Keeping consistent with blog updates has always been a challenge for me. Let’s hope these prove to be an exception to the rule, especially as life continues to get more complicated and taxing.
I (Jessica) am sitting in my favorite coffee place in downtown Fredericksburg as I write this, and “Take Me Home, Country Roads” happens to be playing in the background, competing with about ten different voices and the screeching of the milk steamer. Something about this song tends to make me feel homesick for the Carolinas, and this time is no different — except that it’s also helping me reflect on all the changes brought on since I moved north exactly two years ago from yesterday.
We knew marriage would be sanctifying (meaning: effective to produce a change in character) but couldn’t have known what exactly that would look like until it started happening. Something about being uprooted from the familiar patterns and values of rural Appalachia and having to learn how to function in one of the most fast-paced, productivity-oriented, affluent regions in America has proved to be a refining fire in my life, even apart from the added adventure of being newly married. Devynn and I still joke about the nervous breakdown I had in the middle of Target once upon a time over how I was desperate to acquire a patio umbrella so I could enjoy the rain outside, whereas on the other hand the whole idea of spending sixty dollars on outdoor furniture seemed frivolous and silly to him.
We’ve walked through many similar instances in the two years following, and it has been in these moments (where compromise can only be achieved through self-denial and attempted empathy) where God has worked in our hearts the most. We quickly learned then – and are still learning now – that marriage doesn’t work if you cling to your own idea of how life is supposed to be. You have to grow in your willingness to question your own assumptions and routines, and acquire a flexibility in how you approach both the big and small things in life according to what chapter of the story you find yourself in.
This process of sanctification is what I find myself pondering most as the countdown to baby continues. Tomorrow we officially hit the 38 week mark, so as of last Wednesday we have been working to get all the last-minute details taken care of. Many people, internet acquaintances and family and close friends alike, have been very kind and generous in response to our needs. I think it was just a week ago when I was feeling frantic about the list the supplies we had left to buy after two unexpected medical bills threw our budget all out of sorts. As of today, we have about 95% of our bases covered (woohoo!) and are just working away at cleaning and organizing as best we can while we wait for things to happen. Apparently, I could go into labor anytime between right now and mid-March (at the latest). I fluctuate between wanting it to happen soon and wanting to put it off bit longer. Devynn is thrown into a mild sweaty panic whenever he thinks about how soon it could be . . . so I think he’s looking forward to the labor and delivery even less than I am. I try not to think about it, if I’m honest.
Actually, if I’m really honest, I’m more scared of taking care of a baby than I am of giving birth. There are lots of kind people who assure me that we will be fine and that we can figure it out as we go. But there are even more people, especially in our culture, who seem to think parenthood is the most miserable experience a person can have. (This is why I balk at those who seem shocked that my generation generally isn’t interested in having kids – but that’s an article for another day.)
And there is admittedly a faithless part of my heart that is terrified of how the strain of sleep deprivation, routine fluctuations, and unmet expectations have the potential to throw a proverbial wrench in Devynn and I’s relationship. I guess we’ll just have to live out our conviction that God is sovereign and that He can use these things to help and bless us, whereas from a worldly perspective they seem dangerous.
So, in light of that . . .
1. That we will use the last few hours, days, or weeks of our just-the-two-of-us time in ways that are godly and wise, rather than in a way that is self- or sin-indulgent.
2. That God will be establishing and introducing better income avenues for Devynn (and for me, if necessary).
3. That the birth will go smoothly and safely; that we will be filled with strength and peace throughout the process; and that we won’t need to be transferred to the hospital since we absolutely can’t afford that.
4. That we will be reimbursed by my healthshare program for all these medical expenses soon. This will have a direct impact, one way or another, on our ability to keep the current plans and timeline for the Colorado move.
5. That God will continue to prosper the side hustle we’ve been working on: An Etsy store where we sell printables featuring Scripture, biblical quotes, and so on. (Give us a follow on Instagram!)
6. That Devynn will be healed of this sinus infection he’s battling – and that I will be protected and spared from it.