Could it be that being almost 24 weeks pregnant with baby #2 might be tiring me out too? Hmm... I wonder... This time around, the pregnancy is zooming by, except for the fact that my back is sending shooting pain with every move as long as I'm awake. It hurt when I was pregnant with Adelaide but I think the extra "up and down" of life with her now and especially when I have Karis multiple days a week, is multiplying the strain. I'm careful about how I lift, sit, stand - mostly because I have to be or I'll be doubled over in pain for a few minutes. Karis is a lot heavier than my tiny little shorty girl, so I need to get a step stool for her to get up and down from the table, washing hands, getting up on the couch, etc, so I won't have to do as much physical work.
Jesse is leaving next Tuesday for a trip to Denver to expand our support raising base. This trip has been one we have long felt the Lord's leading for, even though the fruit seems, from this side, like it will be minimal. It doesn't seem to matter who or where he calls to request meetings, every single church's comment is that their budget is being cut for a second year in a row and they won't be able to support us. Some are still willing to meet with us, but it is hard not to get discouraged time and again. We seriously considered canceling this trip because, humanly speaking, it was hard to imagine why God wants Jesse to go, but after bathing it in prayer for weeks, it seems like the answer is simply "Go." We trust that even if he has unscheduled time, the Lord will help him know how to move forward, maybe in unexpected ways.
Why is it he should go, leaving Lyddie and I here for the week? I have no idea as I sit here with my blanket wrapped around me and refocusing my eyes every few minutes. But over and over again it seems like He is pointing to confirming signs that the trip should be made, and we have simply not felt "right" about canceling. On the positive side, he IS meeting with the missions committee for our own denomination, which will be a gathering of pastors and elders. He has a number of other meetings lined up, but of course, not as many as he was hoping for based on the amount of work he has put into calling and calling and re-calling people.
So, we forge ahead like Abraham in the wilderness; we seek to have an open hand regarding this trip, having even asked directly for confirmation to cancel OR go and feeling willing to follow wherever He leads.
The last few weeks have been strange and clear spiritual warfare. Beyond the immediate discouragement and post-holiday blues, we have had a variety of weird situations, including our bank account receiving fraudulent charges, decisions about whether to move or resign our lease this month and if so, how long to sign for... I'm having a hard time recalling everything right now, but each day has brought at least 2-3 "are you KIDDING me, Lord??"s since the first of the year. The only other times we have felt so much direct opposition have been times of serious progress either in the Lord's guidance, in our support raising, or other ways He is growing and stretching us. When we are hard-pressed, we must bear in mind that we are being pressed into Him. And all we have now is hope; hope for our eternal future with our precious Savior, hope for His kingdom to be throughout all the earth, and hope to be used by Him on the Yakama Reservation. We have great hope in Him who promised never to leave, nor forsake us, and who promised that "all things work together for good" for those called by Him. He withholds nothing good from His children; the same delight I feel in watching Lyddie and providing joys for her is just a shadow of the delight He feels at each good thing He brings into our lives, even if those good things are challenging for me in the moment. So here we are looking forward with hope for this new year.