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Messy Lessons

Life has been a bit busy for me lately. It happens every time I am pregnant. The morning sickness, all day long. In the tropical heat. With smells of trash and my neighbor’s Asian cooking sending me to the bathroom again and again.

I spend the weeks living according to rules that kinda work. Just get through the next 20 minutes. Don’t think about the next meal. Don’t breathe through your nose. Don’t open the frig door and let out all the smells. Stick to peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and toast. Twenty more minutes down. Don’t count how many more days are left.

My two small kids follow me to the bathroom. “Are you OK, Mommy?”

Mission Aviation Fellowship Missionary, Rebecca Hopkins
Rebecca during her second pregnancy. Photo by Tripp Flythe.

No. And I’m not sure if I will ever be OK again, I think. But I nod, and shakily hug them when I’m done in the bathroom, my stomach empty again, with about 20 minutes of relief before the gnawing nausea turns me back into a mess.

My mind tells me I should be tougher, or more spiritual. Maybe try praying through it? But I utter the first syllable, “Je—“ and just can’t finish. It takes all my effort to get through each minute. I have nothing more to give—to prayer, to helping others, to making anything other than peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

And yet. In the nothingness and messiness, I remember the truth of the Gospel. That I can come with nothing and receive everything. That I am best filled up when I am emptied of myself. That I don’t have to do anything to truly live. That He already did it all.

And so I sit and wait and rest in this truth that gets me through the next 20 minutes. And I hope I remember this utter dependency on Him throughout the rest of my life.


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