I don’t know if it’s just instinctive, or simply timely, but my inclination to protect and defend family blazes bright and strong these days. No matter the cause (this almost seven months along belly, perhaps?), I’ve determined it a necessary, beautiful and natural thing.
I had lunch with one of my favorite people in the world today, and over the course of our conversation, I shared some things that have my heart torn. When I want to do what’s best for everyone, and I’m after the resolution that equals the most love and the least misunderstanding or hurt, I sometimes compromise what my heart says for the sake of someone else’s. This, in theory, is my best attempt at being selfless–and admittedly, is sometimes my attempt at keeping peace at the same time. And it isn’t always bad…not when the outcome will delight another person or be the best scenario for the greater good. But it becomes dangerous when I stop honoring or protecting myself and/or the people closest to me.
I used to miss the red flags that would clue me into this potential risk. In the past, this has inevitably led to more heartache, the necessity for reconciliation, and turmoil within my spirit that is hard to undo overnight. Jeopardizing myself or putting pressure on my marriage for the sake of peace elsewhere only costs more frustration–and requires major withdrawals from the trust account in the long run. (These are ultimately harder to replace than to protect.) In other words, it’s not worth it to shrug off protecting my family for the temporary comfort of someone or something else. I grow much more keenly aware of this as I get older, and as I look more towards home and family.
I hope I’m making sense.
Being pregnant and expecting a baby have drawn me inward in a good way. I’m still the extroverted, conversational, social person that I’ve always been. But creating life between two people does something that is terribly hard to explain in words. As I have grown to love our child, admired what both God and my body are capable of, and recognized Jason and I as more of a team than ever before, I have become “mother hen” over all of these things. I want to protect our little one, of course, and I would do anything to ensure our baby’s safety and health and joy if I could. I also want to secure our home and our marriage in new ways, though, too–to protect the love and intimacy and growth between Jason and I, and to see the red flags as they’re raised, before it’s too late to prevent hurt or heartache. This transfers to my physical self as well, as it has evolved into this vessel for new life and strength and hope. I’m more protective of sleep, more conscientious of what I take in, more thoughtful about what I contribute to the world and how I will make it a better place for our children, and our children’s children. And all of this is happening in its own time, as organically as any other natural process. God is working overtime on me.
To say that I am changing as much on the inside as I have on the outside is probably fair. To say that I’m surprised by it is reasonably fair, too. Making decisions for my own sake feels much easier than making decisions that directly or indirectly impact our family unit, but making decisions for the three of us gives me a new kind of peace. And while it’s sometimes harder on my heart or my emotions or my free will to take every aspect into consideration, it actually feels better to be calculated and careful and protective of the people I love the most.
Being drawn towards home and what we have created here is a beautiful thing–one that God is cultivating and strengthening in me daily. It doesn’t come without struggle or growing pains, but I’m grateful for the change anyway. And on days like today, when I know what my heart says but I need to be encouraged that it’s ok to honor my own voice, I’m grateful for friends who aren’t afraid to be honest–ones who encourage the instinct and delight in helping me find my way.
appreciating the process,