In December 2006, I traveled with Dr to Chicago for his annual gigantic band conference. The plan being while he attended the conference, I could run and rest and maybe shop. That’s not how things went, however.
The previous May, during a Mother’s Day Baby Dedication service, my ovaries performed a backflip. Up until that exact moment, I had zero interest in having children. I had a career I adored, shopped when I wanted, exercised as many hours a day as I could. Kids just didn’t fit. Children are not known for their ability to slip seamlessly into busy lives of striving.
So I know that I know that I know God called me to motherhood that day.
Because, suddenly, I wanted children more than anything else.
During our trip to Chicago, I spent almost the entire time in bed. Dr and I fought about children. I felt all the way down to my bones our journey to a baby was going to be hard. Somehow, I knew it was going to take us years. My sweet husband assumes life will be easy until proven otherwise and so far, there was no proof we were infertile. Having been called to motherhood six months earlier and feeling this restlessness in my soul in advance of our hardest struggle sent me into a depression.
I had no idea what to do in the Uneasiness.
The Example of Uneasiness…
Do you ever have those kinds of feelings? An uneasiness about something before it even happens?
Those times when our hearts are overly sensitive to the world around us. A commercial makes us cry. Conversations with friends become quickly serious. Songs play on our Spotify shuffle speaking words we cannot forget. We hug our people a little tighter, get-togethers feel sacred, prayers a bit more fervent.
We don’t know what’s coming or even if something is coming but we feel all the way down to our bones God is working and the hairs on the back of our neck tell us we have to pay attention.
Jesus felt that uneasiness too.
We see it at the Last Supper. That night, Jesus taught us how to prepare for the unexpected and the unknown and the unimaginable. He showed us the way to travel through the uneasiness before any trial or struggle or victory even reaches our doorstep.
“Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, ‘Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover.’
‘Where do you want us to prepare for it?’ they asked.
He replied, ‘As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him to the house that he enters, and say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ He will show you a large room upstairs, all furnished. Make preparations there.'” ~Luke 22:7-12 (NIV)
He had a meal arranged around a table, gathered His people, shared with them about His life. Then He walked to a quiet spot, prayed to His Father, and waited expectantly and patiently for what was to come next.
How to Sit in the Uneasiness…
Scripture tells us we will all face trouble. You can be assured if you aren’t in the middle of a big ole mess, one’s coming. It might be years between trials and then other times it feels like your life could be the second book of Job.
We are called to be aware, praying without end, seeking Him first, because that trouble, it’s already on it’s way too us.
And in those times, when we sense trouble might just be coming our way, we have Jesus as our example of how to navigate every minute of it. He certainly knew what was about to happen in His life.
Jesus arranged a good meal. He gave His disciples instructions on preparing a meal. Told them where to find the man with the big room upstairs, fully furnished, and to have the dinner ready. Basically, he booked a location and had the dinner catered. If you’re feeling an uneasinesses, feeling something might be coming, surround yourself with good food and Godly relationships. Doesn’t have to be fancy and it doesn’t have to be an event you spend hours preparing. Reservations at a local restaurant or food grabbed through the drive-through work just fine.
Jesus gathered His closest friends. Send out a few text messages and invite people to your very fancy Taco Bell feast around your coffee table. The location is not as important as the people you invite to gather. These are the people you know love you and support you and will encourage you. Maybe it’s your “tribe” but maybe it’s your small group, your college roommates, your neighborhood bible study. Doesn’t matter who you feel you need to invite. Only matters that you invite.
Jesus shared His heart with them. The disciples seemed to be completely clueless to what Jesus was telling them that night. They fought over who was the greatest, they whispered about who would betray Him, they ate and drank as if this was just another Passover dinner. Not everyone around your table will understand your uneasiness but they don’t have to. They are not feeling what you are. Share with them anyway. Give them the chance to love you and listen and agree to join you in prayer.
Jesus went away to a quiet spot asking His best friends to pray with Him. Out of your Godly relationships, who are the two or three you know are your prayer warriors? Jesus took Peter, James, and John with Him, instructing them to keep watch over Him as He prayed. Bring your closest friends with you into your war room, into your prayer closet, to kneel with you at the altar. Imagine the power, the freedom, the joy in the midst of our uneasiness simply knowing they are with you.
Jesus waited expectantly and patiently for what was coming. While His friends couldn’t keep their eyes open, Jesus continued to pray and wait. He could have escaped. It was the middle of the night and even His best friends were too exhausted to stay awake. Not a single person would have known but He didn’t. He stayed, waiting and praying through His uneasiness, through His sorrow, through His deep distress. When we see the trial coming, when we feel the restlessness of our souls, when we want to run and avoid and hide, stay. Stay on our knees, stay in prayer, stay in the presence of our Father.
How to Be Grateful in the Uneasiness…
“While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples… Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you.” ~Matthew 26:26-27 (NIV) (emphasis mine)
Jesus gave thanks five times in scripture, two of those during the Last Supper, before eating the bread and drinking the wine.
Gratitude for provision before He would become the ultimate sacrifice for us.
In our days of uneasiness, when our soul feels like it’s buzzing with anticipation, when the miracles in our ordinary lives bring tears to our eyes, be grateful.
Provision is a good place to start, grateful for the miraculous ordinary of our daily bread.
For sunny days and gentle breezes.
For warm savory coffee and cold sweet tea.
For schools to rush off to and offices to rush home from.
For mouths to feed and souls to nourish.
For a Savior who knows the uneasiness of life, who sits in your uneasiness with you and carries you through the unexpected, unknown, and unimaginable that might be coming.
During Gratitude Friday’s in March, we’ll be walking through Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. If you’d like to come along on your own journey, I’ve created a simple study guide for these weeks. My prayer for each of us during this Easter season is we will all be able to find our Something, our Everything, and our One Thing along the way. Download the guide and start building your own grateful nest rooted in Him.