud with light peeking through and exclaimed "look Mommy, God is peeking at us again." with a big smile, and Elise and Caden gazed up, smiling, telling me other moments they have noticed God peeking at them. So many little moments, that once upon a time I overlooked bc I was too busy, distracted by life. The beauty of my children's dirty little feet, dirtied after a hard day's play in the backyard....those little feet, resting on mine, toes curled. Their sweet faces that I just want to memorize forever, cowlicks and curls, big cheeks, pouty lips, inquisitive eyes, and sweet smiles.....those expressions, their little sayings. The movements I feel from within my body, reminding me that there is one more little special person, to one day to stare at and drink up. I just can't get enough of any of it. And then I see Doug interact with them and the love that pours out of him when he is around us all makes my heart just want to burst with joy.
Once upon a time, I was too busy to enjoy all these tiny little beautiful moments to my days, bc I let life get in the way. I didn't have as much time to enjoy today bc I was too busy making plans for tomorrow. And all the time, God was still working at giving me all that I truly NEEDED in life and waiting for me to realize that. And now, I fully understand that today is nothing more than a gift to us, as is our life. We aren't promised tomorrow, never have been, never will be. And what makes these todays most special is not what we physically HAVE, but instead how we perceive what we already have around us. Today, I cherished all the little moments I could, and tried to savor all the sweetness of my day. And very likely, tomorrow I will wake up to another gift of today....another day to see and experience and share the beauty of the world and people around us again. But then again, maybe today was my last today.
A year ago, my prayers consisted mostly of a list of my desires...and a few thank yous here and there. To think I thought that was true "praying". And today, my prayers include MANY thank yous....and very few desires of mine. God knows my heart and knows I want to live through this and thats basically all I can think of that important enough to pray for besides keeping my family and friends safe and relatively healthy. The rest of my prayers, usually whispered throughout my todays, include little thank yous for opening my eyes up to the beauty around me. Thank yous at night, when I see my sweet children, all cuddled up together at night, peacefully sleeping. Thank yous for the gorgeous palate of greens, with a kiss of color in all the blooming trees and flowers that surround us. Thank yous for the hot sun and cool breezes. Thank yous for my sweet husband. Thank yous for my wonderful mother in law, for my parents, for my sister and brother, for my niece, and for my friends. Thank yous for this sweet baby, rolling around and kicking within me. Too many thank yous to list, and to think that all I could think of to pray for before was my "request" list for the day/week/month.
So yes, I have most certainly been changed forever by this experience and its most certainly brought me to a new path of how I will live my life, no matter how long that may be. Part of me regrets that it took 30 years to fully learn and appreciate these "lessons". My life had been heading in this direction for some time, but for some reason, I was reluctant to let go of the selfish nature of my life until recently. And of course, that still remains an ongoing battle at times (I have not been "cured" of all my selfishness). Look at one of my last posts, where I WANT to convince my group of doctors to listen to me and have delivery when I want it. And as much as I want to give them heck and get this baby safely out of me asap, I do feel like it's in God's hands now. And He knows better then me. So if it's in His will that Ansen will be born at 35 weeks and 6 days, so be it. And if it's in His will for Ansen to be born earlier, I am sure I will get memo somehow or another. I have 26 more days til my delivery, which is actually 26 more potential "todays" to live and love and appreciate and offer thanks for. And hopefully, this IS my dark before the morning, and it won't compare to the joy that I'll be feeling in 26 more days. Its nice to think about for sure, but whats even nicer is to fully take in and enjoy the blessings I am SURROUNDED by right now, at this very moment in time. I will continue to do my best to treat each today as the gift it was meant to be: with an open mind and a gracious heart.