Not long ago I spoke at a women’s retreat in another state. When I arrived at the hotel, a few members of the women’s ministry team were gathered around the registration table in “panic mode.” Several things had gone wrong at the last minute, the name tags were missing, and a snowstorm was rolling in.
Pregnancy and birthin’ babies is one of the toughest jobs on the planet.
For many years Dony and I struggled with having children: three miscarriages, countless humiliating procedures, experimental fertility drugs and three tedious corrective surgeries. When I miraculously became pregnant with Destiny, we were ecstatic! The earth-mother hiding in me suddenly stood up and took full charge; I nested, ate organic and decided to have natural childbirth … what was I thinking?!
A few years ago, I read a quote that sent a shockwave through my life. In his book, Soulkeeping, author John Ortberg asked distinguished philosopher Dallas Willard how to stay healthy spiritually. Willard uttered a sentence that God used to radically change my life: “You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.” (i)
I feel my mood shift. Just a few moments ago all was well with my soul. But now…somehow life seems heavier. More negative. Nothing earth shattering has taken place in the last half hour. In fact, I’m sitting at Panera trying to grab a quick bite while I work. But it’s hard.
At the table next to me sits a woman whose conversation dampens my spirit with every passing minute.
My friend, Leah was overwhelmed, except the worries weren’t her own. She was overwhelmed with worries about her adult children. One was experiencing a second, unplanned pregnancy and another had neglected some serious legal issues and was looking at jail time.
Sharron had been out for a week. She had frequently been absent, but usually for no more than a day at a time. Homework was rarely done, and even though she had a sweet spirit, the drive to achieve or complete assignments was missing. Sharron just quietly came to class and quietly left.
As an organizer, I do love to pack for trips. It’s such an exciting, anticipatory time! Before each family vacation or trip, I try to:
The priest hands were visually shaking as he held paperwork from the Red Cross. “Angela your family has been in a car accident…” From the looks on their faces I knew this was no April’s Fool’s Joke.
It’s going to be okay.
You probably know this in some ethereal, existential way. “Melissa, this is not a deep revelation.” you say. Maybe not. But most of the time, I don’t think we need a lot of new information; we simply need to be reminded of what we already know. Sometimes we forget the truest things about ourselves, our lives, and about God. So today, let me serve as a post-it note stuck to the fridge, telling you the thing you already know but must not forget: It’s going to be okay.
I finally got it. It happened when I read the following quote from Operation World:
“The ministry of the children of God is not doing, but praying. We need to trust in God who moves in the ears of even His most implacable enemies. We do not engage in ministry and pray for God’s blessing on it; prayer IS the ministry from which all other ministries must flow!”
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