by Jill Burgoyne
Trials bring about opportunities for growth. I use the word opportunity because if and how we decide to grow, is our decision. So how do we make that decision? What strength do we develop to help us handle things like limbos in life, motherhood, and mortality?
By limbos in life, I'm referring to the periods of time when you're waiting for the next chapter of your life to start and it's not in your power to turn the page. Case in point: My husband graduated from college in May and we've been looking for a better job than his internship, ever since. He's highly qualified for his field, and a very reliable employee. Two companies in particular have promised job offers. They promise and then they say to get back with them in a couple weeks. We haven't been sitting around waiting though, after work, my husband sends a resume out somewhere and he's been averaging two interviews a week for the last month and a half, but we still sit. With two kids, and one on the way, and a car that has a window that won't roll up and stalls sporadically. Not safe. But we pray and wait and work and pray. But we have AC and we have a car and I am so happy that I am expecting. Eric's current job will sustain us until we get the other one. There is much to be grateful for.
Motherhood, I am a young mother. I'm 24, a mother of two that are 15 months apart. (After the first baby, I was so much in love that I wanted a second one right away!) And we got her. I have definitely learned how to pick my battles, what really matters, and how to give up a part of my desires for my children's happiness. One really good thing about motherhood is that (in general) they only come one at a time and you have the chance to grow with them: from what I've noticed so far. There have been times during pregnancy or just plain sleeplessness that I have honestly thought that I could not survive. But then I do. If I was as fragile as I thought I was, I would not be here right now.
And then there's mortality. I am writing from my couch, I have the flu. I didn't get to sleep until 2:00am because of the aches and pains and I woke up in tears. I can hardly get off the couch to do anything and on top of it all, I still have morning sickness to deal with. My husband considered staying home with me today, but after praying and pondering, we decided he should go to work. In all reality, we can't afford for him to miss a day because he's still paid hourly. So I prayed and prayed and the Lord gave me strength to get off the couch and get some cereal for my hungry babies. Some of my friends came over to visit and were a great distraction. Then my mother in law brought over some scrumptious food and took care of me for a few moments. My Mom called and offered me dinner. Oh I am so blessed!
And still, life is hard. Despite all of the blessings that we have. Even the great Kings and Queens of yore didn't have electricity, or running water or AC. They didn't have the blessings of modern medicine and technology. And after several months of emotional roller coasters involving the job hunt, expecting a baby, and a car steadily breaking, I think that the keys to :developing the patience that I need to "pass" this test are to count my blessings (stubbornly if that's what it takes), pray, and have faith that it will all be okay in the end. These aches and pains and anxieties and frustrations of mortality are to be overcome. They will not always be here. But what can I learn from them before it's too late?