Christina sent me this beautiful card last week... Thanks, Christina!
Everyone knows the saying “if you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all…” Well, in my blogging, I’ve ascribed to the personal philosophy that if I can’t say anything truthful, I shouldn’t say anything at all. The past three months have seen some big things in my life, but I wasn’t ready to share about them openly until recently. I thought about writing about other things, but to be honest there wasn’t much else going on in my heart other than thoughts and feelings and prayers surrounding the new little baby that has taken up residence in my belly and in my heart. So to write about anything else during this season just didn’t feel right.
It was actually only a few weeks after that beautiful Andrew Peterson/Jason Gray concert (see “Nothing is Wasted” post), the one when I felt God bring a lot of healing and hope back into my heart, that we found out that we were once again starting down the road of pregnancy for a third time. The first few weeks were very difficult as I struggled in my heart to truly believe that God was indeed doing a new thing with this child. He kept telling me in so many ways that I needed to be strong and have faith and choose to hope, but it was hard. Through His grace I persevered. We were able to not only make it through the scary 6 to 8 week period to see a little baby on the ultrasound screen measuring nine weeks (!), but we are now in the second trimester and I even have a little bit of bump. It is happy and exciting and we feel so blessed.
I keep going back to that verse that Michelle sent me that morning of March 8: "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!" (Isaiah 43: 18-12). For me it’s been hard to forget the past, especially now as we’re just a few weeks away from the anniversary of when we found out last July that we were pregnant for the second time. My emotions can very much be affected by the seasons, and lately last summer’s memories have been creeping into my heart and my head and it’s been a struggle to not be afraid. It’s hard to trust and have faith in what you cannot see – not only in an invisible God, but right now in this child who is ever with me yet still so hidden from me. But God gives so much grace.
Back in February I wrote all about Eric Peters’ Birds of Relocation and how profoundly blessed I was/am by this album. The album is framed by “The Old Year”, in which he basically tells a bad year (like my 2012) to take a hike, and “The New Year”, which is all about hope in change and in God’s healing hand. So when we heard him play these songs back in February it helped me to really say goodbye to the things of old and say hello to the new things God has in store.
Last night, Matthew and I were invited to a backyard picnic in Lincoln centered around a private concert of Eric Peters and some local artists, including our friend Daniel Christian. It was a perfect Nebraska evening – cool, bright, and not very buggy. The crowd was small and the concert intimate. There was a dessert potluck, so there were lots of yummy treats. It started to sprinkle at one point but then stopped, and the sun’s interplay with that cloud cast such beautiful light over this backyard. There were children playing in the sandbox, a string of lights above the deck, and the yard was full of a wonderful community of people who love art and beauty. We felt very blessed to have been invited.
Eric once again closed out the night with “Fighting for Life” and “The New Year” and I was just so struck by how much can change in nearly five months. When I heard these songs on that cold night in February I was blessed and encouraged and hopeful for what 2013 might have in store for us. And now hearing them on a beautiful summer night, halfway through 2013, with my little belly resting under my hands, I just felt the faithfulness of God wash over me. I thought about how perfect it is that this baby is due December 5, at the tail end of this new year of hope. I could almost audibly hear Him telling me, again, to not be afraid. He reminded me of how He keeps pursuing me even though my heart is a mess of sin and I often feel like I’m losing this battle of faith.
And I was again teary-eyed hearing the end of “Fighting for Life”:
I go into the darkness carrying a light
I will have no fear because I’m not alone
I got angels’ voices and friends who love me for who I am
So when the waters come
I fly above this flooded earth looking for a sign of life
And I relocate on boughs of hope,
Like a living soul, remembering that
In a little while, in a little while
The ghosts return to noise
Ooh, but not right now, not right now
The sky must be enjoyed.
(When I posted back in February, I couldn’t find a video of this song. So last night Matthew recorded the performance, and you can hear it here…)