Monday, May 17, 2010

Slow & Steady

It has been raining a lot. The clouds have taken a semi-permanent residence over our town. I am supposed to be happy for this time I have to sit and heal. Yet I just want a patch of sunshine and an opportunity to take all four of my children to the park and blow bubbles for hours. Realistically I know I won't get passed the second house before I crumble into pain on the sidewalk. I know I have had major surgery in my mind but my heart just wants to make leaps and jumps into my old active life with my children.

This desire I have to skip the healing process makes me think of a lot of things I desire for my life. I am constantly evaluating myself. I want God to change me and make me the woman, wife, mother, daughter and friend  that he (and I) can be proud of.  I recently read an article about mothering. Different adults shared their stories of being raised by their moms. Many of the stories had levels of grief and sadness woven into each word. The one that struck me the most was a story that a man wrote about his mother. She had 12 children and only 2 of the 12 attended her funeral. I remember reading that story and wondering if am I heading in that direction with my children.

Whenever I share this fear with my friends they always tell me not to be silly and of course I am a great mom. In my mind great moms are so far from who I am. I so desperately want to be a better mother that I have prayed for God to conduct a miracle and "transform" me overnight. If not overnight I would accept that he could do this in a month, season or a year.   But that's it.  I need results and I need them fast!

Recently I felt prompted to look up the meaning of the word "transform". To my surprise the definition of the word "transform" did not have any references to time.

1 a : to change in composition or structure b : to change the outward form or appearance of c : to change in character or condition : convert

Yet all the Bible stories that made an impact on me as a child speak of transforming as an instantaneous act. I have grown up thinking that this is the only way God brings about serious change.

On the first Sunday after my c-section I went to church. I had an overwhelming desire to be around God's people. I couldn't wait to worship together. As the service progressed I became sore and uncomfortable. The thought of my moss green sectional waiting for my aching body to rest on was very comforting. I couldn't wait to get home. I was finally ready to accept that my recovery will take time and instead of looking at this time as a death sentence, I could use it as an opportunity to restore my body. 

Restoration requires space and time. Sitting on my moss green sectional gave me the opportunity to cuddle with my children, reply to e-mails in a timely manner, return phone calls to well wishers, read my on-line devotionals, pray, and sleep. I also gained a new sense of gratitude for pain. The first few days home from the hospital I became frustrated and depressed because of the amount of pain I was in. Later it occurred to me that the pain I felt was a stop sign that helped me avoid even more pain. Without that pain I would have injured myself because of my eagerness to get out.

I know that even though I can't see it my body is being restored. This can only happen through the slow passage of time spent in rest and stillness.  It occurred to me that God can transform me in the slow passage of time or the quick flashes of time.  It is his decision and for his purpose.  My impatience at the slow changes that are occurring in my body and my heart is a reminder to live in complete obedience to God.  Timing is God's work, and obedience is mine.  After all every turtle knows that slow and steady wins the race. 


Rebecca MacIntosh said...

Firstly I LOVE the new look! This is beautiful!
Secondly... you cannot fathom the inspiration and comfort you are to others through your honesty and example... and your deep rooted and strong love for your family. Though I would never wish upon you to stop growing into the woman you are being called to be, I want you to know that you are incredible in this moment! xoxo

brianna said...

"Timing is God's work, and obedience is mine." Love this! Very, very well put. Thank you. Truly.