What I Gained When I Lost The Panty Hose

Podcast episode remnants

Five years ago. The last time I wore panty hose, or heels, or a suit. Well, I guess the panty hose part is questionable since I was eight months pregnant. I left my HR career of 15 years to prepare for my son’s birth, and leave my familiar way of life.

I always wanted to have a family and be able to stay home with my kids. But life had taken some unexpected, painful turns and I wasn’t sure if I would ever realize that dream. Then at the age of 31, I married my wonderful husband, and at 34 I had my first son.

I finally received what I had always wanted, yet I struggled.

I loved my son beyond words, but I did not know where I fit into this new life. I had to make new friends. I had to figure out how to take care of a baby. I felt clueless. And the other moms around me seemed to be so much better at it than I was.

I turned inward, and I was afraid to share my struggles. I missed having the sense of purpose that the working world had brought to my life.

After a couple years had passed I tried to find some part-time employment opportunities, but every door was closed. I realized it was not the right timing. I poured myself into motherhood, and truly enjoyed outings with my son. I had some tough conversations with God, and I made some good friends. I started sharing my struggles with these women, and I found that a lot of them could relate. So we shared our lives, challenges, and triumphs together.

I began mentoring young moms at our local pregnancy center. My heart opened up to God, and I asked for help. I felt broken and humble, and out of control….and it was wonderful. I started feeling a sense of contribution, in a personal way.

When I had my second son, I had to step back from my volunteer activities. It was a tough process of letting go…again. But I knew I was entering a life-changing, wonderful experience in completing my family. I wanted to be present, and I wanted to take it all in.

God gives us passions, and He wires us to offer contributions this world needs. Yet there are times He asks us to let certain things go as we gain other things in life.

2 Peter 1:3 says that He calls us by His own glory and goodness. He has the ultimate, amazing dream for our lives….but it requires our willingness to surrender. Part of His goodness toward us is protecting us from the regret of missing out.

He has asked me to step back at various times in life so that I would not overlook what is quickly passing me by. The baby I quit work for is a 5 year-old boy who has a social calendar I can barely keep track of. And my 2 year-old keeps me running….literally!

Last week, after taking two years off, I began mentoring young moms again. I had a permanent smile on my face the entire time.

I gave something up, and was able to return to it later….with no regrets.

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” –Jim Elliott

Make-Me-a-Blessing_thumb.jpg

 

Kristin GordleyKristin writes about the things that inspire her to live a better story with the hopes of whispering wisdom to others along the way. She loves to encourage others through her blog, http://momentsinthestory.com/. You can also find Kristin on Twitter: https://twitter.com/KristinGordley or Facebook: www.facebook.com/kristingordleywriter

Innie or Outie–Which are You?

At 5 months I was done!  My body hurt, my emotions hurt, and life was just too hard, I. Was. Done!

Have you ever reached the place where you feel no one understands you?  No one feels your pain?  I have. And wallowed in it for far too long.

I had gotten pregnant with my second child and it was totally unplanned.  I had spent six months on birth control experiencing some random side effects and I thought there was no way I would conceive after being off it for one cycle.  I was just starting to feel normal again.  THIS was so not in my plans.  Oh, I wanted another child.  There was no doubt of that.  I love children, and babies especially.  But I was tired, tired before it even started.

The doctors all said I was barely pregnant but my body had been exhibiting signs for more than 8 weeks already.  I was so tired I couldn’t even hold a crochet hook to crochet.  I had a 16-month toddler to run after, I didn’t have time to feel this tired!

If only it had stayed there I may have counted my blessings.  But then the pain began.  Debilitating pain.  Unable to walk or move kind of pain.  And with it, emotional pain.

I think its our emotions that get us down the most.  Especially for us women.  Hormones play such a big part (I’m not going to blame them entirely) in how we think.  I read somewhere that pregnant women suffer depression more than we realize…and I can see the truth of that!

I felt that everyone was either laughing at me, or angry at me.  Laughing, because pregnancy is so wonderful, there’s no way pregnancy causes pain.  And angry, because I should be thankful that I’m able to even get pregnant.  “Just enjoy this time,” everyone said.  But I just could not see what there was to enjoy about it.  Every time the baby moved I thought that little foot was going to rip right through my stomach wall.  And I was depressed.  There were days I didn’t even want to get out of bed.  Days that I sat on the couch and cried my heart out while Little Man sat beside pointing at happy faces trying to get me to smile.  It was heart-breaking.  I know there were people who supported me, who tried to help me, but I just couldn’t see past my pain. My house suffered (ugh, I can’t tell you how long it has taken to get it clean again), my relationship with my husband suffered, and my time with Little Man suffered.  I was ready for it to be over and I was only 5 months pregnant!

  IMG_4500

Then I stumbled onto a blog post from a girl I knew from college.  She described how she had suffered through a previous pregnancy and was scared about her current one being similar.  I suddenly realized I wasn’t the only one!  Other people had rough pregnancies (worse than what I was experiencing).  I mean, I knew people had bad pregnancies but it was usually associated with morning sickness – not what I was going through!

~ No one could understand what I was going through!~

But someone did understand!  More than one person, in fact.   And I realized I had totally lost my focus.  It’s so easy when we’re going through a trial to focus on ourselves.  The sad fact is that someone, somewhere is going through something worse than you are, experiencing a pain worse than you could ever experience.   I realized that even in my pain I could focus on someone else.  It was not an overnight change, let me tell you.  But little steps here and, yes, sometimes a shuffle there (not quite a step) helped me to bring my focus around to where it should be, on the Lord.

The reality of the verse, “Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep” (Romans 12:15) was brought home to me.  Yes, there are many women (family, friends) who can’t have children.  Is their pain worse than what I’m experiencing?  (To my shame, some days the answer was no but it definitely was.)   People I knew went through the horrible pain of a  miscarriage during this time – was their pain worse? a thousand times yes!  I did have a lot to be thankful for!  Here I was moaning about the pain I was in and wanting someone to comfort me, when in reality if I had looked past myself I could have been a blessing to someone else during their trial.IMG_4505

It is so easy as a human being to get focused on ourselves (on the inward) when instead our focus should be outward.  If we look at the Lord’s example we can see how even when He was in the garden praying that the cup of death pass Him by (the only time we read that He prayed for Himself), He was still concerned about His disciples and those around Him (healing the centurion whose ear was cut off, etc.).

This month I want to encourage you to make yourself a blessing to someone else.  Especially if you are in the midst of a trial.  When it seems that no one cares for you, remember that the Lord cares.  When you’re busy being a blessing on someone else, focusing on the outward instead of the inward, you won’t be able to focus on your own pain.  Am I saying your pain isn’t real?  NO! I’m not saying that at. all.  Am I saying you won’t still have bad days?  Nope, they’re definitely going to come.  But you can lessen the impact they have on your life if you make a conscious decision to make yourself a blessing.  Find the joy in your life!

Will you join me this month in this challenge? Make Me a Blessing