Luke was born at 8:44 pm. A few days after I came home from the hospital, a friend came over with the verse of Luke 8:44 written out for me. I don't like to over think or over spiritualize things, but this stuck with me. For over a year now, I've been praying, pondering, and keeping this verse "close to my heart".
I've been in quite a funk lately. I've found myself stuck in moments where I felt trapped, suffocating even, hopeless, and defeated. I've been feeling like I'm being buried alive by the weight of life and the longing to provide, and to provide well, for my family and feeling like I don't know how to do that well. Essentially, the weight of being a working first time mommy. I am falling deeper and deeper in love with my husband and my son and… my dogs. It's like my heart is just bursting for them each day and then I suddenly get hit hard with what I have to offer them is not enough. The dark lie that has taunted me for years and years and years that I am not enough whispers and sneaks in past my joy. The lie that has been my fuel to work hard, strive hard, earn hard and produce good results. It it this lie that has been the motivation behind all the hard work I've done that has resulted in the affirmations and approvals that the lie feeds on. The worse I feel about myself, the harder I go into striving, burn-out work ethic, and people pleasing. The more I do that, the more pats I get on my back and words of affirmation that make me feel a slight high…. for a moment.
It's a very dark catch-22. I go into this because I want to be enough, I want to believe that who I am is enough. I want to make my family proud. I want to be good for them. And so I look for it in the validation that is fueled by the lies that snicker at me to earn my worth. I seek it, I find it, I trophy it, I hate it… I repeat it. The cycle continues as I strive harder and longer and the result is I have less of me, whole hearted me, to offer my family. I cycle through bitterness and pride and defeat. What results is where I am today, in a season of defeat and despair and shame. It's quite tiring.
My cycle of anxiety continues to tumble over and over in my mind, heart, and actions until I'm literally wrung dry. I've been feeling so physically, emotionally, mentally, and yes, spiritually drained and exhausted. Of course part of this is the reality of being a first time mommy trying to work hard and be a fully present mommy on sleep interval training. Yes, I'm simply just naturally tired. But I'm mentally and emotionally so tired of the worries that beat through my mama bear heart, and the striving in my wounded character that beckon affirmation in the wrong places.
So I've wondered and prayed – where is my healing and when does my resurrection come? I sang about this and for this on Sundays, so where is it? I want the power of the life after the cross, without going through the process of climbing up Calvary. Honestly, I don't even want to keep watch throughout the night in the garden with Jesus. I want to be able to just sleep through and receive the promises and blessings. Where is my healing? Can I just receive the power of the resurrection without the process of putting something to death?
I asked someone to letter Luke 8:44 for me because I felt there was something about it I should pray through.
And suddenly in my car ride home, I had one of those moments. One of those clouds-ripped-open, lightbulb-turned-on, eye-opening moments where suddenly something clicked. It was at 8:44pm when my Luke was birthed, an instantaneous PROCESS of healing began. The moment my hongsong was born, I began to pray. I prayed and asked God to mold me to be the best mom I could be. I knew very well that meant dealing with my stuff, my issues, my wounds, my anxieties, my shame. It's been an up and down process. Some great ups (like having some of my body shame redeemed) and some harsh lows, like how I've been feeling as of late. I realized that the moment he was born, at 8:44 pm, was when I fully engaged and fully dove into a process with the Lord in being a different me. A redeemed, transformed, righteous, overflowing with love, so grounded in truth, basking in the peace and power of His Spirit, courageous, bold, nurturing and fully me-me. It was at 8:44pm that everything within me shifted because suddenly everything seemed to matter. Sure my anxieties and fears and issues in the past were crippling, but it didn't seem that big of a deal because it hurt mainly me. In my mind's heart, that wasn't that big of a casualty and not worth the cost it takes to go through the process to deal with my issues. Now I realize that that's the biggest casualty because who I am affects who I love. Because I go through this vicious cycle of pouring out for others because I think I'm doing it for my family but they get whatever fumes I have left over. But the more I yearn for a better me for those in my life, the more I actually value my transformation for my own sake. Because I deserve it.
At Luke 8:44 her hemorrhage stopped. This constant gushing out of pain and woundedness suddenly stopped at the most gentle yet most powerful encounter with Jesus. I have prayed so many times asking God to increase my heart so that I had a greater capacity to love Him with. At 8:44, my heart was most definitely increased. And it's been this process, this so very painful process, of transformation that not only do I have a larger heart to love Him with, but I have a purer heart to love Him with. A whole heartedness that I've prayed and asked for. Essentially this funk is exactly what I prayed for because it is exactly here that I would encounter Him to expand and purify me. I wonder how often this woman prayed and got down on her knees beseeching the Lord to heal her of her constant pain. She yearned for it and waited for it in seasons of pain and hardship just waiting in a funk. And it was one instance with Jesus that shifted everything for her. The healing came immediately then, but how long did she have to wait for that moment? How long did she feel tired and drained and hopeless? And did those seasons of brokenness not result in such a desperation to then seek out and claim the healing destined for her?
At 8:44pm, I encountered God in such a way when new life was literally – absolutely literally – produced through me and I realized that something so beautiful could be birthed out of me. In that moment my years of bleeding – my willingness to hold hands with my anxiety, shame, fears – ceased because I began to hold hands with something – someone – greater. At 8:44pm I touched the fringe of His cloak and claimed the journey of healing for me. The healing destined for me.
I'm not in the best place these days. I still feel tired, overwhelmed, and at many times trapped. But it's in these seasons that I am willing to be pushed and shoved by crowds of people and get dirty and scraped as I crawl on the ground to have my insecure fingers stretch out to barely graze just the fringe of this Man's cloak. It is in these seasons that I beg for the healing, beg for the resurrection, beg for the transformation. It is in these seasons that I put to death the lies that gripped me, the anxieties that contained me, the fears that defeated me and allow the resurrection to bring to life a woman driven by truth to hold me, joy to free me, and courage to champion me. And with this truth, I can slowly feel the gushing out beginning to subside already.
I want to thank everyone that's joined me in my wordy journey. More updates are coming soon, so please stay tuned! Please subscribe to join in on the fun!