I was waiting the other day for my doctor appointment and I was reading my bible as I waited. I was reading in II Corinthians and these verses 12:7-10 stuck out to me in a great way. So I thought I would share with you. I hope you will continue to read this post even if you are not pregnant, I hope you will be able to apply this in some way to your life.
II Corinthians 12:7-10 NKJV
7 And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. 8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
I’ve mediated on these verses in the days following, they have so encouraged me. Being 35 weeks pregnant, I have felt helpless in some situations. There are things I cannot move, or lift, or do and other things I cannot do as well.
I find myself misplacing words, I can intend to say please give me the red shirt and what comes out is give me the blue shirt. If you have been pregnant or even distracted by something taking place in your life I am sure you have experienced this as well. The other day my toddler was at the grocery store with me and as we are loading the car with groceries, I asked him, “climb in your seat and I’ll give you your buckle.” When I meant to say “climb in your seat, put on your buckle and I’ll give you my phone” to play a game while I finished loading groceries. But that is not what came out and I received the blank stare that I have seen frequently lately. My husband and my children will say that’s not what you asked me to move or bring to you.
This even reminds me of a time, I had hurt my back and was in extreme pain, my husband and I were out and I asked the waiter for a strawberry coke and he said “you mean a cherry coke” and I would say “yes a strawberry coke” and he said it again and I did mean cherry but with the pain I was feeling my mind was elsewhere. I laugh about it now, but I was getting upset and frustrated at the waiter and my husband had to speak up and take over because I was not handling the situation well.
Meditating on the His Grace is sufficient for me, HIS strength is made perfect in my weakness, helps me rely and look to Him. The other night my husband was reminding my children that things were going to change once mommy has this baby and has her full energy back. He was telling them this because I’ve allowed more toy messes to remain, I’ve become more relaxed with some things as a result of knowing I can’t make everything perfect.
I am naturally a take charge, get things done, but in recognizing my weakness and my need to rely on and depend on others for help has been good for me. I feel more relaxed, I feel okay when things do not take place the way I would do them. It is a good reminder to carry on relying on His strength and make room for others even after I’ve given birth.
The truth is we need each other, I need my husband, although I do not always express that to him. I need my boys as young as they are to help around the house it is good training and teaching for them, but too often, when you can do it easier, faster, and the exact way you want it done, you just do it and do not allow others to help you. In my pregnant state, I have been forced to rely on them and it has been good for me and good for them. This being my fourth birth, I do not feel as much stress and pressure to have everything ready, and in place. Although things are ready and in place, I have not felt and forced on others that press, this has to be done, of my normal checklist of things.
Last week one of my children was not feeling well and had thrown up in our bed on our comforter. I do not do throw up, even when I am not pregnant I cannot stand the smell, but even more so being pregnant I know I cannot handle that smell. I have not thrown up since I was a young child, I feel I did that once, did not like it, will not do that again. I believe as a result of often stating I do not do throw up I have never had morning sickness with any of my pregnancies and my children do not throw up either. I can count on one hand the times all of my children together have thrown up and they are 8, 6, and 4. Anyways, I knew I could not clean up the mess, and my husband was not interested in washing and cleaning up the mess either in the middle of the night, so he said I am going to throw this comforter and bedding out and I completely agreed with him, with great joy, I was perfectly okay with that. When I think if I was not pregnant and aware of my own weakness I would have not been happy with this decision. I would have expressed great displeasure in this action, even though I myself would not be able to handle it. Gratefully a friend gave us a beautiful bedding set to replace it when she found out we just threw ours out. I did not give any thought to we would have to purchase a new one, I just went with the flow and said okay throw it out. The Lord provided the very next day, my friend heard we had thrown out our bedding she said she had one we could have. I just stand back at times and look at some situations I have handled and think, Lord please help me handle this the same way when I feel stronger. The verse has become so real to me that His strength is perfected in my weakness. I have walked in a greater grace I have walked in greater peace even though I am weak. It is not because of me, but because of His love, His grace, His presence and my surrendering, my yielding, and recognizing my weakness, relinquishing of my rights, my way.
Too often when we feel strong or we know we are great at a certain area, we rely on our own strength, our own talent or gift that we do not make room for others, we do not allow input from others. We do not make room for others to grow in their strengths because we flourish in our own strength.
I just think how awesome if we can stay aware of our weakness all the time, not just in times of specific physical weakness. The truth is we all have weakness in our life. As a wife, I cannot complete and fulfill every need my husband has. I have weakness as a parent, I cannot give my children everything they need spirit, soul, and body at all times. I will make mistakes, I am not a perfect mom, wife, daughter, sister, or friend but if I would rely on His grace and allow God and others to have room, space, their way. Not demanding my way, not demanding my pace then His grace is perfected in my weakness as I look to Him to make up the difference, as I look to Him to lead me in being a wife to my husband, as I look to Him to lead me in being a mother to my children and all the other hats I wear. Then I am more relaxed, not only do I enjoy life at a greater level, but others enjoy being around me.
I write this to encourage you to step back, take a breath, I know life can be stressful but as you relinquish your rights, and your way and allow God and the people in your life to help things are better for all parties involved.
Do not be so rushed going from point A to point B, even in the everyday life tasks. Too many of us are in a hurry, scurrying about. Too many of us demand things to be in the place and perfect way we want it done. I have kind of been forced to slow down with my pregnancy waddle but it has been a good thing to slow down, and enjoy my children, enjoy a slower pace. I love not feeling so rushed, I love this Jessica that is not so pressed to have everything perfect I love this Jessica that is recognizing God’s strength is perfected in my weakness. I am enjoying the peace I feel even when I am making those mistakes of not getting the correct sentence or request or word out, I have laughed at myself and just stand in awe of what our bodies do in carrying a baby, both the good and the uncomfortable moments.
I also find people make room for you when you are pregnant. They are in some way aware of your weakness if you would and offer up their strength, just like Christ, His strength perfected in our weakness. There is nothing weak about having a baby but see the picture I am painting in light of the scripture verse I read. Strangers and those you know, offer more help, will hold a door open, and give up their seat for you, go out and pick up that pregnancy craving you are having when in reality we should live this way all the time, not only for pregnant women but for all people. We should be so aware of those around us and aware when they need extra help, a door held for them, a seat given up for them, a smile, or thank you card sent their way.
So I encourage you in the days following step back, recognize your weaknesses and allow God to supply His strength, allow others in your life to supply their strengths. Make room for others to help and offer input, make room for others to make mistakes that are not life and death. Does that thing have to be where you had it, or is it okay where they placed it?
Look around is there someone in your life who is a little distracted either by a good thing getting married, having a baby, moving, or a more difficult thing, offer up your help, offer up encouragement and make room for them to grow through their moment, offer up your strength in their weakness.
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