So those of you who know me will be aware that I have now passed my due date and am now classed as overdue. Although, I’ve been doing a lot of reading and apparently only 5% of women actually deliver on their due date as it’s just an estimation- a guide.
I’m not incredibly uncomfortable, but I am exhausted and becoming slightly frustrated now. 25th April has been a date we’ve anticipated for almost 9 months. It’s the milestone we’ve waited patiently for, loosely planned around and anticipated with great expectancy!
I’m not one to sit around and do nothing, so I’ve pretty much just been carrying on with life as normal- apart from I am now fully converted to the ‘nap’ club! Why have I never napped before?! Despite this though, I very much feel in a ‘now what?’ stage. I feel slightly on egg shells that her arrival is imminent and although I can still make plans in my day, things could change rapidly.
As I considered what I’ve already been writing about on this issue of timing and waiting, I considered those of us who perhaps feel overdue- not in their pregnancy but in life. Perhaps you feel your blessing is long overdue; that promotion, the child you’ve always wanted, a house of your own, the holiday you so desperately need, the partner you’ve waited and longed for, the healing of an illness you’re battling with…
Perhaps you find yourself saying, now what? What do I do now? I’ve been waiting for ages; weeks, months years! My time is long overdue!
Perhaps like me in my pregnancy, you’re feeling exhausted and frustrated with it all and you’re on egg shells waiting for something to happen, a motion of something that encourages and comforts you informing you things are on the move. Or maybe you feel so overdue that you’ve almost become complacent now, you’ve lost your hunger and passion, your positivity and outlook on your future? It’s never going to happen, my time has come and gone, I give up, I’ll just settle for second best?
Or lastly, maybe you feel like or you’ve taken it upon yourself to intervene? You’ve been pushing against doors trying to get things started yourself, making rash decisions and thinking, God’s taking his time, maybe he needs a helping hand? I’ll just help push things along a little- what can it hurt?
Carl and I went to visit the new birthing centre the other week. It claims to be a state of the art, ‘home from home’ suite that can accommodate births for low risk pregnancies. The aim of using these suites are to encourage a natural birth and lots of movement in labour rather than being laid down on a bed and under the medical supervision of a doctor. One of the key points the midwife stated during this tour was that they aim to encourage a natural birth and avoid the slippery slope often caused by intervention. She explained that as soon as they start intervening with drugs other than Gas & Air- anything to help either speed the labour along or manage your pain more effectively- usually spirals into a slippery slope of interventions. Consequently, complications are more likely both during and after birth, for Mum and baby.
How many times when we try and intervene with God’s plan, do we find ourselves on a slippery slope of complications and things not going the way we planned? All because we felt our time was long overdue and decided to intervene by giving God a helping hand- like he needs it!
Carl and I have fallen subject to this temptation many a time. When Carl was made redundant while living in Surrey, instead of surrendering ourselves, our lives and all that encompassed to God, we talked about the things we wanted to do and went ahead and did them. We’ve always loved to travel, and so in getting caught up in the moment and feeling excited that the world was now our oyster, we both applied for jobs in China and America. Within days I was offered a job in China working with children. We were moving to China! But the whole process after being given a verbal agreement of a job contract, was a succession of pushing against closed doors. In the end, the job fell through and we found ourselves living back with parents and jobless.
Before getting married, we knew we were having troubles yet neither of us wanted to admit it. Carl wasn’t yet a Christian and it hadn’t been long since I had given my life to Christ- this was causing some friction. We tried many a night away, weekends and small holidays to seemingly fill a hole that was so evidently missing in our relationship, all in an effort to try and ‘fix’ things. Not surprisingly, none of this worked, we still decided to get married and consequently just a few weeks into our marriage (the honeymoon in fact) we suffered multiple marital problems which ended up being just as the midwife described- a slippery slope, into marital breakdown. SPOILER ALERT: short & sweet; happy ending! We’re all good now!
You see, in all this and on many other occasions, we failed to include God in our situation. We failed to surrender all to him first and foremost, but instead succumbed as a last and desperate resort crying out for help! We tried to intervene so many times because we felt we were overdue; we’ve been waiting to work in a different country and experience other cultures for years, lets do it now! We’ve noticed our relationship breaking down for a while now, lets still get married though- there’s a lot of people looking forward to it and maybe once we’re married things will get better- it’s just the stress of planning a wedding.
Not once did we sit down together and pray, asking God for guidance and instruction. Not once did we ask what His will was for our lives and that we would wait on Him and trust that he had a plan. We intervened time and time again- following our own will, our own path, our own desires.
Matthew 6:10 NCV
May your kingdom come and what you want be done, here on earth as it is in heaven.
Now I totally believe God knows and sees the desires of our hearts and I’m not saying be lazy; don’t try anything, don’t give anything a go, don’t travel, don’t do anything other than what you’ve always done. I believe we have to do some of the work- God won’t do everything for us- we’re not his puppets. But whatever you feel long overdue for; the moments where you’re saying ‘now what God?’ the stage you’ve reached where you’re exhausted of waiting, frustrated and so you think you’ll intervene- I encourage you to wait.
Psalm 27:14 NLT
Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.
Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart’s desires. Psalm 37:4
May he grant your heart’s desires and make all your plans succeed. Psalm 20:4
Whatever you’re long overdue for, I believe God sees and knows. He’s not making you wait to be mean or cruel or to see you suffer. I don’t know why you’ve had to wait as long as you have, and I don’t know how much longer you will have to wait for- but there’s a saying: “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain.”― Vivian Greene. Meaning, no matter what you’re facing, see the positives, see how God is using you and your situation to perhaps help others, to learn to trust and lean on him more, to truly surrender all, to learn patience and peace in the midst of your storm, to appreciate the blessings you already have, to witness to others and testify of Gods goodness. Perhaps, just as I mentioned earlier, your waiting is all part of Gods plan in preparing you for your blessing?
I know that although I’m overdue, my body has to try and prepare itself for labour- naturally. If I intervene and try to rush things, I could quickly find myself on that slippery slope to intervention again.
I totally believe your blessing is coming, I don’t know it’s form or context, I don’t know when and I don’t know how- but it’s coming. God doesn’t need a helping hand. He wants your trust, your obedience, a relationship with you, to draw strength from Him. He wants you to learn to surrender all and allow him to become present in all areas of your life- not just the ones you want to box off and keep God out of.
There is a right time and a right way for everything, yet people often have many troubles. They do not know what the future holds, and no one can tell them what will happen.
What a stack of blessing you have piled up for those who worship you, Ready and waiting for all who run to you to escape an unkind world.