When I am pregnant, I tend to feel useless. It is when I feel the most discouraged about what I can’t do and what I am not accomplishing. Not feeling as well as usual, needing extra sleep, and facing physical limitations hinder my ability to do the things I think I should do.
My house isn’t very clean.
My boys grow shaggy manes of hair before I get around to giving haircuts.
I haven’t visited my neighbor since Christmas. She has trouble getting out of the house, and I look across the street and pray for her and wish I had the time and energy to walk over there and chat.
I am not very involved at church. It has been months since I’ve been to a prayer meeting.
I haven’t made a meal for a new mom in so long I can’t remember. Has it been years?
I haven’t fed the homeless.
I haven’t been on a mission trip. I haven’t shown my children the wonders and sorrows of a world beyond our borders.
I haven’t baked cupcakes for my children’s classes at school…ever.
I am not close to writing my first book.
I don’t take walks nor do Pilates.
What I have been doing is a lot of is eating and sleeping. Just recently I was considering how my present life would stack up in the light of eternity. All I could think about was what I hadn’t done –preached or healed or preformed miracles.
A friend at church was confiding in me how discouraged she had been lately. Partly in an effort to make her feel better and show her that she wasn’t alone in this sentiment, I shared my thoughts on my lack of important, spiritual works. Despite her own state of disappointment, she opened her mouth and out poured a beautiful stream of words from the Holy Spirit. I say that it was the Holy Spirit because it hit me right in the heart, convicted me, and lifted me up out of my doldrums all at the same time. She spoke so quickly and so beautifully that I couldn’t remember it all, but here is an awkward paraphrase.
“I am discouraged about what ministry we can’t do right now…but then I realize that I AM doing it RIGHT NOW, pouring into my family. What else is there? You bring life wherever you go…and THANK YOU! I wouldn’t have 5 children right now if it wasn’t for that conversation I had with you when you said that you didn’t want to miss anything; you wanted everything God had for you. That is a powerful message of life. You walk into a room and you bring double life without even doing anything. You keep going and keep carrying new life even though it is hard and you’ve had struggles. You live a message of life and that is so counter cultural and I LOVE IT!”
I was immediately convicted for despising the importance of where God has me right now – carrying new life! I grow people!
Girl people and boy people.
Light haired people and brunette people.
Even red-haired people!
Blue eyed people and brown-eyed people.
People who are talented artists and people who are good at math.
People with undetermined potential and people with childlike faith!
Growing people is so amazing and miraculous, it is like a superpower! It is hard work growing people. It takes a lot of eating and a lot of sleeping.
It takes giving up exclusive rights to my own body. And it takes giving up many, many tasks. It turns out that no task can be as important as a person. God gives me all the time and energy for everything He wants me to do. The things that I don’t have the time or energy for just don’t matter right now.
I am just a mom who loves babies. I am just a woman whose heart’s cry to God is, “I want to accept every child you have for me! I don’t want to turn a single one away!”
And my friend was telling me that I had changed her life! She was telling me that I bring life every place I go, just by being me!
Perhaps growing people is not your superpower right now. Perhaps your superpower is something more like:
Baking a beautiful cake
Smiling your lovely smile
Adopting the child that no one else loves
Writing encouraging notes
Taking care of the sick or dying
Running a business
If you don’t think you have a superpower, think again. God gives superpowers to everyone! Just ask Him what yours is, and He will show you. Most likely it is something that just comes naturally to you. You don’t think much about it, but in a life given over to God, your superpower is changing atmospheres. Use that superpower to love Him and love people, and there is no limit to the impact it could have. Keep throwing out your little seeds. Don’t worry about the condition of the soil it may find or the rain that may or may not come. It is God who will make it grow! It is God who takes the smallest of seeds and grows a huge Sequoia tree.
I look at all of my eight children; my toddler, my young ones, my pre-teens, and my teens. I can’t believe that I grew all of them! I feel my unborn baby kicking and flipping and I am in awe! I can’t believe God has given me another person to grow! It feels like a miracle!
So for now I am going to be eating A LOT and sleeping A LOT for the kingdom of God, because there is nothing more important I can do. You keep practicing your superpower, and together we will change the world!