To spare a novel at the beginning of this post, let's just agree that I'm extremely pregnant. Rather than explaining all the details of what that means, just know that I'm prefacing this post with how ginormous I look and feel, and how uncomfortable my body is because I'm growing a person, who is at near capacity of the space I've been allotted, and my other organs and bodily functions have been compromised to make additional "space" for him, if it's at all possible.
That being said, I have zero clothing choices. Ok, that's a lie. I have lots of sweat pants and leggings and oversized men's t-shirts to wear around the house, but when it comes to decent and appropriate "leave the house for engaging with other members of society" I have about 2 choices remaining. So you can imagine the meticulous laundry scheduling as well as careful rotation of said choices when I do have to leave the house.
Because I'm a SAHM, this usually isn't too much of a troublesome issue. But on Sunday's, when we go to church, I've been carefully rotating the 2-3 pieces I have left that fit (without offending the general public or myself!) with painstaking detail.
This morning was no different. I put on the one pair of pants that still fasten, and found an old comfortable dress that has a giant stain on the bottom. I tucked the stained portion into the pants, and turned it into a "make-shift" shirt, because every 40+ week prego knows creativity is next to resourcefulness in the closet.
I asked Paco if it looked too "bunchy" being that it was a dress, and not actually being worn the way it was intended. He said no, and then asked where my "other pants" were.
"Which other pants?" I asked.
"You know, the ones with lots of room, that are all saggy in the back?"
"These are those pants." (Insert eyes that could kill here.)
I walked into our bathroom, to check the mirror for myself, and found Teaghan standing there, fixing her leggings so they felt most comfortable. Envy consumed me.
If you know Teaghan, you know it is a daily- not more than a few times a day- struggle with her appearance. For the most part, I'm not a girl who worries or is concerned about what most people think about me- beyond am I modestly dressed- when it comes to my appearance. I dress for myself, for my family, because it makes me feel good to look nice, and to maintain some dignity after all these children. But Teaghan is on the far opposite end of the spectrum. She is the extreme version of a girl with self-esteem issues, and we've been diligently and persistently working to redirect her focus from herself to the Truth of what God says about her, in each of these moments. Moments like after "lights out" during a sleep over at my parents, she started to sob her eyes out about having "a weird face that no one could ever love" type of thing. Beginning to cry at 7am when she rips her tutu because now it's "too weird to wear with anything ever again!" She is the epitome of an image-conscience girly-girl and its thrown me for a wild loop because I have such a hard time relating to said emotions.
Both Paco and I have recognized the struggle early, and we knew very early on that just telling her she is "pretty" wouldn't fix a single thing. It's an attitude, a Spirit, and a perspective that needs prayed and fasted and beat out by the Word.
I've had to re-stock my arsenal of kid-friendly Bible verses to include those that most junior high girls would need, for my once 3, then 4, now 5 year old. And every day, every moment of despair over clothes that "feel funny", hair styles that "don't work", and shoes that "look weird", we've wrestled this oppression to the ground and clung to God's word in dealing with it. Hoping for breakthrough at some point. Praying it comes sooner than later.
So here I am, in the bathroom, desperate for honesty about whether this "made up shirt" actually passes as a shirt and not a cut up dress with a stain tucked into pants that barely fit.
And I know that Teaghan of all people, will level with me. She will be brutally honest. And she will tell me a direct and clear yes or no about whether my outfit looks "weird" or not. Because of all people, this girl has "Weird" before breakfast most days.
I braced myself for a harsh truth, as the words came out....
"Teaghan, does this outfit look weird?"
I clenched my teeth, hoping maybe she wouldn't notice I had cut off the bottom of a dress.
And quietly, as if unsure she should correct her own mother, she said, "No, it's good.....but remember, it doesn't matter what you look like on the outside, it only matters what God sees on the inside that makes you beautiful." And she walked out.
My eyes welled with tears.
Not because the comfort of the Word broke my self-image. Because to be honest, I'm at the point where I don't care what I look like so long as I am covered and semi-comfortable!
But it was like working for 3 years, and holding out for a long time, and finally getting a paycheck for digging a deep and grueling trench.
I've spent many hours talking with, praying over, explaining through the truth of who Teaghan is to her in those "weird moments". And finally, in a moment of desperation, like rivers of living water from the depths of her soul, it came rushing out and flooded the room.
I wept with pride that the promise of training her up, would not return void. And today I got a small taste of what the payoff dividend will be. And fellow parents: it is a reward that is worth far more than any paycheck or dollar amount.
When the issue your kid deals with on a daily basis finally sees truth breaking through, your reward is grand. Like 100 grand.
Needless to say, I wore the "shirt-dress" to church. No one noticed. And I was thankful.
But more than that, be encouraged.
Maybe you're struggling with the same thing Teaghan struggles with. Maybe your self-esteem or your feelings are a little "off" of what God's word says about you. Get into His word and get ahold of His thoughts for you. Because they're good. And they are more than the sand on the shore. You're fearfully and wonderfully made. You're the apple of His eye. You're a chosen and royal priesthood. You're His beloved. His bride. His inheritance. You're the craftsmanship of His son and He cares for you! And no matter what the world says, or the enemy, or even what your own thoughts and feelings say, His thoughts are what matter. His words are truth. And nothing else compares.
Or maybe, you're like me- parenting and hoping for breakthrough somewhere. Maybe your kid has a different issue. But regardless, the Bible has the answer. I promise. Keep praying. Keep pressing. Keep telling and re-telling that child the Truth. Keep pursuing the Word on that thing. Keep fasting. Keep memorizing. Keep on keeping on with your son or daughter. God's word CANNOT come back without doing what it was sent to do! And today, I've had a small taste of that promise. And it's so so SO very good!!!! I hope and pray that you can get yourself some!
Here's to many more moments of God's faithfulness, proven through parenting. Here's to His grace that's sufficient when I drop the ball. And here's to all the Pregos who are just trying to find something to wear today! We won't be pregnant forever!!! (Right?)