Four years ago…

long before Zayn Malik left 1D…

Look, it’s a foreshadowing….Zayn has his back turned to the band…
(and yes, I was at a Private 1D concert two years ago. Thank you very much.)

…long before you’d fall in love with Downton’s Matthew Crawley, only to have him ripped from your heart…long before you’d watch that horrific ending of How I Met Your Mother…and just a few years after the first gen. Iphone…Where were you? What were you doing?

I was (surprise!) pregnant with my third son, and yet also feeling a tug to give birth to other things.

In 2011, I sent the following email to some friends. One of them sent it back to me yesterday and it’s got me thinking about God’s faithfulness.

I have some steps I’d like to take in the next two months, before the baby comes- but often I get very overwhelmed. So, would you please pray that somehow amidst kiddos and pregnancy and real life that I would make time to work towards the following (even if it doesn’t all get accomplished)?

1) I have majorly reworked my writing project. I need to edit and create second and third drafts of two chapters. You will be receiving these for critique eventually, if you are willing to read them!  

2) I need to update my bio sheet and send query letters to literary agents.

3) I need to begin blogging.

4) This biggest one with the most work- I need to finish my book proposal- this involves many hours and a lot of research.

Above all- the trap I get in emotionally — the lie I believe– is that I am NOTHING unless I am accomplishing something outside of mothering, OR that I don’t have what it takes to accomplish my goals in life. 

And so 5) Please pray that I can speak graceful truths to myself–whether or not I accomplish the above goals.  And above all, pray that I will learn to be present and content- enjoy the sacredness of the present moment!
Yesterday, after backtothefuturing through that email, I listened to a sermon on the topic of work by Timothy Keller. (My Lenten goal is to listen to sermons while I run, rather than watch HGTV,which beckons to me to it like a long lost lover.)

Keller spoke about Madonna (someone he, funny enough, quotes often). Madonna supposedly once said that the reason she creates music is because she doesn’t want to feel mediocre. She wants to feel special. 

In that email from four years ago I can see both a strong desire to work hard and do what God was calling me to do, but also a broken longing; I had (and still have at times) a deep need To Be Seen, To Be Approved Of, To Not Be Mediocre. 

That was the work under my work: a striving to feel worthy. 

God has been good to me over the past four years. My writing dreams (thus far) have come true. My family has grown and been blessed. But other moments have been excruciating: my son’s spinal cord surgery and his long recovery; the unexpected death of my cousin, Cameron; the passing of my best friend’s son (which you’ll soon read about soon at (In) Courage. I’ll share the link with you when it’s published.) We also left our beloved church of ten years to begin a new one

As many endings as beginnings.
And so, as I think about God’s faithfulness, it’s not that His faithfulness means every dream will come true. They don’t always. 
It’s not that we won’t suffer. We will. 
At the same time, some dreams will come true. 
We will see beauty and births. 
As many beginnings as endings. 
I don’t know what the next four years will bring, but I hope I can remember this: 
It’s not our work or projects that give us significance. Before we were ever accomplishing, before we were even starting anything, we were already seen, known, and loved by the One who accomplished everything.

And no matter what we accomplish or don’t accomplish, He is faithful, still.
(No matter who leaves your favorite British boy bands/television shows.) 

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