Seeing joy in the horizon

Being so close to the end of my pregnancy means lots of things, mainly that I’m getting antsy to hold my little man and tired of carrying all this extra weight. One big thing I’m looking forward to is maternity leave. I love my job and what I do, but I need a break. I can hardly walk from my bed to the kitchen without my feet hurting anymore. With that being said, I don’t really go out much anymore either. It’s a blessing and a curse, really. I get to be at home and grow closer with my family. But it’s not always dandy being at home doing nothing all day because that typically means my thoughts will get out of hand.
The majority of my thoughts have been along the lines of, “what kind of person will Isaac become?”, “will I be a good mother?”, “will I be the woman God intends for me to be?” etc.  However, there are times when my thoughts go along the path of, “why must pregnancy cause stretch marks?”, “why did I have to choose to do my own thing rather than listen to my parents?”, “why didn’t I trust God?”.

Today is one of those days my thoughts have gone along the latter path.  Why today? No specific reason, just one of those days.  So to flip negative thoughts into positive ones, I’m choosing to write about them in hopes that someone will gain something from what I have to say.

On negative days, I’ve been anything but secure in who I am as a person.  I’ve been seeing myself as less than, lacking in joy, and just feeling down in the dumps.  I blame this on the pregnancy because there was only one other time in my life that I was this insecure.

I was dating a young man that I was convinced loved me.  He was always around when no one else was.  He hugged me when I needed it.  He tried his best to listen and understand me, or so I thought.  However, he never seemed to be happy with me.  He was never a direct jerk to me, but he was sly in how he treated me like crap.  He would tell me to dress differently.  He’d say I had too much make-up on.  He would say I was annoying when I acted a certain way, or that the things I found funny weren’t funny at all and I should quit laughing.  When I’d try to tell him how much I cared about him, he’d shrug it off and not make anything of it.  I remember him never saying I was beautiful; he would just say I’m pretty, occasionally, and that was just because he wanted something from me.

At first, I wanted to make him happy, so I’d change what he wanted me to.  But after a while, I realized I wasn’t me anymore.  I turned into a girl I didn’t recognize; my family and friends didn’t like who I had become.  My self-esteem went to the dirt, and my insecurities rose like a bean stalk.  By this point, I had lost all confidence in myself that I didn’t want to turn to God.  I relied on myself and what I could do.

I tried pulling myself up out of the dumps.  It didn’t work.  I found myself worse off than before.  By the grace of God, I finally saw that the man I was dating was trying to turn me into his dream girl, and I obviously wasn’t her.  So I mustered up as much courage as I could to let him go.

For a long time after that day, I suffered with not letting anyone get close to me.  I didn’t trust anything anyone told me, even my own family.

I can’t say I remember a specific day that God took control of that area of my life, but He definitely intervened.  He still is to this day.  Any time I start suffering with low self-esteem, I remember who I was and how God pulled me out of drowning in a sea of lies, and cleaned and placed me in a castle to be treated as a queen.

I can’t help but be overwhelmed with joy when I think back on days that the devil was controlling every thought that crossed my brain.  Why?  Because it was then that God was behind the scenes forming me into who I am today.  It was when I was at my lowest that I was able to see my creator as more than just a God, but a savior.  As much as I wish things could have been different in my past, I thank God daily for pulling me through the chaos that surrounded me.

Just because I’ve surrendered my insecurities to God doesn’t mean I don’t suffer from identity issues anymore.  I get them still, and sometimes even worse than before.  However, now I recognize who my creator is – a God who pays attention to every detail, a God who created nature, a God who takes the hurting and instills in them strength to keep fighting.  My God is an everlasting God; He’s always constant.  Life may be chaotic, but God will always be consistent.  When you may change, He won’t.

If there’s one thing I would love for you to pull out of this whole post, it’s that you won’t be afraid to turn to God when you’re facing trials in life.  If I would have been told that when going through my mess and realized it was true, I would have been saved of so much heartache.

Although we go through lots of different trials in life, whether good or bad, God is always working behind the scenes for OUR good.  When you’re hurting, know that joy comes in the morning.  Rest in peace knowing that “for his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5).

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