“There is nothing interchangeable about Christians. …You and I, whether we are men or women, have nothing to do with the choice of the gift. We have everything to do with the use of the gift.” (Elisabeth Elliot, via Ronne Sellers Rock)
This morning my friend Ronne’s blog brought to mind waves of worries that have been crashing in my mind for the last 26 weeks. Well, OK…the last 18 weeks (because I didn’t know I was pregnant until I was about 8 weeks along). Worries not about motherhood – that’s a whole other blog – but about life…and changes…about new and old adventures, and how to navigate both…worries that one will tear me from the other…just a lot of worries.
As you know, 2010 was a pretty gigantic year for me, professionally and personally. Maybe the biggest yet. In some ways, indeed many ways, I felt like it was the Step Into. Never mind that I, of all people, should know by now there is no such thing as The Big Break anymore…every step is merely on its way to the next step, no matter what. But I was ready to be gung-go. I was going to tour my heart to peaces. I was going to write til I was wrung dry and play hundreds of shows with very important people. I was going to “capitalize on the year’s experiences” by “investing in new, profitable experiences.”
And then I got pregnant.
….aaaand not on purpose.
Now, don’t read me wrong: This pregnancy…man! This pregnancy is exactly what I’d been praying for for nearly four and a half years. I prayed for “an accident.” I prayed for God’s timing, because I didn’t want our timing to bring us down if our plans were unsuccessful. I prayed for a leak, and I doubt I’ve ever been more grateful for it. Because God, in His great kindness, answered this prayer – for the first time ever – exactly as I’d prayed.
So on one hand, I know how perfectly planned our little cage fighter monkey boy is, despite that we had no part in the planning.
On the other hand, part of me is a deep well of fear. By getting pregnant, I disobeyed the explicit direction of one prominent player in the industry who, in trying to help me out, advised that I hold off on babies for at least two more years to give myself uninterrupted time to get this thing off the ground.
So now, I spend days wondering if my career is over, and how to keep it afloat. I wake up in the night wondering if, in taking some time off to have a baby, the last eight years will be forgotten and I’ll have to start over…and how will I do that? I wonder if moving to Minneapolis next Fall will help or hinder the back-to-it process. I wonder if whatever audience I’ve gathered over the years will stay with me, and patiently await something new, believing it’ll be better…or if they’ll scatter to the winds.I wonder why God, in all His full knowledge, would choose now to interrupt this journey – at a kind of crucial moment – and set me on a new, very demanding journey.
I can’t help but worry that God is pulling me into a new adventure and closing the door on the last one, when I’d only barely gotten to taste its sweetness.
And if that’s the case…
I confess, with shame, I fear becoming small and unimportant and unknown. I fear losing whatever status I have. I fear becoming “just” a wife and a mom.
But then…I know God. I’ve witnessed too many times His impeccable Hand at work, and I believe with my whole person that, truly, “no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor mind conceived what God has planned for those who love Him.” (1 Cor. 2:9)
So I know that if, indeed, this is the end of one adventure, it’s only because the new adventure is more unthinkably grand than my small mind can bear, and will demand and deserve every ounce of me.
I also know this: I have long considered my song to be my gift. But the truth is songs are merely a tool in the hands of a masterful Craftsman. They are not the gift, but the expression of it. If I have come to idolize the tool, I’ve lost my way and can make no good use of it anymore. So it’s right that it should be taken from me, even if only for a time. Perhaps that’s what’s happening. Or perhaps God is handing me a brand new set of tools with which to do totally different things, lest I forget who is the Craftsman after all.
I have no idea what lay ahead. I don’t know what my career will look like in ten months or ten years. I don’t know if it’ll even matter once this tiny human God has seen fit to grow in me is finally in my arms and on his own feet and driving cars.
But I believe God is a God of perfectly timed accidents. I believe that even if this is the end of one way, it’s the very beginning of another. And it is right. I have witnessed time and again that even on His most foolish day, He is wiser than me at my best.
And I know that He is good and worth trusting.
So whatever lay ahead…well, it will pale all in its fantastic beauty.
**Take a moment to go read the blog that inspired and encouraged me today. I’ve wasted many words here, but those words give life. Especially to those lost in wondering who they are and what use they could be to God.