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Life Lessons I’ve Been Learning Lately

life lessonsI’ve been so excited to share with you guys about this pregnancy! It’s been so fun how I’ve gotten so close with so many of you that I truly feel like you have been on this journey with me, so naturally I’d share this exciting new stage with you as well, which is probably why I can’t believe I haven’t shared more yet! I think God has just been teaching me so much through this season, yes, about pregnancy, but more so about life lessons in general that I’ve just needed time to sit, think, and process through it all. That plus, I knew I wanted to share about all of this, but honestly haven’t known how. I know there are so many people struggling with the same things out there (and much deeper versions of this) that at first I shied away from it, but also felt it was something that needed to be shared. Can you still sense the inner turmoil, ha?

Where to begin…a little over a year ago, I married the man of my dreams. I had been a single mom for 5 years to the most precious little girl, Olive, and right after we got married Danny adopted her! This was exactly what we had been praying for for years! It was this big redemptive moment in my/our lives. We were so excited to start this next chapter of our lives together and decided to start growing our family right away. I couldn’t wait! This is where God had different plans for us and instead took me through a season of learning.

If you know my story, you know that last time when I got pregnant with my daughter it was unplanned. It happened just like that. I didn’t realize how much that had warped me into thinking that’s just how easily it happened (at least that’s the way I thought God wired me). I thought surely that would happen again. Like I mentioned earlier, I felt as though marrying Danny was this big redemptive moment, where God was redeeming and restoring many areas of my/our lives, which it was. I wouldn’t say I thought it would be smooth sailing from there, but deep down I kind of did think that. I thought we’ve gone through most of our struggles and now was our time for things to happen. Well, surprise! It didn’t exactly go that way. While this first year of marriage was nothing short of magical and a true gift far better than I could have ever imagined, it wasn’t without struggle…including a glimpse of infertility (I REALLY hesitate to call it that because it was only 8 months and I know many people struggle much longer, but I say that because that’s immediately where my heart went). We started trying almost immediately after we got married (yes, I know we’re crazy, but that’s what we wanted). So I naively went into it thinking I’m automatically pregnant and every month assumed it had happened. I started out so excited, so on Fire for the lord to finally give me this gift I had been longing for; to have a husband and get to have a baby. The first month went by, nothing, my heart sank, but I quickly brushed it off thinking next month! Month after month went by and my world was a little bit shaken every time I saw that negative sign. Why was this happening? This was supposed to be our moment of redemption. I grew frustrated and eventually started to become bitter. I was able to get pregnant when I didn’t want to but wasn’t able to when I did and things were finally ‘right’. It didn’t make sense!

Little did I know God had a different plan, a far better plan. He chose to take me down the longer road, just like he did with the Israelites after leading them out of Egypt. He knew there was a shorter way to get to the promise land (or a shorter/quicker way for me to get pregnant), but he also knew that if he took me that way I would miss out on a lot of Him and learning things about Him that would greatly benefit me, just like with the Israelites (see Exodus 13:17). So God, being the good & perfect Father that He is took me the way that was best for me.

In this time of waiting, I had to wrestle with God a bit. I had to get raw and real and question Him, so I could learn from him. I started to question a lot of the injustices I see in the world. Why do bad things happen to good people? Why do good things happen to bad people? Why do people that don’t want to get pregnant, get pregnant while some of the seemingly perfect parents in the world struggle or are unable to? And so on and so on…

Through this struggle, God lovingly reminded me how I don’t know what’s best, but he does. God sees the full picture of everything. He always has a bigger plan, a purpose for EVERYTHING. Sometimes you just have to go through seasons of wrestling with God. And, friend, is it okay to wrestle with God. To ask Him “Why” and tell Him what you’re feeling, “God, I’m mad” or “God, I don’t understand”. In that place of questioning and raw honesty, God meets us where we’re at and begins to answer to questions and heal those wounds.

In my wrestling and questioning in this season, God showed me His goodness. I learned that when you get pregnant and you don’t want to, God is good. When you want to get pregnant and you can’t, God is good. When I witnessed my parents go through several injustices that happened to them in business, God is good. When my dear friend Lauren Scruggs Kennedy got hit by an airplane propeller and lost her left hand and left eye, God is good. The list could go on and on…and in all things God is good & DOES have a plan! I also started to see the fruit and blessings that came from each of those struggles. In me getting pregnant when I wasn’t ‘wanting’ to, I got Olive, who has been the biggest blessing in my life. In these 8-9 months of waiting and questioning (which again, please hear me say I KNOW this isn’t very long compared to a lot of people who wait years, but still the wrestle for me was there), God taught me all of this. In my parents struggle, our family has grown so much closer together and my parents have been able to be an incredible example of steadfastness to so many. When Lauren Scruggs thought her world had come crashing down, it was only the beginning. God had a whole new story he was writing in her life.

We couldn’t be more excited and grateful for this next step in our life. We know there are going to be lots of ups and downs and unknowns along the way but we’re going to continue to try our best to hold it with open hands to God, waiting to see what he has in store, and meanwhile, enjoying every step along the way! Smiling at the good days, laughing off the bad days…

Also wanted to say, I am praying for each of you that are walking through seasons of wrestling, infertility, doubt, and/or struggle. Those things are real and they are hard. I pray that in this season you will wrestle with God and that you will see God. See parts of Him you never knew existed and experience healing, restoration and blessing. I love you all very much!

xoxo- Liz

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