***Update*** I had Travis take my picture this afternoon so you could see our little "bump". This is me at the end of 12 weeks. Kind of exciting and crazy to see myself looking pregnant!!
I cannot believe it is Friday...Where did this week go? I have apparently been on a blog hiatus, unable to catch up with all of you lately. We have just had one of those weeks that was so full of "stuff" every day, and although I'm glad it's finally Friday, we have a busy weekend ahead of us, so I'm going into it pretty exhausted! I really won't get a break until Sunday after church...Lord help me until then!
Also, recently I've been telling people that I feel like I've finally turned a corner with the nausea and that I was just waiting to get some energy back. Well, that must have been a mistake because this week has been a hard one. I have not felt great at all, with waves of nausea all day long and yet a bigger appetite than before! I am hungry CONSTANTLY and more exhausted than ever. And for some reason, now I am getting headaches to go along with all of that. But, once again, even though I would love to give all those things up, I am oddly comforted that all is well and the baby is growing. So, it's totally worth it but hard not to long for a day when I feel "normal" again. Will that day ever come back??
It amazes me that we are almost at the end of this 12th week. I am definitely starting to show now, I have just a little bump that is more noticeable than before. Lately lots of people are feeling my stomach...That is a weird thing!?!? I know I've probably done that to people, but it's odd to have hands on that part of you...All the junior high girls are just giddy over it though! I can see them immediately do a scan of my stomach before they look me in the eye and say hi now! Then most of them squeal and tell me how "cute" it is that they can see my bump and they can hardly stand there without reaching out to touch me! But they aren't the only ones, 90% of all people who know I'm pregnant do the exact same thing. They greet my stomach before they greet me in the eyes. It's so funny. I don't mind it at all, I love that I finally have something to look at!! We read this week that the baby is about the size of a lime now, which is amazing to me. God is so busy creating all those little details and knitting our little one together. We continue to marvel at the miracle of it all. This is such a blessing that we have been given!
Speaking of that, I had one of those moments this week that took me completely by surprise. For those of you who have read my blog for awhile now, you know that last year, we walked through a very heartbreaking thing when we had a student who was only 14, from a very broken situation, get pregnant. I wrote about the aftermath of that briefly here , but obviously I was never able to share details out of respect for her privacy. Our hearts broke during that time, not only for this student who was going to be forever changed, but also for that sweet baby who never asked to be brought into the situation. We spent most of the pregnancy, frustrated by choices being made and yet compelled to counsel her toward a specific outcome. She did the best she could, but she was only 14. No one is ready to be a mother at 14. We learned TREMENDOUS ministry lessons through that season, things that I never would have seen had we not experienced that. It was very, very difficult for me to handle that situation without immense bitterness and envy. We were 2 years into our own journey of trying to have a baby and you can imagine how unfair it seemed to us to watch this story unfold. God helped me walk through that pregnancy with a guard around my heart and gave me heaps of grace when I needed it the most, during her delivery. I have never felt so conflicted as I did that day. Filled with joy and awe at a new little life and yet mourning for what was ahead of this precious little girl. Well, fast forward to a year and a half later. Lots of things have unfolded, some predicted, some not. We have not had the contact with her as we once did. In the same way the Lord led me through that season, He made it very clear when it was time to walk away and end contact on our part.
We have often wondered how they are, what's happening, or if victory was possible. Well, after many, many months, we saw them at Church on Sunday. It was good. Both Mom and Baby are doing better, in a more stable situation and getting older. We still pray for them and obviously hope that the Lord will use the many conversations we had and the prayers many have prayed to protect them and draw them close to Him over the years. He knows what's best for the situation and each of them. We trust Him because He loves both of them more than we possibly could. Anyway, all that to say, I've always thought I NEVER wanted to experience that again. It was very hard. Now that I'm pregnant, it seems even more far-fetched. I can't imagine how she did that.
Well, on Wednesday night, I was minding my own business, returning a DVD before Church, when I heard someone call my name. I looked around to see this particular 20 year old, whom I haven't had much patience for. Why is it always that way Lord?? She has popped in and out of our life recently, and I've wondered why? She's mostly confirmed all the red-flags I've always had about her behavior, but I know the Lord keeps bringing her back to teach me something. Life hasn't been easy for her, she's seen much dysfunction and heartache too. I know that. But she's also made a series of very, very poor decisions. And she knows better. I think. Anyway, I expected just a quick conversation and the usual stuff, but this time she stopped me in my tracks. It took her 10 seconds to immediately blurt out, "I'm 10 1/2 weeks pregnant!" I can't imagine the look that must have been on my face. I had no idea what to say. Somehow I stumbled through a series of questions, trying to keep my distance, and yet she kept pushing, "I need to talk to you guys", "when can we get together??" Everything in me wanted to run. If it's possible, this situation seems to be worse than what we experienced before. I can't do this again. That's what I keep thinking. I can't watch someone bring an innocent life into more dysfunction. But, the Lord keeps reminding me, this isn't about me. He is behind the story of every baby, no matter how tragic is seems to us. He created that life. He wants to bring healing. What seems so wrong to us, has been allowed by Him. Who am I to question that?
So, anyway, here we are again. It won't be the same as before, we've learned too many valuable lessons from last time, not to be impacted by them. But her need is very great. I have no idea what will happen or what we'll be able to do. I have great compassion for her baby, realizing that hers will be very close in age to mine. Their entrances will be similar and yet, they will be born into 2 different worlds. Life is just like that. I wish I could change the situation and hand that baby off to some of you who are waiting on your own miracle. Believe me, I know how that feels, I was just there a year and a half ago. But the Lord is above all, SOVEREIGN. He has a plan that is greater than ours and he sees a bigger picture that we cannot. I hope that is an encouragement to you today. In the good times and the bad times, He always knows better.
"O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done marvelous things, things planned long ago."
Blessings to you on this Friday! Hope you have a wonderful weekend ahead of you.