Today I woke up around 7 to feed my 8 week old daughter after she slept for 8 hours. I was still tired so I put her back to bed and slept a few more hours. I got up around 9 (thank you maternity leave) and did some things around the house + got ready for the day all before my daughter woke up again. My husband (who works nights) and daughter woke up around 10, we had a slow start to the morning with coffee & breakfast, and we caught up on A Million Little Things together. We spent the next few hours hanging out together, snuggling with Zoe, playing with Daisy, and doing whatever we needed to do at home. Mike left for work around 2 and I went to my friends house where we sat and caught up and played outside with neighborhood kids. From there I went to community group where we had dinner & talked about Jesus and healing and it was sweet time together. I got home around 8:30, fed Zoe, did some cleaning/sterilizing for the next day, and then had some time to myself before going to bed. It was a good day.
Six and a half weeks ago we were sitting in a doctors office hearing that our daughters life expectancy is 34. I was on multiple medications & felt like my body was failing me. There were times that I would feel so weak I would have to put my daughter down or I would drop her. We had no idea where we would be living in the coming months and we had no idea what it looked like to care for a newborn with cystic fibrosis. The days were full of 10-12 attempts to breastfeed, then supplement, then pump. I don’t think there was a night at that point where we had gotten more than an hour of uninterrupted sleep at a time, and a lot of nights not even that. Mike was on paternity leave but it was unpaid, which was a source of anxiety but I was not in a healthy emotional state and felt like I needed him there. At that point I’m sure it was considered baby blues and normal postpartum hormones, but we knew enough about my mental health issues in the past to know that I would most likely end up battling postpartum anxiety. The days were hard. Of course we had our daughter and were thrilled to be home with her & snuggling her constantly, but we were struggling and we were desperate.
It’s easy to read those two paragraphs and think – well we desperately needed Jesus six weeks ago. And that would be true. But what I’ve been thinking about lately, as we’ve hit a sweet spot and there has been a lot of peace & healing, is that I need Jesus today just as desperately as I needed him six weeks ago.
It’s hard to wrap my head around because in times of need it’s natural to go to Jesus. At least for Mike and me. We were praying together daily, constantly seeking the Lord through scripture and worship, and I felt like my days were just a continuous conversation with Him, because I literally did not think I would get through some days without Him. I was wrecked and it was easy to be intentional with the Lord because I so badly needed Him to do something for us: to bring us peace, to start healing my body, to give us strength, to give us understanding.
Fast forward to today and like I said, I feel like we’ve hit a sweet spot these past two weeks. Is Zoe’s diagnosis still devastating? Of course. Are there still worries? Absolutely. But we’ve gotten into a rhythm and are enjoying every moment with our girl. Besides the reminder of her medication & treatments, its hard to see her as a baby with a genetic disease that she may battle all her life (holding out for healing & a cure). I’m feeling better most days and while I am working through postpartum anxiety like we thought I would, I’m overall in a much better place and have been doing things to heal my body and my spirit long term. I’m more comfortable getting out of the house, I’m doing more while I am in the house, and I’ve been more intentional with the people in our lives. Life’s been good and dare I say even *easy* some days. Which brings me to the point of this post: it’s easy to forget that we desperately need Jesus even when things are good.
Yesterday was a great day. Did I think about Jesus? Yeah, I did. I mean, I had community group. So yes I read my bible and yes I spoke to people about what God is doing and what He has done in my life. But did I cling to him like I desperately needed to six weeks ago? Absolutely not. My thoughts wandered throughout the day to things like meal planning, starting work on Monday, what we’re doing this weekend. I chose country music over worship music in the car. Mike and I did not take time to pray together. Now I’m not saying those things are bad, obviously I don’t think we’re not allowed to let our minds wander or listen to country music. But it’s clear to me what happened over these past few weeks that led to such a drastic change in my spiritual life: I got comfortable.
Comfort is such a weird thing. On the one hand it’s a good thing that I’m getting more comfortable, it means that there has been healing in so many areas of our lives. I’m feeling more confident in being Zoe’s mother. I’m working to get myself healthy again. We figured out where we’re going to be living. We are no longer worried about Zoe’s medical bills. These are all great things. The problem starts when I let myself forgot that it’s because Jesus that things are okay now. He provided for Zoe. He’s helped with my anxiety. He’s given me the strength to make some changes in my life.
I’ve blogged about my comfort zone before. I don’t even want to go back and read it because I’m sure it’s basically the same post. I hate that this is a lesson I have to learn so often. I don’t want to keep falling into my comfort zone and realize I’m not seeking Jesus. When I’m not seeking Him, I’m missing out on His plans for my life. I’m not seeing Him move. I’m not looking for opportunities to serve or to be used. And that’s not a life I want to lead.
The Bible tells us that Jesus has come so that we can have life, and have it to the full. I’ve been thinking a lot about what a full life looks like. I LOVE my days right now. I’m on maternity leave, I spend tons of time with Mike, I can see friends whenever I want, I can read, watch TV, write.. whatever I want to do (within reason with a newborn). I have no responsibility other than taking care of our daughter and making sure her needs are met. My heart is full these days but I’m not so sure that means my life is full.
I want a full life where I’m constantly asking God to make me more like Him. Where I completely understand that I need Him daily. Where I’m praying big prayers expectantly. Where I’m telling others about that Jesus died to save them. Where I’m asking for and looking for miracles. A life where I’m not always comfortable, where I don’t always know my next move. Where I’m able to give and receive grace freely. Where I’m not paralyzed with fear.
This morning I was thinking about how a life like that doesn’t require a lot of change. It honestly seems like more of a mindset shift. Like six weeks ago when praying was all I could do. And I was talking to Jesus as he was right there in the room with me. And praying came naturally because there was so much we needed.
God can still move when things are good. I just haven’t been paying attention. There is so much that He can do even when I’m comfortable in my life.
God is using others in our lives to help us grow even if there is nothing we “need,” because the truth is we always need something. It’s just not always a practical thing. But we haven’t been paying attention.
God can use me even when I’m on maternity leave and barely leaving the house. The opportunities are endless. But I haven’t been paying attention.
God can show us more of Himself and draw us near to Him in the good times. But I haven’t been paying attention enough to notice Him.
I’m going to start paying attention.
Keep me accountable – will ya?!