When Life Stands Still

Have you ever felt your life stand still?  Maybe for a moment, a day, a week, a month or even a year?  You see friends and acquaintances moving on, possibly furthering their careers or even changing their career all together, or having more children and adding to their family.  And through it all, you kind of feel stagnant.  Stagnant is probably not the best word to use because it implies dis-satisfaction in some way.  I do not feel dis-satisfied, but I have felt a little out of sorts recently.

My teens are growing up and are pretty much independent.  And I am SO proud of the incredible people they are becoming.  I feel so very grateful I was able to be with them day in day out, and I wouldn’t change the decision to homeschool for a minute.  In fact I appreciate it even more now because I realise, in a way I could never have forseen all those years ago, that though the days be long the years are in deed short.   My younger two, who have been my ‘littles’ for so long, can not really be called that any more.  I am blessed with a very snuggly six year old, but nevertheless, I am no longer the first place she comes to in the morning for her early morning hugs, she no longer wakes at night looking for mummy to comfort her.  I miss that warm sleepy body snuggling into mine.  It is bittersweet.  I want them to develop and grow up.  It is how it should be.  But my arms ache for those baby cuddles that are no longer, those chubby toddler arms wrapped around my neck so tightly I can hardly breath.  A moment of complete contentedness and now without it I feel almost bereft.

Six years ago we made the decision not to have any more children.  We had been told by five different consultants another one would kill me, and Gary was certain that he preferred the idea of five children with a wife and mother than six or more children without.  When I tell you I found it easier to come to terms with the diagnosis of invasive malignant melanoma (one of the more deadliest cancers around) than I did not being able to have any more children, you will maybe see a glimpse into how sad being barren makes me.  I understand I have five children and really have nothing to be sad about, but feelings often do not have their root in sense, and I always believe being honest, at least with oneself, is very important.  And of course, it wasn’t just that I couldn’t have any more children, it was the death of the dream I had for my life, the death of the future I had all mapped out for myself (yes, I am grinning wryly to myself.  Clearly God had other plans!).

I mentioned to my friend, D, how I was feeling.  I knew that a few years earlier she too had felt that same feeling of life standing still, albeit for different reasons.  Gary and I have big dreams for our future.  Dreams we believe God has placed in our hearts, and on the hearts of our children.  Huge, great, blow you out of the water dreams.  Dreams we have been praying about for years.  Dreams which we can not put into action until the younger girls are a little older.  And dreams which cannot come to fruition without a Great Big God intervention.  This feeling of life standing still?  It is spot on!  D describes it as a period of waiting on God.  Life, in a way, is standing still, while we wait.

 Wait for the Lord; Be strong, and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.  {Psalm 27:14}

But we are not accustomed to waiting for anything anymore!  We live in an instant gratification society.  And yet waiting is a part of life.

I often share with my children just how exciting living a life with Christ at my side actually is.  God knows everything about me: my past, my present, and yes, even my future.  If I could just wait, expectantly, yes always expectantly, but also patiently on the Lord to direct my path, maybe, just maybe life would no longer feel stuck.

I wait for the LORD, my soul does wait, And in His word do I hope.  My soul waits for the Lord More than the watchmen for the morning; Indeed, more than the watchmen for the morning.  {Psalm 130:5-6}

D also said that often the waiting on God is a time of preparation of the things He has for you.  One of the dvds we watched a couple of Sundays ago was Facing the Giants.  The following quote from the film really spoke into my situation:

I heard a story of two farmers praying to God for rain to come. Both prayed but only one prepared the land. Who do you think trusted God more to send the rain?

Gary and I believe that God has something special just round the corner, something which will end this period of waiting.  But waiting doesn’t need to be stagnant (to steal the word I used at the top of this post).   Gary and I have prayed and been prayed for with regards to our ‘rain’.  I want to be the farmer who expects rain, the one who believes and trusts God to send the rain.  I want to prepare my land.  And with that preparation comes expectation, with the expectation comes optimism, with optimism comes light and with light, joy; joy for both the future and also, more importantly, the present.

I may be barren, but God is not.  He is a productive and incredibly giving God.  Each one of us has a story, and until we breathe our last breath, that story has not ended.  All things are possible with Christ.  All things.

For nothing will be impossible with God {Luke 1:37}

My heart feels lighter and my arms less empty.  For I have God in my life and that is true for today, yesterday and all of my tomorrows.  Nothing is impossible.  And I will be expecting and preparing for my rain.

6 comments

  1. Sending you a BIG hug, Claire. We wanted 6 originally but ended up with 3 with large gaps between ages instead……and although I sometimes have a sense of loss when I see big families, the three we got have been such a source of joy that clearly we were meant to have this exact family. I’m sure there are many more firsts coming for you and Gary, and that you’re exactly where you need to be, hard as it may seem.

  2. Sending you a hug as this brought teats to my eyes. So much of what you say rings true. I hope your preparations make your dreams all the more fruitful. ❤

  3. You are such a lovely woman! I can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store. I know it’s something special. He is so very faithful. ❤

  4. When I was in college the city I was in had a bad drought. Like the lake nearby shrunk to less than half of its size. My senior year I would see churches posting signs saying “Prayer meeting for rain, bring your umbrella,” which always made me smile.
    Then my last fall there, one day, ironically the day I was supposed to leave town for a test, it rained 14 inches. Roads flooded, a bus floated away in the flooding, it was crazy. We all commented, how when the history books look back at the year, no one will believe it was such a drought, because in that one day we went from way below average rainfall to record highs.

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