I awoke for the second time with a terrible migraine. In the shape of a starfish (not on my side), disoriented, unknowingly hogging the double bed and ungraciously crowding my sweet husband who was teetering on the edge. The teal colored night-lamp dispersed just enough light to see the ceiling. The room was small, I could see all four walls out of the corner of my peripheral. It seemed too bright for it to be 3AM. Was it really the middle of the night? Alas, this was family vacation.
I’ve grown to both love and loathe bedtime. I laid there, hot and sweating in the room set at a cool 70 degrees. Uncomfortable, trying to recite scriptures to memory; “God is my refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble…” and was interrupted by nausea. I quickly determined that no matter how beautiful, modern, or exquisite a vacation condo is–there’s no way to dress up a toilet. I sat on the bathroom’s beautiful marble floor and sobbed.
“I’m 19 weeks along. Why am I still sick with “morning” sickness? I’m exhausted. Why are my prescriptions not working? Why does the smell of spearmint toothpaste make me want to puke more? God, can’t you just take away the nausea? I forgot to bring ginger ale. Why didn’t anyone tell me it was this hard? Shut up, you’ll wake Johnny, and they just drove over ten hours to get here. What on earth did I eat for dinner? What am I doing wrong? Why am I complaining– I am pregnant! You’ve prayed for this! You have a miracle inside of you. So many of your friends have suffered multiple miscarriages, failed adoptions, and been told they’ll never have children. You’re not dying. Rachel, stop being so selfish. Pull yourself together. Don’t be such a pansy. You’re such an ungrateful brat.”
These thoughts circled my mind like a lion closing in on it’s prey. Frustrated and angry. Then guilty and ashamed for being frustrated and angry. I could feel desperation’s sudden, not-so-subtle onset. Cue more tears; this is where I panic.
Then out of no where, I thought of a big bird. What on earth! (I should mention that I have a strong dislike for birds in general.) The thought continued to unfold; “He will cover you with his feathers.” I knew I had read it somewhere, but I hadn’t a clue where it was found. I crawled back into the room and grabbed my phone off the floor. I went on a google search frenzy: “scriptures; bible verses; ‘feathers…'”
Psalm 91. Bingo, well played google:
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust’…
He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge;
His faithfulness will be your shield and protection.
You will not fear the terror of night,nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.
You see, this first-time-mommy is quick to think of God as Marahute, the golden eagle in Disney’s The Rescuers Down Under. So often I wonder why He hasn’t swooped me up out of my troubled circumstances and “fixed” everything that’s seemingly going wrong. Where is He in my “time of trouble”? Isn’t He omnipresent, omnipotent, and capable of anything?
Paradigm shift. I’d been sitting there for well over an hour praying for God to take the pain away, while all along, He was sitting there with me. Stillness swept over my heart as His gentle, loving peace soothed my weary soul. He was with me.
I’m starting to see that God doesn’t always change our circumstances, troubles or trials. But like a big momma hen (don’t laugh), He gently covers us with His wings and warms us with His feathers. He faithfully sits in the crud and through storms of life with us. He comforts our hearts, speaks peace to our minds, sustains our spirit, and won’t leave us for a moment. He is ever faithful; this is our Savior.
I’d be lying if I said I’ve only had a few nights like this. To be honest, pregnancy has been a journey of ever increasing faith. I’ve been challenged, pushed beyond what I thought were my limits, and been sicker than ever in my life. But along with my tummy, my trust and confidence in Christ has grown– and for that alone I am thankful. Our pastor, Todd Wagner’s version of Paul’s writings has been my motto over the last few months: “If dependence on Christ is the goal, then weakness is an advantage.” My prayer is that in times of need, my heart would turn to Him.
So whether you’re a first timer struggling through pregnancy, have six children, praying for children, or going through a stormy season– snuggle up to His side and let Him pull you through. He’s promised to work all things together for your good and His glory. Daddy Big Bird promised.