2011 came quietly. Jacob and I spent it at home, watching episodes of Dirty Jobs and Psych while I timed contractions and willed them to get stronger and longer. I remember wondering if it was 2011 yet and glanced at the clock behind me. It was exactly midnight… to the second. How did I catch that moment?
And just like that, we began a new season… A new year. 2011 – A year of change.
It’s already not what I expected.
I truly thought our baby would be born in 2010… but right now, as Jacob naps on the couch and LeLe suns herself like a cat in the window, I am strangely at peace and even a bit thankful that I have this quiet morning to reflect on what we’re leaving and where we’re going.
Here’s what I know is true of me. I am not brave. I am fearful. I am like Elisha’s servant, fully aware of all the enemies that surround me. Mine may not hold swords, but they are waving weapons of fear and shouting words of doubt.
- You aren’t going to know how to take care of this baby. Someone else would be better-suited for the job.
- You aren’t going to be able to emotionally recover from the stress of becoming a mom in time for the move home, and you’re going to have a nervous breakdown.
- You are going to get to the airport and find out something is wrong with your dog’s paperwork and will have to leave her behind.
- You are going to be totally overwhelmed by the difficulty of adjusting to motherhood and preparing for a cross-continental move at the same time.
- You and Jacob aren’t going to communicate very well in this next season of life. You are going to revert to old patterns of behavior where you both just put your heads down and trudge forward to get through difficult seasons – failing to actually journey together.
- You are going to have a meltdown on the plane home.
- You are going to be lonely and misunderstood when you go home.
- You are going to lose your passions and only care about cookies for bake sales and soccer practice, and you will wake up someday and wonder what happened to the Carrie you used to be.
- Jacob isn’t going to be able to find a good job. He has been out of the field for too long and no one will give him a chance.
- You are going to be dependent on others for shelter, assistance, and support for much longer than you anticipate.
- You are not going to have a home for a very long time… you will be a house-guest who stays too long and has no roots. Your baby isn’t even going to have a consistent place to sleep.
The enemies get bigger and bigger. The shouts grow louder and louder. My heart rate gets faster and faster. Fear rolls in my stomach… boils up into the back of my throat and bubbles out sometimes in a voice-cracking cry that admits just how terrified I am. I have moments a few times a week… moments when I just sob and cry out, “I can’t do this.” I’m almost angry that I even have to try!
It isn’t that someone is forcing us to change. It is time and we are ready. But normal people don’t do this. And it makes sometimes makes me angry – at myself, at my husband, at God, at our convictions, at something I can’t quite name – that we’re doing it anyway.
I am no spiritual giant. I am no saint. I have not learned how to always trust God, no matter the circumstances. My memories of His past faithfulness are almost always overshadowed by my future fears. Fear blinds me and I cannot see reality clearly.
“Don’t be afraid!” Elisha told him. “For there are more on our side than on theirs!” Then Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes and let him see!” The Lord opened the young man’s eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire.
2 Kings 6:16-17
There is one thing I know for sure… 2011 is going to be a year of change. I don’t like change, but I know that Jesus is emmanuel even in this season of my life… He is with me. And, He is already putting Elisha’s in my life who say, “Don’t be afraid! He who is in you is greater than he that is in the world. He will keep you in perfect peace as you trust in him. Be still and know he is God. Rest. Trust him. He is good, Carrie. He is always, always good.”
And as I hear these whispers of truth and whispers of grace, I know my eyes are being slowly opened… to see the hillsides around me filled with horses and chariots of fire, ready to come to my defense. Ready to fight when I cannot. These chariots don’t belong to my enemy, but to my savior, and He’s looking at me with love, compassion, and mercy.
2011 is going to be a year of change… and an opportunity to trust not in what is seen but in what is unseen. What is 2011 going to be for you?