baby J

Daring faith

  
Tonight I had the awesome privilege of bringing God’s story to our youth and leaders – the story of the bleeding woman in Mark 5. We do things a little differently at iYouth – we step into God’s Word through the medium of story telling and narratives. So not only did I get to read the story aloud, I also got to piece it together from various translations. I got to really know the woman in this story and see how she encountered Jesus. 

This is one of my absolute favourite stories – there is so much to unpack and understand in it. The major themes we pulled out tonight were desperate women do desperate things and daring faith

It wasn’t until I was reading the story to myself in preparation for tonight that I realised how much I could learn from this woman’s story and apply it to my personal journey. For those who have been following my blogs, you’ll know husband and I are expecting a fresh faced addition to our team this year…but in that, I have found that my fears have turned the volume up on their voices.

Don’t get what I mean?

Let me lay it out…we’re going to be parents and there’s not a single thing that we have been able to do that ensures the health or growth of our baby. We can’t choose if she/he has perfectly formed fingers and toes or if his/her eyesight will be good. We can’t determine his/her gifts and talents and whether they’ll be able to do their math homework one day or shoot hoops in the school yard. We have no control over those sorts of things – and others – and it scares the bajingies out of me. My head and heart get clogged with the voices of these fears, telling me that our child won’t be good at this, or might have that disorder or won’t be able to do things for themselves…I’ve been fighting these voices with the whispered truths of my Creator, and having the task of delivering the narrative tonight was perfectly gifted from God.

The lessons and truths I had hoped that people would grasp tonight ended up being what I grasped…daring faith was what this woman was living off of as she reached for Jesus’ cloak. She knew that He had the power to accept her and make her whole again…and I see that I can be like this too. 

Have daring faith when the voices are telling me otherwise…

The voices around that woman were more real than mine are, in a physical sense, but the application of seeking Jesus in the midst of those voices is the same. He has the power to cast them aside and fill your spirit with hope and joy.

I’ll still get anxious. I’ll still be nervous. I’ll still be afraid. But in the presence of my Creator – at the feet of the One who has gifted us this little package – my fears are quieted…

<<Mark 5:25-31>>

25 there was a woman who had suffered continuous bleeding for 12 years, bleeding that made her ritually unclean and an outcast according to the purity laws. 26 She had suffered greatly; and although she spent all her money on her medical care, she had only gotten worse. 27 She had heard of this Miracle-Man, Jesus, so she snuck up behind Him in the crowd and reached out her hand to touch His cloak.


Woman (to herself): 28 Even if all I touch are His clothes, I know I will be healed.


29 As soon as her fingers brushed His cloak, the bleeding stopped. She could feel that she was whole again.


30 Lots of people were pressed against Jesus at that moment, but He immediately felt her touch; He felt healing power flow out of Him.


He stopped. Everyone stopped. He looked around.


Jesus: Who just touched My robe?


31 His disciples broke the uneasy silence.


Disciples: Jesus, the crowd is so thick that everyone is touching You. Why do You ask, “Who touched Me?”


32 But Jesus waited. His gaze swept across the crowd to see who had done it. 33 At last, the woman—knowing He was talking about her—pushed forward and dropped to her knees. She was shaking with fear and amazement.


Woman: I touched You.


Then she told Him the reason why. 34 Jesus listened to her story.


Jesus: Daughter, you are well because you dared to believe. Go in peace, and stay well.

———————————————————

<Jimmy Needham – ‘Stay’>

You lead me like the dawning of the day

You lead me like April leads into May

You lead me like the stone you rolled away

You take my hand and we will run away


Just like a child I rest upon your knee

Just like a song your love it sings to me

Beside your arms I find a symphony

You take my hand and then we run away


To the place where my fears have no voice at all

The only sound in my ear, the whisper of your call

This moment is frozen, I’m not going anywhere

I linger forever, If only I could stay here


Remember all those years ago we met

All I recall are days of past regret

And you felt so far but I had never left

Just wanting you to take my hand and run


To the place where my fears have no voice at all

The only sound in my ear, the whisper of your call

This moment is frozen, I’m not going anywhere

I linger forever, If only I could stay, If only I could stay


In the place where my fears have no voice at all

The only sound in my ear, the whisper

In the place where my fears have no voice at all

The only sound in my ear, the whisper of your call

This moment is frozen, I’m not going anywhere

I linger forever, If only I could stay, If I could stay…here.

(Image courtesy of Pinterest)

baby J

What I’m learning…

  
Being pregnant is tough.

Ok, ok…it’s not as tough as a lot of other things in this world, but it sure isn’t a walk in the park (though I went for one of those yesterday). There are so many moments where I just wish I could throw in the towel, sit down in the middle of the floor and drink a glass of wine with some soft cheese on crackers. Then of course, I wouldn’t be about to receive one of the greatest gifts I think I’ll ever have the pleasure of unwrapping. So, while I wait this nine months out, trying desperately to keep it together and cling to the promises of my Creator, what have I been learning? 

1. I can’t do everything I used to do. Even when I COULD see my feet still, I was so sick I was barely able to get from the lounge to the bathroom and back again. Now that the sickness has mostly passed (praise the lord!) the aches and pains and swelling and bloating and stiffness has kicked in and my abilities are once again hindered. I can’t run – I can barely walk quickly! I can’t bend in the middle. I can’t sit for a long time, I can’t stand for a long time. I can’t lie on my back and I struggle to get up from the floor. Sounds delightful doesn’t it? But in these limitations, I am – slowly – learning that if I can slow down and accept help NOW I can slow down and accept help when Baby J is here. I can relish the time with our little one because my need for speed and urgency won’t exist as it has in the past. I can smile and say thank you from a genuine place in my soul for the meals cooked and the babysitting offered.

2. Heartburn is a beast! I’ve had heartburn before – we all have, yes? These days I get it several times a day and it’s like a volcano erupting inside my throat! So far, the remedies I’ve tried haven’t worked all that well, though eating an apple helped settle it a little…if you have anything that has worked a treat, please do let me know!

3. My husband is my biggest supporter. It must be so surreal and odd to be having a baby – about to be a parent – but not actually physically a part of this time. He doesn’t really know what it feels like and I’m sure that must be hard…but I have come to know quite quickly that he is the biggest supporter of anything that I need or want during this time. He’s cooked random meals, done housework, booked appointments, come with with me to them, ordered books, tied my shoes, run me baths, brewed me tea and all kinds of other things! But amongst all these acts of love, he has prayed for me and whispered words of encouragement when my spirit has been low and my eyes misty with tears. He has always got a word of strength and a prayer to offer and this means the world to me, especially during this time.

4. I don’t actually mind people touching my stomach. I thought I would! I thought I’d hate it with a passionate fire and need one of those ‘hands off!’ tshirts to wear, but in all honesty, I don’t mind it. It makes me feel like that my friends and family can be a part of this and it shows me just how much Baby J will be loved….though don’t get me wrong, if a random stranger tries to do it, I might set aside my aches and pains and deliver some hefty karate chops! 😉

5. Don’t compare, don’t compare, don’t compare…”comparison is the thief of joy” and in this case, it’s very true for me. Sometimes, well-meaning comments from those around me or too long scrolling through mama-blog after mama-blog of pregnancy, birth and parenting experiences set my grey matter going – “am I supposed to be bigger like her? Am I supposed to be fitter like she is? Was I supposed to do that too? What if my baby isn’t like theirs?” The list goes on…comparison strangles my ability to relish the good moments, seek God in the tough moments and prepare in my own way for what lies ahead. Every woman, every pregnancy, every baby, every relationship is different and if I let the comparison set in, then I lose sight of my divinely created individuality and I discount my own experiences. 

These are just some of the bigger things that I am learning on this journey to parenthood, but by no means the end of the list! Each day comes with new trials, new triumphs and fresh chances to experience where God has called me to be in the now…what I’m learning the most though, through all my mini lessons, is that if I am trying to please the people around me rather than my God, I’m not living authentically. I’m not properly experiencing this time for myself. I’m not perfect, my pregnancy isn’t perfect and my child won’t be perfect either. But I’m learning that to be honest about how I feel, is to be real and to be real means that my ownership of this period of my life still remains.

What are you learning…?

  
(Images courtesy of Pinterest)