I am so blessed to welcome Shirley Drost along on our journey of becoming Passionate Women. Shirley is a vital part of our local church and with her husband she has been one of the driving forces to see many families grow and mature in their relationships with God. Her beautiful confidence and a heart to serve others is something that I dearly look up to! She has three grown boys, two beautiful daughter-in-laws and one very loved grandson so far. Shirley is such an encouragement to many women including myself.
Shirley, thank you so much for taking the time to put this guest post together to encourage and inspire us. Your life is a life lived well, which has become a beautiful testimony to many that may not even know you. So thank you again for serving God with all of your heart and setting the road up for many of us to follow. Blessings to you and your family as it continues to grow through the years.
"Pregnant" With a Promise From God
by Shirley Drost
I have been honoured to have been asked by Nicole to share a few thoughts, ones that perhaps could encourage and inspire you.....or at least enable you to laugh with me, as God takes us all on this wonderful adventure we call Life. Nicole suggested I write about something that God has been stirring in me as He teaches and directs my daily steps. Well, that works, as I feel as I have been on a bit of a journey for the past year or two. It’s been a journey of changes ....transition if you will. My life looks dramatically different than it did a few years ago........had you told me two years ago that this is what it would look like today, I likely would have spit my coffee out laughing. God’s funny that way.
My journey sometimes seems to have not been so much about the destination, as God seems more interested on how well I handle the travelling from “there” to “here.” Remember the children of Israel in the dessert..... 40 years versus a 10 day walk? Think they needed to learn something? God was as interested in their growth as He was in their Promised Land. I know God is very interested in my growth too, as well as where He is taking me. And here’s hoping it doesn’t take me 40 years......(having said that, I am two years in now!)
This brings me to an interesting and timely podcast I listened to from Paul Scanlon, a terrific Bible teacher and Pastor from the UK. He was sharing on transitioning into new stages of life.....and how each one of us handles it. Yep, a podcast just for me. He had made the comparison of giving birth to changes in our lives and how one “handles” the delivery of said baby. This is basically how he (and now I) unfolded the process.
When Baby is born, there are, at a minimum, three people involved and in the room – Mom, Baby & Doctor/Midwife. I know this can vary from just these three to multiple numbers of other groups and configurations, from Dad, siblings, grandparents to new neighbours down the street (....just kidding .....sort of J), but for this comparison, I just want to focus on the main three, and their perception / view point on what is happening during birthing process.
Let’s start with Baby, as he is central to all the activity going on (I’ve all boys, so Baby is a he). Baby is not at all impressed nor happy during this delivery process. He’s is quite content where he is. He’s fed regularly, carried around, warm, comfy, safe, sleeps whenever he wants, wakes up whenever he wants....basically nothing demanded of him.....just to be and grow! And now, we want him to go “through there??!! Are you kidding me?” Baby’s thinking, “I don’t want to go through There, I’ve never been There before! I don’t know what is on the other side of There. I’ve always been Here, it’s what I know, it’s where I feel safe.....don’t make me leave!! Besides....it doesn’t look like I fit through There! It must not be meant for me!” What Baby doesn’t know is that Loving Parents, a New Life, Destiny wait for him on the other side of There.
But are we not like that sometimes. Is this how we react during a time of change? We like safe, secure, comfortable. Change is scary, mostly because of the unknowns, and we wonder if “it” may not be a “fit” for us. So in the middle of God’s plans we have a bit of a freak out - ....”You want me to do what! There! Now!”, and that becomes the focus. We lose sight of the fact that God has something wonderful on the other side of transition...Love, Life and Destiny! But if we only try to understand and see “Here”, we can’t see that.
And then there is Mom. Mom is all about getting Baby out......NOW! From her viewpoint, it’s all about Pain Management! Yes, she knows Baby is on the other side of this, but right now it HURTS! Mom understands the Promise of New Life, but her every thought is how to get through that next contraction. “How can I lay, breathe, pant. If I close my eyes will it all go away? (this was my personal favourite....never really worked, but I tried each contraction). Whether it be a breathing technique, drugs, and certain way to lay, or stand, or walk, ICE CHIPS!! It’s all intended to get her through that next contraction. My doctor, bless him, always referred to the contractions as my “discomfort”.........I wanted to lob him upside the head with my heart monitor so he could share with me my “discomfort”. Ah, but I digress.
Isn’t this how we react though, or tend to focus on when we are in the middle of a time of transition? The Pain of Change! Moving into a new situation or event in life often comes with pain. We know that God has good for us, that a gift is on the other side of this change, New Life, New Joy, New Hope.....but in the process, sometimes we can only focus on the pain, and how to manage it! “God....just help me to get through this! How can I make this change hurt less?! I want what is on the other side, but it hurts right now!” We may even go through ebbs and flows of pain, like a contraction, where sometimes it feels manageable, but then, wham!....back in it again! And as with a delivery, it can definitely get more intense as the Promise comes closer.
And finally, the Doctor / Midwife. I’ll go with Doctor, as that was my experience, but a Midwife’s viewpoint would be the same. She knows Baby has to come from “There” and she understands Mom’s pain, but her focus is to prepare for the Promise of the New Life. She is calm, soothing, helpful and ready to receive the Gift. But she doesn’t just wait, she prepares for the Promise by readying the room for the Arrival, having a warm blanket, a bath, weight and measuring instruments available. When this New Promise arrives, he can be properly and safely received, with rejoicing and thanksgiving!
Can we be like that? Know God has promised a Great Gift, and despite what the world looks like around us, despite how we feel, we prepare for its arrival, and not get distracted by the unknowns or the pain it may bring. Whether that preparing means more Bible study time, purging a home of clutter, disentangling ourselves from a unhealthy relationship, volunteering more....can I just focus on getting ready for His Gift?
So this is my challenge to ....meJ, and feel free to be challenged alongside as well. I KNOW that I am in transition; I KNOW that God is requiring me to go where I have not gone before; I KNOW that it will require something from me that is new and stretching; I KNOW that pain is going to happen along the way.
And I CAN do this because I KNOW that all Good Things Come From Above, and He has a Great Future and Hope for me! So to all those of you that are pregnant with a Promise from God....where is your FOCUS?