Thursday, July 26, 2012

thick in my thin

I type with one hand, pecking away while my left arm encircles my peaceful child, content as long as she's near mom. By the extended time it has taken to type that first sentence she squirms with hunger making a liar out of me.

Thin.

Across the dimly lit living room, we both collapsed in self poured-out exhaustion. I told Aron that all of life feels very thin right now. My frame looks fragile in the mirror, and its that time after the fullness of pregnancy when my hair falls out in clumps scaring me half to death I might really lose it all. For the health of my girl, I have chosen to eat only a handful of foods, and 3 months on end of eating to live and to nourish my child, and I feel thin in nearly every dimension.

I think it is the accumulation of much of life pressing in, but three children has been more challenging than I imagined, and I feel thin - my resources simply not enough for all their needs. My patience has been so thin at times, and my day to day often feels like a hamster wheel, running myself ragged and never going anywhere. All the while knowing these moments are my life, and they are a gift.

And so I stand over stove and pray through tears, "Jesus, come. Be thick among my thin."

And he does. He blankets me in presence and patience and perspective and hope. I pour grapeseed oil in my oatmeal, adding calories wherever I can, and I feel him nourishing my heart this way: taking my thin, pouring over me the richness of his Spirit giving me all I need to thrive for today.

This journey of motherhood, it is a constant pouring out of self. And I would be empty if He weren't constantly, moment by moment filling my hollow places so I have something to offer the lives at my feet.

I don't want to waste these hardships, and I feel myself bowing to them. A younger me would fight them in frustration, knowing this is not how life is supposed to be. But God taught me something right in the middle of labor, 8 centimeters of excruciating pain. And each wave seemed unbearable and I writhed and twisted and fought against the pain so hard. I sang, no, I pleaded somewhere between earth and outer space, "I may be weak, but your Spirit's strong in me. My flesh may fail, but my God, you never will." And I felt Him gently coach me to submit to the pain. To allow it to accomplish its purpose: to open me up to new life. As the next contraction came, I simply went limp, allowing my body to do what it must. The pain remained, but somehow, enduring it was easier now that I wasn't fighting against it. So now I remember James' words to consider facing trials pure joy because of what will be accomplished through perseverance. And Paul's words about God's discipline, so painful at the time, but only for a little time, for our good, that we may share in his holiness. So I whisper prayers in my thinness, "God let this hardship change me. Help me to allow it to accomplish the good it should. To birth new life in me."

So thin in my flesh just now, but as I explained to Aron, "Never before has Jesus' words been more alive for me, 'I am the Bread of Life.'" I feed on him, and he nourishes like no food can.

1 comment:

j said...

E, I feel for you because I so understand, in many ways (the same yet different,) some of what you are going through. I know it's been a while since we've had a heart to heart to get "caught up" on the latest in our lives...but I think i know enough to understand much of the "thin" you write about. I've recently gone through long seasons of thinness and drought. In fact, our family has gone through years of it. And although not completely out of the woods yet, I can tell you that the beauty He makes in the process will be worth it. The new life in you will bloom with awakening and a beauty of its own, and you will be able to confidently say, "I count it all as joy." You will.

How else could we possibly know with mind and heart's certainty that He is our everything, our more than enough? How could we ever learn full dependence on Him? There could be no other way.

Oh, it takes the thin. It takes the desert. It takes the drought. But it also takes Him. The One who sends daily manna, enough to sustain. Who sends sprinkles of peace and showers of mercy when we need them most... and surprises us with torrential downpours fattening us with the fullness of His presence, when we feel dry and thin enough to break. But take heart, "A bruised reed He will not break and a smoldering wick He will not snuff out." Matthew 12:20.

A friend recently texted me with this quote from Haruki Murakami's book "What I think about When I think about Running"...the quote goes, "Emotional hurt is the price a person has to pay in order to be independent." Can I tell you how much this saddened me? How backwards the world has it. My response to her was, "Emotional hurt is the price a person has to pay in order to lose their independence and completely depend on God."

These hardships will pass e. I already see beauty and work He is doing in you and through you in the process. Going from 2-3 kids wasn't what I expected either. There really aren't adequate words to describe the transition until you go through it yourself. Although I have days I now feel balanced, I still struggle to strike that balance. You add all the health scares and illness you've had in your family on top of everything else and it's no wonder you feel fragile and thin.

But, you're perspective is in alignement with His. Through the thinness, I see the flame of your heart still shining brightly. Brilliantly. This soon shall pass, this season of thinness. And you will be better for it. He will not fail you. Let Him be your bread of life and feast on His goodness. It's stored up for you, you know...that goodness. His Word says so, "How great is your goodness which you have stored up for those who fear you, which you bestow in the sight of men on those who take refuge in you." Psalm 31:19. It'll keep coming. Be looking for it, and gather that manna daily as you wait.

"Those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength, they will soar on wings like eagles, run and not grow weary, walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:31

I love you much. And in the great words of Spurgeon, "Hope on, Hope ever!"