Monday, July 25, 2011

What the locusts have eaten




Two years ago, I was nearing the end of my pregnancy. I was so tired and worn out, never really recovering from the severe hypermesis that I experienced the first three months of the pregnancy. I would fix breakfast for the children, and then have to lie down to rest. Walking around for a little while around the house exhausted me. I felt quite helpless that summer, really wanting some energy to engage my children with some fun activities, and also feeling guilty for being in the bed most of the time.


I really wondered if I would ever feel better. It seemed like I "wasted" many months in the bed, sick and tired. I felt stuck. Add to that some deep issues I was wrestling with on those long, dark days of morning sickness.


I received the most amazing words of encouragement from Jewels that I will never forget to this day. How or why she knew to contact me is something I just believe is a God-thing.
Here is a part of it:
Dearest ((Andrea)), I wanted to send off a quick note, to give you a big gentle hug, and let you know that I'm thinking of you and praying for you.....God is holding you especially close (and really dubbing on you :o)....especially so, in the discombobulation, sorrows and confusions, of the hard times....

Jesus loves me, this I know.
And,
Jesus knows me, this I love.
I sobbed and sobbed after that email. For a long time.
And because of Jewel's encouraging words, and her obedience to minister to me, I held on to that tiny hope that this situation I was in was not going to last forever.
That my body would get stronger.
That I would have more strength to take care of my family.
That we would one day have a fun summer.
That God was in control of it all and I must trust Him.
On Saturday we found out that our girls' bus that takes them to sleep away camp for a week every summer would not be running on that day. I have no idea how or why I missed that little bit of information, but it was looking like we were going to have to drive them four hours to camp the next day.
We decided to make the best of it and make it an adventurous road trip.
My husband made phone calls to see about taking Monday off.
We looked into places to stay Sunday night so we wouldn't have to drive 8 hours in one day.
Maybe in the past I would have been stressed to plan this impromptu trip, but I remembered that summer of me lying in the bed and I remembered this is what I want to do.

Friends, I don't know what situation you are in. I don't know if you are asking God every day if it will ever end. You may be confused, you may be sick, you may be hurting, you may just be struggling with LIFE.
The phrase: "restore what the locusts have eaten" is something that keeps ringing in my head.
You do know your situation or whatever it is you are struggling with will change. God is in the business of changing and growing and giving and loving.
And sometimes that is so very painful, but you do know He will restore.
Because He does that, too.

The threshing floors shall be full of grain;
the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.
I will restore to you the years
that the swarming locust has eaten,
the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter,
my great army, which I sent among you.
You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
and praise the name of the LORD your God,
who has dealt wondrously with you. ~Joel 2:24-25

17 comments:

Joy said...

thank you...just...thank you.

Aimee said...

love knowing you in the midst of the pain and now in the midst of the joy and adventure again...YOU MADE IT!!!! Celebratory hugs, high-fives, and whoops of joy!

Famaddict said...

Your words are like a balm to battle scars that have still not fully healed. I love your thoughtfulness and your honesty and your persistence in reaching out to others. You probably do a better job of "friending" than anyone I have known. Huge kisses and hugs to you, Andrea.

Children of Eve said...

What a beautiful post! I am praising God for his amazing restoration in your life and that you can see his hand so clearly. He is so good to us.

laurel said...

Did you write this to me? Because it kind of feels like you did. :)
I remember that pregnancy well. It was so nice to be "in it together" with you and Aimee. And now that I am here again, only much harder this time, it is nice to hear your perspective on the other side. Sometimes it does feel like I will never do anything ever again. Thanks for this.

Linda said...

Inspirational, encouraging and just beautiful Andrea. Thank you.

corli said...

Thank you from me too.

payton said...

Amen.

Anonymous said...

Andrea,

Thanks for sharing this. I definitely needed this encouragement. I am in the midst of my fifth pregnancy (with TWINS, nonetheless), and often feel discouraged, exhausted and overwhelmed!! I often feel as if my "life is over". Life as I knew it in the past is over, but the hard things of the present moment will change too. I'm going write down those verses, so I'll remember them. Thanks for your beautiful words.

Sara

Christine said...

This is so beautiful. Yes, the renewal after drought and famine is so meaningful. I'm so glad you had a wonderful trip!

Susan said...

I agree. It's beautiful. Hopeful. Encouraging. True.

Thank you, Andrea. You have a beautiful heart.

Alicia said...

Love the reminder that God restores. I, too, felt "robbed" of summer as I was expecting my fifth child... today, in fact, as we lingered extra long at the swimming pool- my "baby" (now 2) and my four others- I felt grateful for the sheer gift of being able to savor an entire day of cooking, cleaning, swimming, reading, running, kissing boo boos... all the things that were hard to do when my body was reeling from "green" just a few summer's ago. He is GOOD! Love your heart and your hope.

Dorit said...

Thank you for these words of encouragement

Anonymous said...

Oh Andrea, I'm in a season like you described! I'm pregnant with #5 and have been sick. Then I found out I have a HUGE blood clot from my iliac vein to my calf. I'm on anticoagulant injections twice a day and bed rest. I have lost muscle mass. I can't even drive yet.

It is so hot here I can't imagine being outside. I turned 40 in July and everything went downhill from there. But I'm learning that God has a good purpose even in the down times. I thought I was just passing the time, but a Titus 2 woman challenged me that I need to seek the Lord for this down time and not waste my sickness.

Thanks for your post. It's encouraging to remember that this won't last forever and that life will have a different season. Much Love, Betty

Rebekah said...

Thank you so much for these words. They're exactly what I needed to hear when I'm struggling after 3 1/2 months of not having a 'real job'. I know in my head that the years (or months) that the locusts have eaten will be restored, that God never wastes a moment of our lives, but sometimes my heart forgets, and I wonder when is this all going to end???

Lovely words. Just. Lovely.

Michael said...

Repeated thanks and gratitude to you and to the Redeemer of all our days. I just gave birth seven days ago to my beautiful third baby- a huge blessing we had wanted. I called the first year with my second child (2009) "The year the locusts ate" because of weariness and postpartum depression. Determined this time would be better, and following the best pregnancy I've ever had, I am now reminded of how hard the newborn days are for me. Thank you for your sisterly encouragement. Thank you, Lord, that I am not alone!

Anonymous said...

thanks for the reminder that God will restore what the locust ate. I am a 24 year survivor of leukemia and have battled a secondary blood cancer for 18 years now. I had surgery and another round of treatment this summer, so lots of resting and waiting. I was so ready to jump back into my school job this year, only to get a diagnosis of breast cancer the first day back to work. Great to be reminded that we have a God who will restore and bless the "empty" times.