Control Freak

I never would have thought of myself as a control freak really. Planner, yes. Perfectionist, definitely. But having to be in control? God taught me a lot about this through the birth of my daughter. Let me start by saying that I consider myself a fan of “crunchiness”. As in granola, natural, holistic, hippie type stuff. Notice that I don’t claim to be crunchy, I just like the idea of it. I’m much too conservative and eat way too much bacon to be considered granola. Anyway, when it came to childbirth I really liked the idea of a natural birth. I have friends and family with amazing natural un-medicated birth stories and I wanted to experience that. I had this idea that God made our bodies to birth babies and so I wanted to experience it fully. Then there were all of the health reasons and benefits with bonding and hormones and all kinds of other stuff that I won’t get into. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate modern medicine and I often tell people that if they don’t have any type of strong conviction about having a natural birth, then by all means, do what you gotta do. I just really wanted a natural birth. Looking back, I realize that I was putting much more faith in myself and my body’s ability to give birth than in the Lord’s strength and what his will was for me. The whole birth story is kind of long and ridiculous so I may or may not share that here some time but I’ll give you some highlights of what all we went through.

Week 39 mention of induction from our nurse midwife
Week 40 nurse midwife plans for induction the next week, we refuse (remember, we wanted this birth to be natural, so the labor would have to start naturally)
Week 41 we are assigned to an OB and considered ‘high risk’ because we are now post term
Week 42 multiple Non-stress tests are performed to make sure baby is OK (she’s fine, very comfortable in there)
Week 42 1/2 we decide to induce hoping to avoid complications due to long gestation
12 hours later . . . Nada.
2 hours later water breaks naturally
2 hours later contractions are not starting so pitocin is introduced
Labored for 20 or so hours (5 cm, halfway there)
Decide to get an epidural to conserve energy for pushing
5 more hours haven’t progressed well
I begin to shake uncontrollably (thanks epidural) and my temperature spikes
Baby’s heat rate becomes unstable
Our last and final option (my worst nightmare) we decide to do a caesarean section
46 hours since we entered the hospital our sweet baby girl, Miss Love, enters the world

But wait . . . there’s more

Our daughter’s blood tests come back with an abnormality. Because of my temperature during labor they are concerned that she may develop an infection. She is taken to the NICU that evening and spends the first week of her life there. I spend the first week of her life recovering from surgery and visiting her 8 hours a day.

Talk about devastating. It could not have played out further from what I wanted it to be. That little section there about choosing our last option of a C-section, it was awful and beautiful all at the same time. I bawled the whole time the doctor talked us through the procedure. I can’t even tell you a single word he said because I was a wreck. We had spent hours before that praying and singing worship songs and begging God to move. He did, just not how we had hoped. Once they wheeled me into the operating room I was more calm than I could have ever imagined. My poor sweet husband was shocked at the sight of his wife being cut open, but I was able to carry on conversation and keep from dwelling on the fact that my baby was now being cut out of me.

The one thing that I held onto during all this, including the time my daughter was in the NICU, was this overwhelming inexplicable peace. Never once did I worry that she or I was in danger. I knew without a doubt that God was in control and he was taking care of us. And it wasn’t a fake confidence like I had about my body being able to birth this kid naturally. It was undeniable love from the Father that even though my worst nightmare had occured (and then some) He was still good and he was still God and he was completely in control.

image

This is something that I knew God was teaching me soon after Miss Love’s birth, and I have a good grasp on it now, but it has been a long process to see how God has worked it all together for good.

image

Advertisements

Pride and Vulnerability

I have to share with you this wonderful truth that I have come across recently. This new endeavor for me in this blog has come with much hesitation. God has asked me to share what he is teaching me and that means I’m putting a lot of myself out there that may not regularly be seen by people. Like I said in my last post, I have spent most of my life with this idea that others saw me as perfect. I always knew that was completely untrue, but there was a fight that ensued within me when people would tell me how “good” I was. I definitely had a healthy self confidence, but I knew that I fell short when it came to comparison with our Holy God. So in my surrender to God’s work, I have asked him to show me what areas of my life are not “good”. A funny thing happens when you ask God to show you where you need some work done in your heart . . . He answers. And he doesn’t hold back. I couldn’t see it at first, but the pride in my heart became quite clear. This self righteousness that I was not as bad as “those people”, whoever those people are, was now glaring. So he’s been working on my heart, humbling me, teaching me wonderful truths and that I am so in need of his amazing grace. And then to test that faith, he asks me to share, to open my story and life and heart and let him use it for his kingdom. The short comings, the hurt, the guilt, the repentance, the renewed heart, he wants me to share it all.

Enter, Vulnerability. That awful word. Or at least so I thought. Then I saw this video:

Actually, I saw her TED Talks originally which are amazing and if you have time I recommend checking them out:

Brenè Brown at TEDxHuston

Brenè Brown: Listening to Shame

But this gets the basic idea across, that vulnerability is a good thing, a great thing even. It helps you to live life wholeheartedly. It also takes courage. Brenè talks about in her second TED Talk how we look at vulnerability as weakness and with fear, yet when you see someone being vulnerable you think of them as courageous. This was exactly what I needed to hear. God’s good about bringing those right words at the right time, isn’t he?

I’m going to start getting into my story here soon, I promise. I just wanted to preface with this awesome idea and ask for your sensitivity. I also want to encourage you to be open to the idea of being vulnerable. If not here with me in the comments, maybe with a friend or family member. It’s one of those really scary, thrilling, freeing things. Give it a try.

image

The Perfecting Process

I suppose now would be a good time to explain what this “perfecting process” means to me. Let me start by saying that I am by no means perfect, no where near perfect actually.

God is though.

He is perfect

He is holy

He is righteous

always.

I won’t ever be perfect, I’m human. But something in me desires to be more like God. And it’s not the snake enticing, apple eating kind of desire. Its the humbling, selfless, I can’t do it on my own kind of desire.

image

I used to be perfect. At least that’s what I thought. That’s what everyone told me, “What a perfect little angel.” I liked to do good things. I liked to do things right. I hated getting in trouble. So I didn’t. Not that I didn’t ever do anything wrong, I just made sure that I didn’t get in trouble for it. Because I wanted to be good. Me, good.

So I planned it all out, the right way to do things. Go to school, get good grades, find a nice boy, get a good job, marry the nice boy, and then have a family and start the whole process over again with a perfect little child. My plans worked for the most part. It wasn’t that hard for me to follow along those lines. I was a good student, I had a great relationship with a Godly man, we had a perfect little wedding, I had a nice job that I was successful in. Of course there were little hiccups along the way, but all in all the goals were accomplished. Sure it was a lot of pressure on myself to do it all, but I could handle it. I had done it for so many years all on my own, I couldn’t stop now. Then came the final step in the plan: a perfect baby. And not only did I want a perfect baby, I wanted a perfect delivery. Someone told me while I was pregnant that once you have a baby all your plans go out the window. Well, my plans were thrown out before she was even born. I will have to write about that whole experience another time. Let’s just say that it didn’t go as planned and I was devestated. Motherhood started out as a complete failure in my eyes. But that is exactly what I needed. God needed to show me that I was not in control, I was not perfect, but he is. God had to bring me to a place where I had nothing left but him.

He is so good that way. He wants to make me holy, perfect, just like him. But as long as I thought that I was “good” on my own, I would never have been able to resign myself to this perfecting process. So the story begins here: broken, humbled and surrendered. God has taught me so much recently and I want to share that with others. He is the great refiner. He turns up the heat to get all the bad stuff out. I can see now that God has been leading me to this place in his ever perfect timing. It has been scary at times to open my life to him, but he gives me strength and courage every step of the way.

Have you ever thought that you could be “good” all on your own? Do you notice God perfecting you in any way?

image

Not the Blog I Wanted

This is not the blog I wanted. I have had many ideas through the last few years of what kind of blog I might like to have. I wanted a crafting blog with lots of tips and tricks and tutorials. Or maybe a hair styling blog with pictures and videos. I thought a decorating blog with decor for holidays and DIY up-cycled ideas would be fun. I also love to bake, but I have no idea how to come up with recipes myself, so that might not have gone very well as a blog. Being a stay at home mom, I see all these ‘pins’ for activities and games to do with your children. I am very resourceful person so I’m sure I could come up with plenty of ideas in that respect. There are so many great options out there.

All of these had some type of draw for me, but I just couldn’t commit to a single one. I could think of a few possible posts, but to keep something like that going for the long run would be difficult. I love to create and I love sharing my creations with people. Writing has always been a lesser used love of mine and a blog is something I have been feeling led to start especially in the last few months.

One thing that I know will always be true in my life is that God will be teaching me something, giving me opportunity to be more like him, perfected. Whether I am listening intently or just trying to get through things on my own, God is speaking. This truth has become increasingly real to me since our sweet baby girl was born about a year and a half ago and has rocked my world. This perfecting process is rough, and crazy, and absolutely beautiful.

So while I had dreamed of something light and fluffy and pretty and perfect, God has had other plans for me. This is often the case. This is the blog that God has planned for me, the story of his work in my life. I don’t know that it will be anything completely profound to you, but writing here helps me process all that I am learning. And if God can use just a tiny bit of this to speak to your heart, all glory be to him. Just know that the main character here is not me, Duana, it is God. He is working in my heart daily and through obedience to him, I will share that story with anyone who will listen (or read, I suppose). I know that this will not be easy, but through the power of His holy spirit I know that I can accomplish whatever he asks.

Pray for me, will you?

image