The days are long but the years are short, they say. I suppose it’s true. Somehow I’m nearly halfway through this pregnancy already. In just a few short months, it will no longer be just Erik and I. The newlyweds will be new parents. The days of baby kicks will give way to baby snuggles. I can’t wait to meet this little one, and yet today is also sweet and must not be rushed past.
Through each day, His grace is sufficient and I am so grateful. I see Him working in my heart, in my marriage, in my preparation as a mother. Slowly teaching me, slowly growing me, slowly sanctifying me. Slowly but surely. Because He’s faithful like that, and I’m a slow learner like that.
It’s always easier to see the threads of His grace when I pause and reflect. As I watch Him redeem things, and see how He can use even the messiest moments of my life to bless others, somehow it makes it easier to rest in the imperfect story and live each day as He gives it. He reminds me that it’s not about me, it never was, and the best thing I can do is realize that and point to His faithfulness, not my performance.
I don’t need to have it all figured out. I don’t need to have all the answers. I don’t need to know how I’m going to do all of this well. I don’t need to see what the future holds. I don’t need to find solutions to future problems. I don’t need to be prepared for every possibility.
Today, I simply need to trust Him. Fix my eyes on Him.. Stay grounded in His Word. Live each day as He gives it to me, relying on Him for strength, finding my joy and peace in Him, seeking always to glorify Him.
There is wisdom in preparing, to be sure. It isn’t bad to watch birth videos or read parenting books or save marriage articles. And yet, I cannot rely on information alone to guide me. My hope cannot be in outcomes. My worth cannot come from performance.
No, my Guide must be the Lord. My hope must be in Him. My worth comes from Him.
Videos, books, articles, they are tools that can be helpful, but I cannot rely on them ultimately. My birth, my marriage, my parenting, these cannot be how I measure my value or where I base my advice.
I will make mistakes. I will sin unintentionally and intentionally. I will do things I ought not to have done, and leave undone things I ought to have done. I dare not point people to myself, except as a humble beggar telling others where to find bread.
My birth story is not supposed to be about “what a strong woman I am”, nor my marriage about “what a good wife I am”, nor my motherhood about “what sweet children I have”. Each of those areas of my life must point to Christ, as all of my life ought to do. They must be about His goodness, His sufficiency, His sovereignty, His faithfulness, His mercy, and so on. The threads of His grace must be evident throughout.
Slowly, I am learning to release the past, to let the stories of youth and singleness and relationships and love be imperfect stories that point to a perfect Savior. The failures don’t need to be hidden and the successes don’t need to be flaunted. What is worth sharing is what draws the eyes of others to Christ. Yes, perhaps someone can learn from my mistakes, or perhaps someone can be encouraged by something I did right. But only insofar as they look to God.
So it must be with the future. It must be held with open hands, lived as it comes, entrusted into His care. The expectations must be released. I must press on to higher ground, trusting Him to be the One who completes the work He has begun in me.
As I release the past and hold open the future, it makes it easier to live in the here and now, and to trust that His grace will be sufficient for each day.
Grace, marvelous grace. Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt. Grace that will pardon and cleanse within, grace that is greater than all our sin. Grace that brings salvation, but doesn’t end there. It trains us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession who are zealous for good works. (“Marvelous Grace” & Titus 2:11-14).
Today, may we rest in that grace, grow in that grace, persevere in that grace. May our stories tell of His grace in our weakness. May we live as His set-apart children, always, only, all for Him.
By His grace,