So, you may have noticed, there aren't 31 actual posts on this 31 Day series. I'm ok with that. But there have been things I've wanted to say and yet lacked the time/motivation to get them down daily. So I'm compiling into one long finale post. I'm not sure if this is a trick or treat. We'll go with that last one ;)
My husband celebrated his 30th birthday this past weekend. 30 years. 30 good years, I might add. 30 good years for a good man.
Words aren't his love language so I didn't write anything sappy or sentimental on Facebook. But, if I did, it would have sounded a little something like this ...
There's a song on the radio right now with this recurring line:
If I got locked away and we lost it all today, tell me honestly,
Would you still love me the same?
If I showed you my flaws, if I couldn't be strong, tell me honestly,
Would you still love me the same?
So, I've never been incarcerated (thankfully), but I have had a pretty big life-changing circumstance (losing two babies). And those life-changing experiences showed my biggest flaws and left me feeling incredibly un-strong.
Praise the Lord I am married to a wonderful man who, when asked honestly, still does love me the same even after all that. He continues to comfort me and redirect my wayward thoughts and ground me in truth. He wipes my tears and gives me space and gives me not space, as needed. PRN, as he might say ;)
Could a girl really ask for more? Happy birthday to a truly wonderful man. I love you forever, Josh Rieke.
Anyway, that's what I would have written. Or something similar. I was also thinking of doing a more lighthearted post where I included this quote:
Haha. Oh, marriage. But really, he is wonderful.
I've also been thinking a lot about this picture
It was me and Micah in March of 2012. I had worked super hard to lose all (yes, all) of my baby weight. And I was currently pregnant with a teensy tiny Evie-bean. Life felt good. I felt good. I had my sweet boy and a baby in my belly and Josh was in school pursuing his dream and life felt like it was supposed to.
In some ways I want to be that girl again. Besides wanting those size six jeans she's wearing (hellllooo! please??) I want to feel lighthearted and happy. I want to feel free and optimistic. I want conversations with others to be easy and not cast an awkward pall everywhere I go. I want to be the girl I was back then.
But you know, in some ways I don't. I like the post-Evie me that sees others in a more compassionate, understanding way. I like the person that has a ministry here and that God is using. And even though I would never pick this path and sometimes I wish it wasn't mine, I think it ultimately gives me the eternal perspective I'm supposed to have while I'm here. I think those are good things.
It's been a painful path, a trial by fire for sure. But I think I'm a more useful vessel now. It's something to be thankful for. Although I really would like those jeans back ...
I hate that so many women have lost babies. And I hate their painful memories and experiences that go along with those losses.
I hate that my friend unexpectedly lost her husband while she was pregnant with their first baby. I hate the way she has to now reconfigure her entire life. So hard.
I hate that some loved ones have big financial burdens that seem to complicate typical life things. I wish I could take it all away.
I hate that people are lonely. I hate that people have broken hearts. I hate that kids get abused and mistreated and have hungry bellies. I hate when darkness seems to win.
I look at my children all the time and wonder what crap they'll have to endure as they go through life. Does that make me a pessimist? I don't know. I think my eyes have just been opened and I realize that everyone has pain. I hate that they'll have to learn that too.
I suppose that's why ... Jesus. He overcame this world and lives in a perfect world now. One day we will too. That's a good thing.
Someone commented to me yesterday that I seem to have a lot of hope in the eternal - in the perfect world that Jesus promised, the one with no tears or suffering. I think I need to believe in that world. I need a world that exists where I can be with my babies I didn't get to know. I need a world where I can be reunited with family and where every morning will feel like Christmas and the cinnamon rolls will have no calories. My soul needs to feel the comfort of a place like this. And the great thing is, it really exists.
Sure it'll be a while. But it will come. Until then, friends ...
Come quickly, dear Lord Jesus.