Nausea — check.
Tired by noon every day — check.
Numerous food aversions — check.
But hungry every two hours (on the dot) — check.
Swelling middle section — check.
Awesome red skinny jeans no longer fitting — check.
Sciatic nerve in my lower back sends pain down my leg anytime I stand up — check.
A precious child the LORD placed inside me — check.
Listening to the strong heart beat — check.
Seeing the little nugget on an ultra sound — check.
Knowing one day soon I will hold this little one — priceless.
That’s right, I am pregnant!
I must say for all the joy of bringing new life into the world, it is very hard. My body no longer functions the way it used to. There is so much I have to do differently, and so much I can’t do anymore. I daily battle feeling sick; sometimes winning and sometimes just making it through the day. All my life I thought pregnancy was going to be this beautiful and incredible time in life. Although, yes it is beautiful, there is so much more to pregnancy that most people don’t talk about. I have wanted to be a mother for as long as I can remember. It is a dream the LORD placed in my heart many, many years ago. Now this dream is coming true, and, honestly, I’m not sure I’m ready for it.
Do you ever feel like God gives you a task in your life that you are not ready for? I feel that way now, and I wonder if some people felt that way in the bible. Currently, I am involved in an in-depth bible study in the book of Joshua. God handed Joshua quite the intimidating task of leading the Israelites into the promised land. In order to do this, Joshua and his army must conquer several groups of people already living in the promised land.
In the beginning of the book of Joshua, Moses has died and someone is needed to take over leadership for the Israelites. Joshua, whom God had been training throughout his life, would be the next man to lead the Israelites. Throughout his life, Joshua had followed Moses and been his assistant. Joshua had been with Moses in battle, was sent out as a spy to seek out the promised land, was one of two who believed they could conquer the land, was one of two spies who God allowed to live because of his faith, and was commanded to be strong and courageous long before the book of Joshua. As you can see, Joshua had been trained up by God for the leadership role he was about to accept.
Even still, in the first chapter of Joshua, God commands him to “be very strong and courageous” three times and one time by his fellow Israelites. I don’t think God said this to just say it. I believe God knew Joshua would need the constant reminder that, although Joshua may not feel ready for this task, it was indeed time to face the adventure in front of him. This adventure would be very large. Joshua would be leading a war against all those who already occupied the promised land. However, Joshua would not be doing this alone, he would be following the leadership of God, just as Moses had. God would lead the taking of the many people groups and cities along the way.
Looking back on my life, I can see how God has trained me for this motherhood role. My desire to be a mother is so deeply rooted in my heart that only God could have placed it there. I have worked with kids since I was a teenager, learning how best to connect with and teach little ones. I get excited when I think about how my husband and I can raise a new generation to serve the LORD. Our simple prayer is that this growing generation will begin and continue many generations of Elliotts who make the name of God great.
Although the motherhood adventure will not be without its struggles, God will be leading the way. God will lead the sleepless nights, the months of teething, the temper tantrums, the school struggles, the friendship arguments, and the teenage years. God has not left me alone in this task, he has ordained it and will see it through walking beside me.
God is reminding me to be very strong and courageous in the face of this life altering season. He is reminding me to accept the task given and to stand strong. I will face the good and bad, the questions and concerns, the blessing and heartache of raising a child with as much faith as I can muster. Joshua was a man who stood strong and sought the LORD in much faith. Right now, God is using Joshua as my example of being strong and courageous.
I am very excited to be a mother. I cannot wait to meet this growing life inside of me. The LORD is good to lead me in this adventure, and I accept this task (as if I could not accept it!) with grace and strength in God as the creator of life.