3 weeks ago, Baby Aspen was born. Usually, I’m ready to get back to our normal routine at 2 weeks postpartum, but at 2 weeks postpartum, my life was in a shambles. At 3 weeks postpartum, not much has changed.
Besides the fact I am recovering from an unplanned c-section, I ended up catching the bug that ran through my family shortly before Aspen was born. It was something that started as a stomach virus and then turned into a respiratory bug a few days later. Because I have asthma, respiratory illnesses really knock me down. I lost my voice and struggled to breathe. In fact, I’m still croaky and needing my rescue inhaler on occasion.
But that’s not all. We just moved. The house is not fully unpacked and most of our stuff is out of place. Oh sure it’s in a place, but it’s not the place it ought to be. And some things are missing entirely. They are probably in a box in the garage, but the garage is stacked to the ceiling with boxes, so finding the “right” box isn’t going to happen any time soon.
Early last week, I was feeling very downtrodden. I could see around me all the things that needed to be done, but I was completely helpless to do any of them. The kids and Ty were doing good just to keep the house running. No way would they be able to put together new chore charts, school schedules, and menu plans. No way could they unpack boxes and put things in a place that made sense. They were doing well to work within the confines of what I had managed to get done before I had Aspen. The arranging of the house, the reworking of the school schedule and chores would all have to wait until I was fully recovered.
But, when would that be?
Why did I have to get sick on top of having a c-section? Why did I have to move a few weeks before I had a baby? Why is everything a mess? Why, Lord, why?
Philippians 4:6-7 tells us not to be anxious. It tells us to present our requests to God. What it doesn’t say is, “and everything will happen just the way you want it to.” What it does say is God will give you peace beyond what you can understand and Jesus will guard your heart and mind from the anxiety and cares you are feeling.
When there are setbacks in our lives, they are typically seen as a bad thing. They are seen as something that holds us back from the way we want things to be. They cause a lot of anxiety as we fight against them or as we watch helplessly as they happen to us. We are worn out physically, mentally, and emotionally by them, and we want to get away from them as soon as possible.
All I could think about was how tired I was of being sick. I had all these plans and the c-section and sickness were messing those plans up. All I could do was sit and nurse baby and sleep.
And that’s when it donned on me…
All I could was sit and nurse baby and sleep.
Because of the sickness and the c-section recovery, I wasn’t able to jump back into a busy life. I had to slow down. I had to sit and do nothing but hold my newborn daughter. Sometimes that meant the little boys had to watch one more movie or we all had to eat one more plate of cheese chips. Sometimes it meant I held Aspen all night as I slept in the recliner in the living room. Sometimes it meant I couldn’t turn on the computer or answer the phone.
When I let the anxiety of not being able to do the things I thought “needed” to be done rule my life, I was a wreck. When I gave it all to the Lord, He guarded my heart and mind and I realized the things I thought mattered didn’t. They could wait and one day He would restore normalcy in our lives (albeit, a “new” normal). But, for now, the setbacks were His way of healing me, of giving me time with my newborn daughter, of giving my other children time to adjust to a new city, a new house, and a new sister. The setbacks were truly a God-send.
And it was time for me to rest and be peaceful that everything was exactly the way God planned it.
What setbacks are you experiencing? How are you handling them? Are you resting in the Lord? How can we be praying for you?