I'm being stretched, friends. And these photos may make you think that's it's been easy or that I have been thrilled about it. The truth is that I don't like being stretched because I feel like I'm going to break. I feel like I'm at the end of my pregnancy again... waiting and waiting for the arrival of what I have hoped for! I knew that my body could carry a child, but I had no idea that I would feel the carrying in my lower back and shoulders every day. I had no idea that the anticipation of meeting my little boy would never stop growing. Each day I thought I had reached the maximum level of desire for my Daniel! But another day would soon come and prove me wrong. Love knows no limits!
We are growing a garden from seeds this year. I'm watching the plants break through the dirt and reach up toward the sun. But there's this one little plant that still hasn't shed its shell and it bothers me. Each day I fight the urge to peel that seed off the plant so that it can be free! But if that plant is going to thrive in the garden, I have to let it shed its own shell.
Oh, friends! That's how I feel. I have wanted someone to come and take off my outer shell in this season of growth. I wanted the stretching and refining to be over. I have wanted to trade the process for the results. Did you know that I had hives for 2 and a 1/2 weeks because of this stress? I read that my body was essentially allergic to stress. But I told Isaac that I was allergic to fully trusting God.
I wanted to grow. I wanted the Lord to show me how to have faith and hope. Last week while I was reading the Bible, I realized that the "hope" word used in 1 Corinthians 13:13 and 2 Corinthians 3:12 is elpis. It can also be translated as expectation. Now that's a word that I can relate to.
Goodbye feel-good hope and hello expectation.
God is delighted when we expect from Him according to His good purposes! Delighted! All that God can do is fulfill His promises. It's the fruit of His branches. Let's start the conversation with God and grow, little by little.
So here's to a lot more expecting the things that are heavenly. Here's to a lot more expecting the things that abound in the Kingdom of God. We can fully trust Him as we expect from Him. And just in case you're anything like me and need something to hold onto, please go grab these free prints that I made for you. Hang them in your home and read them with your friends. Hold on to the One who delights in our expectation of His good work.