I went into labor with my oldest child, Kolton, six years ago in the aftermath of an Oklahoma snowstorm. These storms don’t happen often, but when they do, they’re memorable. It was Christmas Eve, and the major interstate highways were shut down, people were stranded alongside roadways, thousands were without power and heat, and this soon-to-be momma was having contractions and pacing her living room.
I kept telling my husband, “You’re going to have to dig us out, you know. You’re going to have to go out in this blizzard and make sure that we can get out of the driveway if we need to go tonight, because I am NOT prepared to have this baby at home.” There are brave, beautiful, amazing women out there who choose to have their babies at home. There are women who dedicate their lives to helping other women make this a safe reality. But a home birth was not a part of my birth plan. As a matter of fact, as my due date got closer, my birth plan had two important parts:
1. Make it to the hospital.
2. Have baby.
You can see why the three feet of snow that we woke up to as I had steady contractions at nearly thirty-seven weeks of pregnancy was cause for concern. This amount of snow might not be notable for some parts of this country. But for us? Well, let’s just say I’ll never forget my sweet husband with his little shovel, hour after hour, making sure that we had an evacuation route down the driveway and into the street if we needed it. We hadn’t quite determined how we were going to make it out of the neighborhood, but somehow we did.
That snow was still on the ground when we brought Kolton home from the hospital just a few days later. As a matter of fact, it wasn’t until all of the visitors went home and my husband went back to work that I remember the ice finally beginning to thaw. I remember sitting in the nursery one afternoon rocking Kolton and listening to the whispered drips of melting ice outside the window, hoping that the sun would do the same for me. I hoped that it would melt away the mountain of fears that consumed my heart.
Later that night, after Jared came home from work, my parents came over to hold the baby. We all sat around staring at our tiny, sleepy gift and taking in the wonder of new life, when all of a sudden I just couldn’t contain my fear anymore. Jared was talking about some television show, and I cut him off and blurted out, “Being a mommy is so lonely!”
My sweet husband just looked at me. He didn’t know what to say. Well, no one really knew what to say. My own momma tried. “Honey, it is perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed.”
But the irony of that moment isn’t lost on me. I was surrounded by the people who love me the most, who just wanted to help in any way that they could, and I was announcing that I felt all alone.
I had made a powerful admission. It is a truth that I think many of us experience but few of us ever give voice to. I had been a momma for just a few days, and I had already discovered this reality: motherhood is lonely.
Do you ever feel lonely? Maybe you are a single mom, and you play the role of both parents. You work all day, parent all evening, and worry 24/7 that somehow you’re not going to be enough. Or maybe your husband is often away — maybe he works away from home, or is deployed in the armed forces, or just seems as if he isn’t as emotionally invested as you want/need him to be. You feel the weight of the family on your shoulders, and you desperately wish you had a partner whom you could count on to help carry the load. You feel like you’re doing it all by yourself. You just wish for a free minute when you could stop being in charge. Or maybe you’re surrounded by people all day, yet somehow it feels like no one really knows you or understands you. Friend, it’s not just you.
Because even on the days when you feel as though you have done it all by yourself. Even on the hard days when you just want help and there is no one to ask. Even on the days when you just don’t know how you’re going to keep going, the Lord has been with you and will continue to be with you.
Yes, God is there in the major moments, but He doesn’t just show up for special occasions. He’s not the type of guy who says, “I can’t make it, but take pictures for me and show me later.” God is with us in the most ordinary parts of our day. That thread of His presence that ties all of our moments together weaves through each one, leaving none untouched by His grace.
Scripture reminds us that He is the beginning and the end. And friend, I think He must also be everything in between.
That means this moment isn’t new to Him. He has already walked through everything we will face and knows just where to tell us to place our feet. Scripture says that the steps of a righteous person are ordered of the Lord, and I believe that this is not only because God walks them with us but because He has gone before and prepared the path so that we can walk it together safely.
And if all of that is true, then that mountain in front of you — whether it is weeks of sleepless nights, a job change or a move, or a troubled relationship; or whether it is a surgery, a deadline, or a secret fear — sweet friend, God’s already been to the other side of it. Not only is He going to lead you safely through it all, He is also going to guide you, as the One already waiting for you on the other side.
Excerpted from Hope Unfolding by Becky Thompson Copyright © 2016 by Becky Thompson. Excerpted by permission of WaterBrook, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Becky Thompson is an author, speaker, and the creator of the hugely successful website, Scissortail Silk, also known as BeckyThompson.com. What began in 2013 as a simple fashion blog has grown into a space for encouragement and inspiration for millions of women around the globe. Thompson resides in Oklahoma with her husband and their three children. Hope Unfolding: Grace-Filled Truth for the Momma's Heart is Becky's first book.
Publication date: March 21, 2016