I was coasting. I knew I was coasting. I felt depressed, less than and I was blaming my stage of life. This new stage of life, this new circumstance, that I had prayed for, I had begged for, this circumstance, to be a Mom, which God had graciously given me, was making me feel less.
I felt less because I could no longer devote 40 plus hours a week to staff, which made me feel like I was failing. I had barely enough energy to say hello to my husband and I felt distant. And I always felt like I didn’t have enough time for my daughter. I can’t even mention the time I devoted to Jesus, because my time for Jesus, was whatever I had at the bottom of the barrel. In every area of my life, I felt like I had less capacity. And I felt like I was unable to change that, I felt stuck, like I was coasting.
So, I coasted into Church on the third week of Advent, unprepared for what God had in store.
While at church, I received a set of text messages from the editor of the Greek IV blog. I had completed my assignment and finished writing an advent devotional; however, one of the other writers had forgotten, leaving our advent series missing a week. At first I was annoyed and was going to allow everyone else to figure out the debacle because I didn’t have the capacity. But as I was sitting there, listening to the children light the Advent wreath I realized that I wasn’t meant to coast.
That Sunday was the Sunday we celebrated joy, because of Mary’s joy. As I looked at the passage, I wondered how could she possibly have joy? Here was a pregnant woman, who would probably have been dismissed from all of her friends and her religious community for being pregnant. She did not have financial prospects. She doesn’t even have pinterest to find articles about giving birth to a savior.
As I’m staring at the passage, I was struck by her ability to accept this new call on her life and the thankfulness she excepted in her iconic prayer, that we now call the Magnificat.
I looked at my life. We had wanted a baby, we prayed for this little girl and yet I hadn’t accepted the fact that my life had changed. Nor had I been thankful for my new life that God had so graciously given me.
I was so no longer the wife who could spend hours at night talking with my husband going out whenever to hang out. I could not longer give 80 hours a week to campus. My life had changed. But this new stage of life, with all the new limitations and rules was exactly where God needed me.
As I read over the Magnificat I heard God clearly say, I’ve blessed you with this child and with this new stage of life. It doesn’t make you less than, it doesn’t make you half a staff, or half a wife or half mother. I’ve called you, I’ve given you this child. And your stage of life is what makes you perfect for the calling I’ve given you.
A sense of overwhelming thankfulness flooded over me. I became thankful that my baby taught me the importance of rest and modeling that rest was a blessing to my students and my team a like. Having a baby and less time taught me to be intentional with my friends and husband. And I’m so thankful for the gift of intentionality. And the hours I’m away from my daughter, model for her a commitment to my calling and teach me to trust the Lord with my most precious gift.
As women, we treat our circumstances as something to overcome rather than a gift from the Lord. If we are single, we consider ourselves less than because we don’t have a marriage to honor the longings God has given us. If we are married, we feel less than because we don’t have the freedom we had as single woman. Every stage of life appears to be an obstacle to overcome. However, if we see God as the author of our life and our stages as a gift from the LORD, then we have the freedom to be thankful for the blessings we are to the kingdom.
And with that freedom comes the ability to thrive as disciples of Jesus Christ.