Okay so before I get to the pregnancy update, I want to share a little background information. I have not experienced too many of the typically negative symptoms associated with pregnancy. Throughout the first trimester, I had my fair share of nausea and exhaustion, but I never threw up. The first and only episode of sickness I had, came with the second trimester. Back in October, my husband, Jonathan, picked up a temporary job moving furniture into a hotel in downtown Nashville. On his first day of work, I absolutely lost it! Crying, sobbing, weeping–whatever you would call it, I was hysterical. I had this crazy, irrational fear that Jonathan was going to die. You see, up until this point, he had been working from home, and we never really spent more than a couple of hours (or miles!) away from each other.
As I said, this was a short-term job and Jonathan had only committed to about 3.5 weeks (if that). After that first day, I settled down quite a bit. I still worried, but my sweet husband is really good about calling or texting to keep me up to date to prevent any big miscommunications, so my anxious heart could relax…most days. One fateful day, Jonathan had to work a little later than usual. He had been finishing his work rather early that week, so I expected him to be off around 4:45. By the time 5:30 came around (the scheduled end of shift), my stomach was in knots. I called–no answer. What if one of the elevators broke and he fell 12 stories to his death? What if someone let an enormous piece of furniture fall on him and it crushed his neck? If he’s in the hospital, how will they know to call me? How am I going to raise a baby by myself? Every baby needs a daddy! 6:00. . . I better call again. Still, no answer. 6:15 and I’d never felt so sick. I wait until 6:30 to text him, so as not to be the obsessive lunatic of a wife who calls/texts every 5 minutes. In that moment, Jonathan reads, “If you could just please text me back and tell me you’re alright, maybe I would stop crying.” WHAT! Haha, he is so confused (having been in the elevator each time I called, he had no idea I was trying to get in touch with him before that text) when he replies saying, “Baby I’m okay! Why are you crying?” Besides my regrets for not simply texting him in the first place, I felt such great relief.
However, that relief lasted only one short moment. Luckily, I was sitting on the front porch because in the next second I found myself vomiting over the hand rail into the ornamental grass that surrounds the deck. Completely sick, I had to move down the stairs and into the yard as my stomach continued to be emptied of its contents. Next, I responded to Jonathan’s text telling him I just puked everywhere and needed him to get home as quickly and safely as he could. Not even 2 minutes later, my precious husband called as he walked to his truck, and he assured me that he was okay and would be home in about 30 minutes.
The wait for his arrival was filled with continued fearfulness. As I tried to calm down and praise God for Jonathan’s safety at work, I struggled not to be distracted by thoughts of all the terrible drivers filling each lane on I24. After what seemed like longest 30
hours minutes of my life, that crummy Toyota 4 x4 never looked so good through the window. My bare feet probably hit the driveway before Jonathan ever came to a complete stop. As I ran up to hug him, tears fell from my eyes and dampened his rugged work shirt. And as we walked to the front door, over the hand rail again my stomach was emptied into the grass. As I retreated to the driveway to vomit in a more comfortable position sitting near the grass, my thoughtful husband held back my hair and told me it was going to be okay.
Throughout the entirety of that long, long day, I knew I was not being rational. Many times that day, I even convinced myself that he was gone and had to imagine my life without him. I grieved and surrendered it to God and then grieved even more. As I looked back on my day that evening I wondered how silly God thought my conversations with Him had been. From then on, I decided I shouldn’t be afraid of anyone–namely Jonathan–dying.
Most of you know what happens next in the story. On November 2nd at about 6:30 pm, my brother, Wade, called to give me the worst news I’ve ever received. He told me my mom passed out in the car when my dad was driving. The ambulance came and the medics had been doing CPR for 45+ minutes when they stopped. I asked if they were going to put her on life support or do something until I could be there, but Wade told me, “No, Whit, she’s gone. Mom’s dead.”
The phone call I received that day changed my life. Since then, I’ve been flooded with thoughts that should make me intentional but rather have held me back. Any one of these people I love could die at any minute–and there is no way for me to see it coming. So shouldn’t that spur me to be bold about my faith? Isn’t now the time to make the most of every opportunity? As I am in the midst of experiencing the short breadth of life, I see that we really are just a vapor–here today and gone tomorrow. That’s it. But, the “here today” part counts FOR ETERNITY! Life here isn’t about just being a decent person or getting some imaginary check mark at a church building every week–that’s not what “gets you into heaven.” Jesus paid for you with His blood. While you are here today, what matters is that you acknowledge that and do something about it–let Him be the leader of your whole life.
I will forever be thankful that my mom lived her life trusting in God. My mom’s faith was simple and strong. I looked back in my journal and just a few days before she died, I had prayed that God would give her an eternal mindset. Whoops! I think we got a little more than I was asking for. 🙂 Jokes aside, in the past few days, that has been a new prayer for myself. In Psalm 112:7, the writer says that a righteous person “will have no fear of bad news.” When I read that about four days ago, I thought it would be impossible. I was imagining it as if I had to convince myself there would never be another phone call like that, and I just couldn’t lie to myself in that way. I’m too young to be past the point of bad news. However, I don’t think that is what the Psalmist is getting at. To sum up my thoughts about it all, I want to share some of what I said to God yesterday (as recorded in my prayer journal).
I wish I had more of your eternal mindset. If so, I wouldn’t miss my mom so much. Is that a gift? Like one the Holy Spirit could give me? Father, if I ask you for it, can I have it? I want that. I’m asking in the name of Jesus for an eternal mindset/outlook–not just about my mom–but from now on. I don’t like being so caught up in this world that I miss out on your forever that’s happening now. I love you so much. Thanks for holding me in this moment. I remember that all good things come from you. In this eternal mindset, please teach me not to fear bad news. May my life be so in step with your Spirit that I find your glory in bad news. I don’t want to be cold, senseless, or lacking compassion/empathy–I just want my hope to change everything. Let my gift of faith increase all the more. May I not hold back from knowing or sharing your fullness. I love you with my whole heart for my whole forever.
How far along? 24 weeks
Maternity clothes? Still yes
Stretch marks? Still no!
Sleep? I’ve waited a little too long to write this so I don’t exactly remember what week 24 was like . . . I think my sleep got progressively better through the week.
Miss Anything? Not related to pregnancy–and in addition to the obvious, I really missed our Nashville/Murfreesboro Church this week.
Movement? Every day! She is still most active at night when I’m laying down trying to sleep, but I’ve been feeling her more during the days lately (hopefully that means she’ll be happy and awake during the day and sleep sweetly all night when she gets here in March . . . right, right?!)
Food cravings? Nothing really this week.
Anything making you queasy or sick? The smell of the water that a dirty dish has been soaking in for an hour or so has made me gag a few times this week.
Best moment this week? Spending time with my family
Worst moment of the week? Hitting the one month mark since my mom has been gone felt really weird. It was hard, and I don’t think I handled it with much grace.
Have you started to show yet? Yep
Gender prediction? Still girl. I think I might get rid of this question.
Labor Signs? I felt more random tightness, but no signs of real labor, thankfully.
Belly Button in or out? In, but becoming increasingly more shallow.
Wedding rings on or off? On!
Happy or Moody most of the time? Moody
Looking forward to? One of these days, some of my friends from Harding will be back in Austin for Christmas break!