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Resting in a hospital room with my happy, healthy new baby, I feel blessed but also melancholy. My husband is nearby, but when I look out the window to a rainy gray day in Iowa, I feel lonely. I don’t even know where exactly I am, having only lived in Iowa for two weeks. I couldn’t find my way home if I tried.
With this birth of our fourth child, there are no regular traditions. No grandparents with a birthday cake for the new baby. No friends to come meet him. No In-N-Out burgers, a tradition we started in Las Vegas when I was so starving after delivering that I could eat a whole meal AND a chocolate shake. This time we have nobody but ourselves–a blessing and a curse.
The rain is sad and fitting, and I allow myself to cry. I usually cry because of the joy and fear of a new baby, the excitement and feeling of success in bringing a little life into the world. But this time, it is a pitiful cry full of loneliness and confusion. How am I going to do this? How am I going to take care of four kids in the middle of the woods without knowing anybody? How am I so alone in this stark, sterile hospital?
Yet, despite the rain and these heavy feelings, I know I am not alone. I have never felt so carried in my life. When I found out that we were moving and I would be 38 weeks pregnant when we arrived in Iowa, I somehow felt empowered instead of scared. God gave me the confidence and the strength to push forward. I have felt His presence guiding me, carrying me, guarding me.
My wonderful family and church friends helped me pack and clean; they babysat and brought food; they even gave me a surprise baby shower. There is nothing like the power of wonderful women who help lift you in the hardest times of life. He inspired them to help me.
When we had a hard time finding a place to live, I found an ad on Craigslist that met our needs. He helped me find the best movers and set up a travelling schedule in a few days time and within a budget. He did this because He knew I couldn’t do it alone.
I realize as I stare out the window in the hospital that this is my test–I am supposed to feel this loneliness so I will turn to Him and remember that I am not alone. In reality, I have never felt true loneliness because I have always had my God to help me. He who created my spirit knows me perfectly and knows just how to calm me and help me to grow. Growth is painful but necessary for us to reach our full potential. I know that I can face this challenge of bringing home a new baby in a brand new place because God has carried me here–and He will continue to carry me in the days and years ahead.
QUESTION: Look back on the most difficult times in your life: how did God carry you and help you?
CHALLENGE: When you are feeling overwhelmed and lonely, stop and remember the times that God steered your path and remember that He is always with you.
Image from Shutterstock/Graphics by Julie Finlayson.