And I’m starting to think they can happen spiritually, as well – these false pregnancies.
We look around and see these women birthing God-sized dreams, doing amazing God-sized things. And we want it so badly, we start thinking we see the signs. We mistake the flutterings we feel inside as we gaze at their manifesting dreams for the stirrings of our own plans and purposes.
And we labor and we work and we bear down hard, but nothing comes. Nothing happens. And we pull back and we look up and we shake our heads in frustration and confusion. “Hey. What’s the deal? I’m wanting to do this for You.”
And I have been this woman wishing I could pee on some stick to let me know – am I pregnant with Your dreams for me yet God? Have You planted something wondrous inside of me? Am I going to birth something for You? And will that be sometime soon?
Well-meaning people, they don’t make any of it much better, these pregnancy desires.
They ask the couple that’s been married for a few years when they’re going to have a baby. Because the couple needs that pressure? Because the only reason you get married is to have children? Because they want someone making them feel like there must be something wrong with them since they haven’t had a child yet?
Seven years into writing at this place, I’ve had some of those same well-meaning people with their well-meant questions. And I know they mean it as a compliment, but I shift uncomfortable when the question comes up – So are you writing a book yet? And I smile and say I might like to someday, masking feelings of failure and disappointment because I’ve tried. I have felt the longings and I have felt the stirrings and I have sat down and tried to make the book words come out – but they haven’t.
And what’s a woman who longs to birth something good and lovely and noble for Him to do?
Pen in hand, heart and pages laid wide open, I spent time last week journaling and talking to God about all of this. This stuff of dreaming with Him and being brave and birthing God-sized things. Me – this woman who is just now learning to stop apologizing for wanting to write. And I thought about being pregnant with my girls. How there was the day I deep down knew I was pregnant, no awkward stick required. And as my girls grew, I swelled with them, their kicks and nudges becoming undeniable.
And I can’t help but smile as I remember my third daughter. How I was wide-eyed and begging the laid back doctor to hurry over because the pressure, oh the pressure. That girl was coming and he needed to put down his cup of coffee and come catch her fast. And he scoffed a bit until he walked over and checked me. And when she came onto the scene with no more than a push or two, I bit my tongue and didn’t say a word to him about how a third time mom, she knows what she’s talking about.
My journal filled with questions.
Is this what it will be like when I’m pregnant, Lord?
With a book, with an idea, with a dream.
Will I deep down know? Will there be this swelling and this stretching? Will there be these undeniable Holy Spirit kicks and nudges? And when it’s time, when it’s really and truly time, to bear down and birth those dreams – won’t I know? Because I’m thinking I will be so swollen with them – with the pressure and the need to push those dreams out weighty and urgent – I’m thinking surely, I’ll know it’s time.
And I while I feel like there are stirrings – tiny ideas forming and coming together – He’s telling me it’s just not time.
It’s not time to labor.
It’s not time to push.
I journal more:
Books and babies – they need time to grow.
Books and babies – it’s not healthy for them to be pushed out too soon.
Books and babies – they are meant to be conceived and birthed out of covenant relationship intimacy.
Conviction stirs and I start to wonder if I have long been seeking Him out with a misaligned heart. A heart so desperate to birth something that I have started approaching my Love not for intimacy, but instead simply for pregnancy.
Seeking Him out as a means to an end.
Begging Him to conceive something in me.
Slipping into a place of wanting something from Him more than I desire to be with Him.
His whisper in my heart is tender and clear.
Just be Mine.
Just enjoy Me.
Enjoy My love.
Enjoy My presence.
Enjoy a deep and soul-satisfying relationship with Me.
Seek Me for Me.
Because He is the one who satisfies. He is the one who fills my soul. He is the one who can sustain me, who holds me together. And when I approach Him, I need to approach Him for Him.
I already know from having children – they are a blessing, but they aren’t my soul’s true satisfaction. They are dear to my heart, but having them didn’t make me or my life complete. And I’m fairly certain – doing things for God isn’t going to either. No dream, no accomplishment, no blessing long longed for will ever make me whole.
The greatest gift will always be my relationship with Him – Creator of the Universe, Lover of my soul.
And just as having a healthy, intimate relationship with their daddy is one of the best gifts I can give my girls, this is one of the best gifts I can ever give the world –
My heart deeply and intimately connected to the heart of God.
And what I’m about to say will sound crazy and may even reek to some of a lack of faith, but I’m pretty sure it’s one of the bravest and best things I’ve ever done.
I’m laying it down.
I’m laying it all down.
The plans I have had. The dreams that I’ve been begging Him to make happen. I’m laying them aside for now. And not that I am going to quit writing all together. I am just going to quit trying to force out words. I am going to stop trying make something “happen” with my writing on my own.
Because I don’t want to do something just so I can say I did something. And I don’t want to try to give birth to something that He knows I’m not equipped to live with yet. And I don’t want to seek God just because of what He can do for me or even through me. And it may not sound brave, but for an insecure heart that has all too often longed to be a somebody in the world, it is.
It’s the brave choice to trust His love and to just be His.
I can let Him do what needs to be done in me when and how He knows it needs to be done. I can quit trying to force out things He has yet to fully develop in me. I can know that there will be beautiful things birthed out of my time with Him. Things I don’t have to manipulate to make happen. Dreams and plans and purposes that He’s knitting together as He sees fit, that He’ll help me birth when the time is right.
I can just rest in His love.
And it feels awkward and uncomfortable, when I come face to face with the people I know in real life who read this blog. And I tell myself it just doesn’t matter – if they think I’m prideful or crazy. It doesn’t matter what anyone does or doesn’t think because I know this – if He leads me to write it, then there’s someone out there who needs to read it.
And today, I just want to encourage you, whoever you are, to do this with me:
Lay it down.
Whatever you keep showing up in your time with God begging Him to do for you or in you or with you?
Lay it down.
Take your hands off. Resist the desire to push, to manipulate, to try to make it happen.
Lay it down, even if just for today, and simply seek Him for Him.
It’s not going to fall to pieces if you don’t put your hands to it today. It’s not declaring defeat and saying it’s never going to happen. It’s not a lack of faith. And just so you know, it’s not wrong to want to be used by Him, to want to birth beauty for His glory. He created us on purpose and with purpose.
But today, maybe we just need to simply say this:
God, I want You more than I want anything else.
Honestly? I think we are going to be amazed one day when we look back and see what He could birth out of a heart positioned like that.
A heart positioned in faith.
A heart positioned in trust.
A heart positioned to simply rest and receive Him.
I love you, friends.
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