My 7-month-old son (Joshua) started to sit up at 4 months. He actually started trying at 3 months and every time we put him on the pillow for support, he would wriggle until he was practically sitting up without support. At 5 months, he didn’t need the pillow for support anymore. He is almost 7 months now and can barely crawl. He seems more interested in standing. He would pull on anything and anyone in order to stand up. When he was learning to sit, he got upset with me a few times when I tried to lean his back against the pillow and I’d smile at him and say reassuringly: “don’t worry, you won’t need the pillow forever, but it’s a process, you can’t sit on your own yet” and he never seemed happy with it. Now he sits without support just like we knew he was going to, but he had to go through a process. His bones had to get strong enough and he had to learn to balance before he was sitting on his own comfortably.
Of course often times the process of sitting ended up in disaster as he’d topple over quite a few times. In order to avoid him getting frustrated, I’d stay close and watch so I could help If he needed it and he always needed me until he could do it on his own. As he learns to stand, we are back to this same situation. He’ll pull my shirt or my hands or even my hair on occasion as support to stand and a lot of times he ends up with his bottom on the floor if I am not holding him. I see him get frustrated as he tries to do it without me and I hear myself explaining to him yet again that it’s a process and he can’t do it without my help….YET.
This is very similar to our relationship with God. When God wants to take us to a new place, we have to go through a process just like everyone else. Jesus Christ had to go into the wilderness to be tempted, Joseph had to go to prison, David had to sleep in caves and so on and so forth. We can’t just go to a new level without going through a process of testing and learning and growing. I have personally had to learn this in a major way as I make the transition from being a stay at home mum for the past few months to walking into the calling God has given me as a “Lightbearer”. I remember days of feeling useless and like a failure because I felt I wasn’t achieving anything by being at home and raising my son. I would try to do things and I would abandon it in frustration because nothing was working. Of course nothing was working because I had to go through a process.
I had to understand that life happens in seasons, and for every season, I had something to learn. I became resentful of having to stay at home to raise my child without acknowledging what a privilege it actually is and the fact that it’s a lot of hard work. For the first few months I had no help and if you are a stay at home mum without help, I HAIL YOU. God also reminded me of times when I would say: “I pray when I have kids, I can be at home to raise them so they have one stable parent because their Dad is a musician and his schedule can be all over the place”. The Holy Spirit also let me realise that God really knows his children because I honestly don’t know how some mothers can get up at 5am to get ready to go to work on a daily basis when I am often exhausted from sleep deprivation. I realised that instead of me to be grateful for the season I am in, I became a spoilt brat who was practically throwing God’s blessings back in his face. In this season, I learnt so much about myself that I couldn’t have learnt otherwise.
I also learnt that part of my frustration was because I was trying to do it all by myself. I stopped getting God involved in my affairs. I figured I knew it all so I didn’t need the help and guidance just like my son tried to sit up or stand without help. And just like my son, I ended up frustrated and angry because I couldn’t achieve what I wanted. I wonder why I thought I could do it without God. When it is time to move to our next level, we have to remember to let God lead us so that we do not end up a frustrated mess. In this season, I have learnt that I am NOTHING without God and I know that I am useless when I am not walking in the counsel of the Holy Spirit. Proverbs 3:5-6 says: 5Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. 6In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. 7Do not be wise in your own eyes;”
For some reason I thought I could do it all by myself and I forgot that I only got so far with God’s direction in the first place. God has given me so many ideas but the truth is that I also have to wait for direction sometimes because unless the Lord builds a house, the labourer labours in vain. With every new level in life, there is a process we have to go through but if we don’t submit to God and we try to do it on our own, we are sure to fail. As Nigerians love to say: “who send you message”? If you know who sent you the message, you will know to follow their instructions before you end up lost.
The more I have been surrendering this process to God, the less frustrated, anxious and agigated I feel. I am learning that if God calls you to a purpose, he would make every type of provision available to make the dream thrive. I am learning to take it step by step. I am no longer trying to rush ahead of him because I honestly can’t do it by my power. I am learning that: “it’s not by my might or my power but by the spirit of God”
I have also learnt that no season is ever wasted. During the time I have spent at home primarily being a wife and a mother, I have learnt so much about our relationship with God. God constantly uses my relationship with my son to teach me about his love for me, a love that he always told me about and I thought I understood but now with my son, I have a real life example of God’s love for us and what is even more incredible to me is that God loves me way more than I can love my son.
Solomon puts it best when he says: “there is a time for everything”. Instead of fighting the process and ending up depressed and unhappy, take a moment to look for the lesson in that season. So right now I am going back to the basics, I am not trying to rush it, instead I will stay in my season until God tells me its time for a new season. And the interesting thing about seasons is that they change so gradually that you don’t even truly know when you are fully in a new season. So I will enjoy the process, I will learn and I will be patient and let God be the true Father that leads me.
The truth of the matter is this: “process is painful and difficult” but always worth it at the end. The key to making it less painful is to surrender to the one who knows the end from the beginning and just trust him through it all knowing that “all things work for good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose” Just remember this: Even as you go through that process, God is with you, watching you, ready to catch you and he is helping you through it.