Nearly four weeks ago, our family welcomed a beautiful boy. We’re in a time of transition, learning to integrate a new little one into our rhythms and routines. The weight of pregnancy and delivery are lifting and I’m beginning to think about nitty-gritty of real life that is soon to re-emerge for us.
The last 10 months have had a singular focus — growing and caring for a healthy baby boy. Physical limitations have precluded nearly all thought and effort beyond this aim. Now, I find myself asking old and familiar questions. What is next? How do my work, family, and spiritual lives coexist with these new responsibilities? Should they? Is there room for writing? Do I have anything to say? What life do I want?
I make mental lists of pros and cons, considering the sacrifices required by each apparent option. I act as if I’m standing in a buffet line, chosing the roast beef and mashed potatoes over fried chicken. But our lives are more than a series of choices that have been laid out before us. Our lives are to be conduits of God’s love and his glory. We exist to find pleasure in him and in that delight, we demonstrate his greatness to a jaded and questioning world.
But we rarely know ourselves. We rarely see at the beginning of an endeavor God’s design, his purposes, and the ultimate beauty he intends for us. If our choices are based solely on what we see, what seems right to us apart from God’s leading, we miss the joy he has for us.
In the hormone-filled haze of pregnancy and postpartum life, I began to ask the wrong questions. I had been asking, “What’s next?”
I’d been asking for clarity about what I want. Instead I need to draw nearer to God, to know him more, and to be willing to follow where he leads.
George Muller once said:
I seek at the beginning to get my heart into such a state that it has no will of its own in regard to a given matter. Nine-tenths of the trouble with people generally is just here. Nine-tenths of the difficulties are over come when our hearts are ready to do the Lord’s will, whatever it may be. When one is truly in this state, it is usually but a little way to the knowledge of what His will is.
Today, as I nurse a little one and clean counters and prepare dinners, I pray for friends and family who are hurting — those with health problems, those reeling from divorce, those longing for babies, those struggling to raise the babies they have. But for me, today, I ask only, “Draw nearer. Make me willing.” I will continue on the path ahead of me until he answers.