Wednesday 8 August 2012

He's Already There

The next days and months stretch ahead of me and I can see nothing. I am so used to my plans, my well-thought-out details, so accustomed to knowing what will happen when and how. I struggle to know what to do with all these question marks that now line the path.

It is only now, when suddenly it seems as though there's nothing I can plan at all, that I even realize how tightly I've been grasping to that sense of control.

This year of mystery begins with the impending birth of our third child. I'm counting down the days and casting around for that sense of control but there is none. I have no expectations, only the knowledge that whatever I plan may amount to nothing.

I had oh such plans for my last birth, dim lights and soft music and all the rest. But then it happened and it was nothing like any of us could have expected. Such is birth, wild and unpredictable and untameable. What can I possibly plan? It will happen as it happens.

And yet I find myself longing for the sweet naive plans of my second birth. There was such peace in the days leading up, peace mingled with impatience, eager for it all to start happening just as I planned. This time - not knowing what to expect, when to expect it, where, anything - I lack that same peace. I cling to my supplies gathered in a basket, to my phone numbers waiting on the fridge, but what else can I plan?

The past weeks have been filled with anxiety as I cast around for the sense of peace that control gives me. Finally, I pray. I don't know anything, God. I don't know what it will be like and I'm scared. I don't know what to expect and I feel only a step away from panic. I don't know anything.

The answer comes quietly, as it so often does. I'm already there.

He's already there. At last I feel that calm, quiet sense of peace. It is not the false peace of control and certainty, but the deeper peace of knowing that whatever, whenever, however it happens, God is already there.

He's already there. He knows how it all turns out. He doesn't promise anything, doesn't reveal anything, but He is there and somehow that is enough. He is here and He is there and He is afterward, whatever happens. The only constant. The only certainty. His presence.

The question marks stretch on. The weeks following the birth, what will they be like? How will our family will adjust to its newest member? Again I will have to step back, release control, let go of the need to have everything done My Way. For a time there will be only rest and the humility of allowing others to bless me, not earning it or deserving it; somehow that makes it so much more difficult to accept. I don't know how I'll feel, what that time of recovery and adjustment will be like, what our baby will be like. My calendar is empty because who knows?

He's already there.

My oldest boy begins his first official year of homeschooling; my husband begins his final year of earning his Electrical Engineering degree. What can I plan? Trial and error with homeschooling, the pair of us figuring it out as we go along. My husband, busier than ever with school, and I, with so many more responsibilities and needs to meet. Will there be enough of me?

He's already there.

And then he graduates and the mystery only grows. Where will he find work? How long will it take? Will we move locally? across the country? Will we stay where we are for a while? It's so hard to put down roots when they can so easily be yanked up again. I want to paint my walls and hang up some shelves but is there even a point?

He's already there.

Our family will step out in faith with our fledgling church home and all I can think is how desperately I long for the richness and depth of corporate liturgical worship. What will this church come to look like as it unfolds? Will we find our place in it? Will it find good soil, take root, grow? Will it fade away, as so many other church plants have in this area? What makes us any different?

He's already there.

My plans gave me peace, but it was a false peace. There was never any guarantee that they would turn out as I expected them to. There was never even certainty for the rest of the day, much less tomorrow, next week, next month, next year. He is already there, but for me there is only this moment. I can live in it or I can let it pass by unnoticed as I struggle to find certainty in the future.

I want to live fully present. I want to bring glory to Him moment by small moment, not reaching ahead for future promises. It is only now, with no choice left but to let go, that I can rest in the much deeper peace of knowing that however it all turns out, He is already there.

Somehow, that is all I need to know.


  1. Beautiful words. Thank you for being so transparent. Good luck with your impending birth.

  2. Awesome! Thank you so much for this. I too struggle in the ways of anxiety and false security of planning, and planning and planning- struggle to know how much of planning and attention to detail is my God-given personality and how much is grasping for control. Balance....
    SO thankful HE is already there in my future, in my heart, love and life.
    He was there for the birth of our 2nd child this past April, so beautiful and miraculous, but not as I had planned :) Especially the after- an early onset of postpartum depression/anxiety (pretty rough and scary). HE was already there making a way, loving and caring for me through others. We're still journeying through.
    Jeremiah 29:11

  3. Thank you for this beautifully written piece.

  4. What a great reminder. Thankyou for sharing this.

  5. Beautiful! So glad I stumbled across your blog today.

  6. Thank you for your honest words. This is my challenge at the let go of my strong need for self-sufficiency, and rest in the Lord instead. The false peace I derive from my own sense of control is fleeting, and distracts me from obedience to God's will. It's a hard lesson...