I can relate to the saying that trials are blessings, especially when we overcome them. However, the past 8 months have seemed more like my blessings are my trials. I’m not any less grateful for them, but I can say that I have felt a different kind of personal growth from our experiences.
Today I’m officially 37 weeks pregnancy. We are quickly approaching our little guy’s arrival, and it is literally a race at this point to see if he will arrive before or after we move into our new home. Then only a couple weeks after, my husband will be traveling again for work. There is plenty of stress, but also plenty to be grateful for. I’m taking it day by day, and trying to keep little man to stay put as long as possible.
Last August we started considering the possibility of building a new home. It was a Tuesday night in September when we finally committed to moving forward with our plan. We had prayed many times about our decision, and I prayed that if our plan wasn’t meant to be we would face roadblocks. It was completely the opposite, anytime there was a minor hesitation, a solution fell in our lap. The process of getting ready to build, finding renters for our other home, paperwork – everything fell into place as if we had spent months preparing.
So Tuesday night we had decided we were going to move forward. Wednesday morning I found out I was pregnant. And Thursday I had a previously scheduled doctor’s appointment to begin pregnancy planning – so I cancelled that appointment since it was no longer necessary. My heart was full and I felt like the Lord was guiding us along this path.
My heart was indeed full, but so was my to-do list, and my stress level was definitely rising. I was so grateful to be pregnant, I tried very hard not to complain when I felt weak or sick. I was so grateful to be able to rent our home and move in with my in laws while we built, I tried not to complain about missing my friends and neighborhood environment. I was so grateful to be building a new home, that I tried to express my gratitude for our simple blessings in life.
Over the past year we have been blessed in so many ways, I would be horrible to not acknowledge them all or to envy another. We have what we need, and we are able to raise our family and provide for them.
Even though I was putting forth effort, I’ve struggled with staying positive. In the 7 months we have lived with my in laws, my husband has been gone nearly 10 weeks for work travel. My pregnancy has taken my body and sent it through a whirlwind of symptoms I’ve never experienced or heard of. Our building process has been a rollercoaster of learning experiences – good and bad. My children have struggled with the limited space they have and the new environment changes. And I’ve struggled with winter blues/baby blues/winter depression – whatever you want to refer to it as. Never before have I felt so lonely or down as I did this winter, but again – I know it is caused by the winter, living away from everything familiar, and dealing with pregnancy hormones.
I’ve learned a lot this past year about pacing myself, practicing patience, and surviving some of the longest days of my life. 🙂 I won’t lie, I’ve set milestones to look forward to and it is has helped.
Through the last year, I wouldn’t trade my trials for another’s. But for the first time I can truly confess that I feel like my blessings have tried me and made me stronger. I’ve had moments I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to see the fruit of our blessings because I wasn’t strong enough to make it that far. But then I open my blessing journal (I have a journal for everything) and just made a list of everything I was grateful for. I listed our blessings, my blessings, and I found the energy and patience to keep moving forward. Sometimes it was just hour by hour, or day by day.
I feel spoiled sharing these “trials” that we’ve been blessed with, but my mind and especially my body have been pushed to new limits this pregnancy. I was telling my husband a couple of weeks ago that even through my hardest times of pregnancy or other, my mind and motivation was present and usually I could do whatever I wanted without and consequences. However, this pregnancy, I feel almost trapped in a body that isn’t able to do what it is used to. I feel weak, physically and mentally.
Our blessings have been from simple random acts from other people they didn’t know helped me, to huge blessings like our health, new baby boy, Rory’s career, our family and friends who have helped along the way, my faith has been strengthened, the friends my children have made and many many more. I could go on for pages- but I’ve never had to work so hard to enjoy my blessings. But just because they have been hard to me doesn’t mean they are any less of a blessing. If trials can be blessings, then it makes sense that blessings can be a trial to bare as well, right?
Here is to hoping that I can survive the next few weeks, and then facing new trials like being a mother of four. 🙂 I already need a nap just thinking about it.