[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #9b9b9b;”] I [/dropcap] thought I had grown in this area of waiting . . . or maybe the last few days/weeks of pregnancy are hard on every female? Regardless, I’m ready to move on from waiting on this baby to decide to come. So I’ll post one photo, which is terrible and was taken by me in the bathroom at work. And I’ll say that I feel very large. If this girl is an 8 pounder, then I might feel better about how big I feel. But she doesn’t feel that big. All a mystery . . . Anyway, I’ve been wanting to somehow record all my posts from my previous blog (micahsheart.blogspot.com), which has everything from when I was living in California, to getting married, to moving to the UK, to moving back to the States. It’s a lot of stuff that I want to keep for my kids; should they ever care to know their mom before she was “Mom.” Yet I’m not so technologically savvy . . . we’ll figure it out though. So because I’m in the midst of pregnancy brain and is this baby coming?! mode, I’ll leave you with a post from that era . . . shows much more of how we progress through life and how God teaches us . . . good stuff.
I’m tired. And I’ve said that a lot lately. I think this year has been the most tiring one so far, yet in a fabulous, wonderfully good kind of tired. We spent a few hours at the house of some friends from our church today, and it was so good to talk to another couple. So good to get their thoughts, hear their experiences, and get to share ours. Sometimes I feel that no one here really knows me. (Mark doesn’t count – he’s with and a part of me, so he’s not “here”. If that makes sense.) Yet on the other hand, I’m okay with that and have come to have peace with it. But then we hang out with people, and I think wow, I so miss that! I used to be such a social person. In a weird way, I’m a bit of a contradiction in that I’m a quiet introvert who loves to be with people. I love talking to people; I just have a hard time with the hi, how are you part as I love to skip on past that to what do you think about this? How does this make you feel? So today was a good reminder of who I was (and still am) and what I’ve missed. While we were talking to this couple, they asked us to tell them how we came to be here. We described how in the month after our wedding we began to look online for a place to live in the UK, and we asked the Lord to direct our steps. We knew that we wanted to go to a New Frontiers church, so we went to the New Frontiers website and got a list of places where their churches were located. Then we got on UpMyStreet.com and scoped out areas that were safe, affordable, low in crime, good schools (not that we have kids), pretty place to live, etc. Mark had already picked a place that he wanted to see, so that was really our starting point. Then we wrote down a list of other places, and at one point, I even joked and said hey Mark, what if we lived in Shrewsbury, Shropshire?! He laughed and said well, you’d have to learn how to pronouce it first!! And we had a good laugh. I never seriously thought we’d live here. So when we flew into the Manchester airport, we had arranged to purchase a car off ebay, and we met the car owner at the arrival gate. Mark checked the car over as best as he could, and then we were off to our first location to check it out. We had to stop on the way as I was so completely exhausted that I could not stay awake to even look out the window to see the areas we were driving through. Plus, Micah and tiredness do not mix. I can’t emphasize that enough; I’m not very nice when I’m tired. And so Mark was left on his own to feed and entertain himself, while I slept the day away at a small inn. (To be fair though, the months leading up to our wedding were beyond busy and exhausting, plus I was working to provide for us while we prepared for the wedding, got married, and then prepared for our big move. I was due about a months’ worth of sleep.) So anyway, the next two days were filled with us driving around the West Midlands to find our new town. And so that’s how we got here. When we drove into Shrewsbury, Mark knew that this was our town. And as we were telling that story, the other couple was laughing at us like how absurd yet wonderfully adventurous is that?! I never really thought about it like that to be honest. We just wanted to settle somewhere, and my dad always told me to find a church before deciding on where to live. And we didn’t want to live in Carlisle, so the sooner we made our decision the better. Simple as that really.
However, tonight as we were talking, I realized something. One – how faithful is our God? We prayed through that time, but really, we were so busy that we mainly stepped out on a wing and a prayer if you know what I mean. I wouldn’t have said that I felt totally directed by the Lord to pick this place, yet now, I can see how He was directing us. And second, I never really think of myself as adventurous. I just do things my own way, and they’re not usually done like everyone else. It so happens that my guy is up for doing whatever and isn’t one to do things like everyone else either, so we make a good pair. And as I think back on this whole process of how Mark and I got together and how much has happened in the year and a half that we’ve known each other, it’s really been a huge adventure. I think I hit a big speedbump this summer as I was really bummed out about not finding a job that would have helped us financially, I was bummed out about the really cruddy, rainy, cold summer that we had here, I missed the sun, I felt a bit despondent and lazy, I thought I was the only American living in Shrewsbury and no one understood how I felt, and blah, blah, blah . . . . Then we went to beautiful Paris and really had the time of our life and loved every moment of it, and when we got back, I hit another low. But this time, I realized something, and since then, this complete peace and contentment has been all over me.
For a while now, my body has hurt; it’s like I’m always dealing with something hurting. It’s been very bizarre. And I’ve been trying to figure it all out, and at some point after Paris, I realized that when I get stressed (which had been quite often) I get a pain somewhere. My head starts to pound like crazy, or my breathing gets tight and there’s a pain in my chest, or my teeth ache, or my eyes start to have an allergic reaction to my contacts so that I can’t wear them, or this and that and on it goes. And it’s always something. Then I was listening to a preacher from Colorado, and somewhere in his sermon, he said that when we allow in fear or anxiety, we open a door to the devil. It’s like things that normally aren’t tolerated by our bodies are somehow then allowed in because we’re worrying, anxious, fearful, stressed, etc. I’ve been living in those feelings for months, and so it all hit me. I realized that I wasn’t resting in God, wasn’t trusting Him, I was working, planning, figuring, striving, reaching, doing everything but what I should. Mark wanted me to relax and write, and I couldn’t write. It was because my time in the Word was either hurried or spent on reading through a plan, instead of reading the scriptures that apply to my situation. I haven’t been applying the Word to my life. I’ve been doing what I should do, but not doing what I need to do. I wasn’t studying, searching out, and applying the Word to my life. And I realize that now. I realize that I have to renew my mind, because my mind, left to itself, really damages itself. I think too much on things that I don’t need to think on. I worry too much, and tend to be anxiety ridden. And honestly, Jesus didn’t come to save me and then have me live an anxiety ridden life. He came to give me rest. Rest in Him.
So tonight, I just got an even clearer picture of how God’s heart is for Mark and me. He loves that we were adventurous enough to get in our ebay car and drive to wherever. We were open, listening, and longing for His direction, and He directed without us even realizing it. He gave us this gift of this time in Shrewsbury for us to enjoy such a new and vastly different life together as Mark and Micah. It’s our little adventure, before we get into the life of kids, having a family, and whatever else. It’s been such a great bonding time for Mark and me; a time to adjust to marriage, to our different cultures, to get to just be together after all the months that we had apart. And there’s been many, many more blessings than that. And the Lord has wanted me to rest in a simple faith that He will take care of us, and He’s tried to tell me that. And now my body is telling me that, and I’m listening now. And I have more to add to this, but I’m tired and want to listen for a bit. So that’s it for now . . .