Making Room for Hope

A little over a week ago we ventured to IKEA to find furniture for Isaiah’s new “big boy room” in what used to be our guest room.  It was exciting for all 3 of us to pick out bunk beds and shelves to bless our little man with and God provided what we needed.  After piling it all into the car, my stomach was in knots.  Of course part of it was because I hate spending money…but I knew there was more to it that was just waiting to boil to the surface.  Daddy was excited to get started on the room right away and little man was willing to make “the big move”.  Mommy, however, was dragging her feet…big time.  Sure I had all kinds of logical reasons, but the biggest one is the same reason there’s still a “big brother” shirt with the tags still on it stuffed in the back of Isaiah’s closet…

I was (okay, okay…am) afraid to hope.

We bought “big brother” pajamas for Isaiah before…but he only wore them for a few months.  We had plans for him to move out of the nursery last year…but he stayed and I couldn’t bear the thought of an empty room.  I delivered a baby in the same hospital I delivered Isaiah…but I came home with an empty blanket.  I’ve spent the past 2 years of my life trying to learn the delicate balance of asking the Lord for MY desires, while submitting my will to His and praying that I can accept what He deems as good and best for me.  In the process, in an attempt to protect myself from disappointment or pain or doubt, I know I’ve been slow to hope and quick to prepare myself for the worst.  I know that I don’t deserve this baby and am overwhelmed by God’s grace in ordaining this pregnancy.  Still, to be completely honest, there have been times when I was afraid to be too happy or want it too much or get too attached…like if I did God was waiting to snatch it from my hands.  This is why there are index cards with Scripture all over my kitchen…not just for helping replace my fear with courage, but also to remind myself of my loving Father’s character as opposed to the lies Satan was (and is) feeding me.

After shedding more tears and praying more prayers, we’ve begun the process of moving Isaiah’s stuff into his new room.  Today I was cleaning out toy bins and baskets…stashing away things that he doesn’t play with anymore or throwing away things that aren’t helpful to him.  I know that I need to do some “cleaning out” myself.  Though I may not be able to completely overcome my fear until our Toby is safely in my arms, I can choose what to do with the thoughts and memories that really aren’t helpful.  You see, 30 weeks into my pregnancy, my fears are different than they were at the beginning.  Because I can feel my son squirming, kicking, and hiccuping, I don’t struggle so much with the paralyzing fear that he’s not alive.  Instead my fear has moved more toward worry about laboring and delivering my precious and so desperately wanted baby boy.

I had an excellent experience delivering Isaiah…but it feels so long ago and it’s hard for me to remember the joy in the midst of labor/delivery pains and the way my mind wiped out a lot of the pain from my memory all together.  Instead, now when I think of labor, my more immediate memories are of my last delivery.  The agony of an induced labor when your body (and heart) are not at all ready to release the child.  The painful exams and insertion of medication that had to happen repeatedly over the course of those long 52 hours.  The threat of an operation if my body didn’t expel that which provided life to my baby for those 4 months…and the agonizing physical and emotional pain that accompanied it when it did.  It’s really difficult at this point to not let my mind go to those memories when I imagine what I’ll experience with my next child.  I really wish I could throw those dark memories out with the unnecessary toys…but it’s so so so hard.

A nasty cold bug finally invaded the Johnson house last week and Isaiah developed a nasty cough because of it.  He was having a difficult time sleeping the other night and just wanted me to hold him.  In the darkness and silence of the middle of the night, my 3+ foot tall and 30+ pound baby boy crawled into my lap, over my bulging belly, and insisted on laying his head on my chest like he has so many times over the past 3 years.  Only then did his crying and coughing stop.  I rocked him and prayed for him until I felt his body relax and start falling back to a peaceful sleep.  Knowing that he’d be more comfortable in his bed, I asked him if he was ready to go back.  He simply responded with…

“Um.  No, thank you.”

I was happy to oblige his request and have replayed those sweet words and that quiet moment often in my mind over the past few days.  This afternoon when I sat down to read, I literally had to catch my breath when I came across these words from Oswald Chambers…

“Let the past sleep, but let it sleep on the bosom of Christ.  Leave the Irreparable Past in His hands, and step out into the Irresistible Future with Him.”

Oh, how I needed those words today!  Why would Isaiah want to go back to that dark, cold bed when he could sleep curled up on his Mother’s chest?  I’m praying more and more that I can leave that dark, cold bed of those moments…not forgetting or sweeping it under the rug, but releasing and letting it sleep.  I want to rest knowing that both my past and future are in His hands…and allow myself to look forward to what He has for me next without worry (Oh, this is so hard for me!).  As Elizabeth Elliot said…

“We are meddling with God’s business when we let all manner of imaginings loose, predicting disaster, contemplating possibilities instead of following, one date at a time, God’s plain and simple pathway.  When we try to meet difficulties prematurely we have neither the light nor the strength for them yet…God knows how to apportion each one’s strength according to that day’s need, however great or small.”

As I’m tempted to dwell, worry, or fear, I’m praying that my response will be the same as Isaiah’s…

Um.  No, thank you.

…and rest, instead, in the loving arms of my Father’s goodness…cleaning out a room for hope.

“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me?  Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.” -Psalm 42:5


5 responses

  1. Love the thought of curling up in Christ’s bosom…..can relate to what you are feeling…praying for you and yours knowing God is in contrlol and has grown you so through this……Love ya….

    • LOve this post, Meg. I can relate in a small way w so many fears during my pregnancy as well. God has taught you so much about Him and yourself through Isaiah. Thanks for sharing the lessons. You are an encouragement to many!

  2. Thankyou for sharing your heart. I love the picture you give through your story…letting our past dark moments lay sleeping. Praying for you, rejoicing for you, and blessed by you!

  3. Thank you so much for this! I’m so quick to go that route…afraid to be too happy, worried what will happen if I am. I love the quote by Elizabeth Elliot..I needed that. Gives me a different perspective! thanks ❤

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