This is something I’ve felt prompted to write about since the early stages of my pregnancy. However, its only now in my third trimester, with only 7 days left to go, that I feel a little more experienced in being able to define what being uncomfortable feels like- in pregnancy that is.
When I consider the different lessons and seasons I’ve gone through in this pregnancy, I can quite easily define them into 3 categories. I’ve noticed that there is no specific order to these either, each one almost depends on the other and has a positive outcome. They are; growth, preparation and pain.
From 7 weeks onwards, hormones were racing round my body causing me to suffer nausea like I’d never experienced before and would be quite happy if I never went through again! For such a tiny baby at that point, my body certainly took an unexpected blow right up to 15 weeks. I re-defined morning sickness to all day sickness and was quickly losing my patience with the numerous ‘This will pass soon and you’ll forget all about it!’ comments from well meaning friends and other mothers.
Immediately after we discovered we were pregnant at 6 weeks I was reminded of the pain we suffered in losing our baby Hope back in May’15. The first scan, then second and third to monitor whether this little one had survived past the 8-week mark that we lost Hope. Suppressing any elation I felt at seeing the heartbeat and a tiny pea sized body on the screen- I couldn’t relax at that early stage and to this date is probably the time I doubted God the most. The numerous scares and hospital visits where we expected the worse leading all the way up to the momentous 12 week scan. She has definitely kept us on our toes but is our little miracle who has made it to 39 weeks so far!
Around 9 weeks I was beginning to show and from that point on my bump has continued to grow. My organs and parts of my inner body have shifted and squeezed into the smallest space possible to accommodate for this baby growing inside me, allowing just enough space for her to reach 40 weeks of development.
Lately, since reaching the 29 week mark, I have had the pleasure- NOT!, of experiencing the lovely Braxton Hicks. My body’s way of preparing for labour apparently- as if labour itself wasn’t enough, we get a lovely series of taster sessions before hand!
Finally, as I entered into the third trimester, I began to notice just how the rapid growth of my belly was beginning to cause me some discomfort. Sitting and lying down is not something I take pleasure in at the moment. I very quickly become full at meal times and then experience the lovely indigestion/heartburn combo! – what a treat! Walking any more than a few minutes reminds me of just how much I need to exercise my pelvic floor muscle! Seriously, I feel like a bowling ball is just about to drop between my legs! Bending down is like having your top stuffed with a basketball- except this isn’t like the role play you act out when you’re 5 playing Mums and Dads- You can’t just pull out the ball! I am clinging onto my last ounce of dignity where I can still put my own shoes and socks on- Oh, and shave my legs- just!
When people ask me how I’m doing in this last leg of the journey I’ve noticed my automatic response is ‘getting uncomfortable now.’ I tend to be acknowledged with that sympathetic, been there, done it/know how you feel, look.
I’m sure you’re wondering by now why I’ve just given you a run down of the past 9 months of my pregnancy and where I’m going with this… bear with me.
In the beginning, I started with such a neat little bump that didn’t hinder my day to day tasks. I wondered, naively, what could possibly be so difficult about being pregnant as oppose to the common image I’d seen in films of heavily pregnant women hobbling around, clutching and arching their lower back allowing the bump to lead the way. But I quickly realised that I still had a lot more growing to do. If my bump didn’t expand, my baby wouldn’t grow. She would’ve remained the same size, there would’ve been no room for her growth and development into a fully formed baby. She wouldn’t become who God created her to be.
Not only did I grow physically, but spiritually, emotionally and mentally as well. Both Carl and I have grown throughout this pregnancy; learning to prepare for parenthood, learning to trust and lean on God more, pray more. This has been a season of growth, and it has all been in preparation for the blessing God has prepared for us.
My nausea and sickness was temporary discomfort, all in preparation for my body and hormones to create an environment inside my body in which our baby could grow. The slow growth of an expanding bump has been to help prepare my skin for a gradual stretch and give my organs time to move into their new accommodation for the remaining months, allowing for a baby to grow in their place. Braxton Hicks are my body’s way of preparing for labour, stretching, contracting and widening the birth canal ready for me to deliver our baby. My sleepless nights have prepared and taught me how to function on very little sleep which will stand me in good stead, should we be even more blessed with a nocturnal baby! – or at least this is how I’m able to reason with the numerous sleepless nights. And my wonderful husband has grown to have more patience than he knows what to do with having had to manage my erratic hormones and refrain from saying the deadly phrase ‘is this your hormones!’
As I mentioned earlier, we lost our sweet baby Hope in May’15 and the pain Carl and I experienced in that season is still to this day indescribable. Our physical, emotional, mental and even spiritual state were completely rocked. To this day I still feel a deep sense of pain when I think of Hope and even more so when I chat with or hear about a family who have lost a child. But it’s only looking back at this season not so long ago, that I can see how God never wastes your pain. For Carl and I, He used that pain and is still using to help others and brought us into a season of growth and preparation for the blessing he had stored up for us.
James 1: 2-3
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.
Allow me to share with you something so poignant that I heard from a preacher named Levi Lusko entitled ‘Turn off the dark’,
‘Let god use your pain. This is going to sound almost insensitive but I want to say this to you and I hope you’ll hold onto it right now. If your eyes are blinded from the pain of searing loss. It’s actually an incredible honour to be trusted with the stewardship of suffering- it’s a Grace.
Charles Spurgeon says; ‘God gives His most difficult assignments to His most trusted soldiers.’
Crushing releases anointing. God is near to the broken heart. So when your going through something difficult God leans in and shows himself to you in ways you could never experience if you weren’t hurting and trusting him in that way.
Like Corrie Ten Boom says; ‘You wont know god is all you need till he’s all you have.’
When you go through something in that way it forces you to grow muscles of faith you couldn’t get any other way, and so when God allows you to go through something difficult its because he’s preparing you for something spectacular. He’s trying to give you, through your impossible pain, an incredible power, an anointing for things you would never dream of that you be trusted and trustworthy to go through those days.
Look at any person people in the bible who is used significantly. They also have this in common; at the beginning of their story, they suffered massively.
So God sees much in you and much he wants to bring out of you, and that’s why he’s allowed you to face what you have.
So you’ve got to train for the trial you’re not yet in, and let god use your pain. Don’t be selfish with this gift. Open your eyes and see who you could reach reach that you would not be positioned to touch had you not yet been through this difficult season.
If you are willing to, God will you use you in your pain. – Levi Lusko
Only two years ago, Carl and I found ourselves sat in our Pastors office receiving marriage counselling. We thought we were broken beyond repair and in the years leading up to that point, we experienced so much pain and hurt it’s a miracle given only by God that we stand here today, united and strong, in a happy and loving marriage. But you know, looking back we had refused to grow in so many areas of our relationship. And yet through those struggles, trials and the hard work needed to heal our marriage, we grew closer together with God at the centre. That growth- although uncomfortable and painful at times- has prepared us for the many different seasons we’ve been through since then. Nothing can prepare you for losing a child- nothing. But in those years of growth and preparation, we were able to trust on the one who healed our marriage, lean on Him more than ever before and on each other, believe in the Hope He has for our future and have peace in the midst of the storm even when the world wants us to blame God.
Ephesians 4: 14-15
Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.
One day our baby will grow into a toddler, then a little girl, a teenager and finally into adulthood. Though we all want our children to stay young, innocent and care free, if Carl and I hindered our baby’s development she wouldn’t grow into who God created her to be. She wouldn’t receive the blessings God has stored up for her and couldn’t be a blessing to others.
If you never move on from Junior to High School, your knowledge will be limited and you wont be prepared for further education, let alone the world and adulthood
Likewise, I believe that if we don’t spend time in His word and in prayer with our Heavenly Father our relationship with Him, our faith, trust and hope will become stagnant and never grow strong. Therefore, we wont be prepared for how to deal with the pain we go through- leaning on and trusting in Him. We wont grow into the people He created us to be and we wont be prepared for the things God asks of us or the seasons of life we find ourselves in.
I don’t know what season you’re in. Perhaps you too are feeling uncomfortable, experiencing some discomfort in whatever form that may look like for you.
Maybe you’re in a new job or role at work and you feel so out of your depth where you’re uncomfortable with what’s being asked of you. Perhaps God’s placed something on your heart and it’s just a bit too out of your comfort zone. Maybe you have a relational situation that needs addressing but to do so is going to put you in an uncomfortable position.
Perhaps you’ve been gliding through life, never stepping out of your comfort zone, turning down anything that will make you feel uncomfortable.
I don’t know what God’s growing you for, I don’t know what he’s preparing you for and I don’t know what pain you’re going through right now. But I know that through my walk with God; your pain is never wasted, the discomfort your feeling right now is temporary. He will place you in seasons of growth even when it feels uncomfortable in order to prepare you for the blessings he has stored up for you!
So allow me to encourage you today- if you’re uncomfortable, I believe it is only temporary and this season of discomfort will help you to grow and prepare for what he has in store for you.
Joyce Meyer says;
Winter is a dormant season. It’s a time when trees become bare and most of the grass, plants and flowers die off. But winter is also a time of preparation—as roots and tree saps respond to soil and temperature changes to prepare for growth that comes in the spring.
In much the same way, you and I go through spiritually dormant seasons. These are the seasons when God seems silent…when our dreams and visions for the future seem lifeless. But although we may not see or feel anything exciting, it doesn’t mean nothing is happening. A lot has to happen on the inside of us before we are ready to handle the future God has for us.
Just as winter prepares plants and trees for warmer weather, a spiritually dormant season is a time of preparation – when our inner character is developed and strengthened. Strong character is essential for withstanding storms that will come during seasons of growth and harvest.
The Bible tells us that even Jesus needed time to grow and increase in wisdom, stature and in years before He was ready to make a global impact through His three-year ministry (Luke 2:52).