Preaching Gospel Love to Myself

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G_Fiona

We talked about it from every angle, considered every possibility and scenario.

My husband had been offered a job in London and our plans to move were fully underway. Now I needed to decide what I would do there. It had been hard to find work that was a good fit in Luxembourg. The last year I’ve stayed home with our energetic and adorable toddler but that had only increased my desire for work. I was so eager to get back to doing something that felt right, something where I could use my God-given gifts. It was exciting and terrifying at the same time.

I’d had this sense, as we’d been waiting to see which doors might swing open as we pushed, that God was wooing me right there in my wanderings, in my wilderness. I was daring to voice some dormant dreams, to imagine some brand new ones, finding within me the courage to believe I could see some of them become a reality.

Then I discovered that I’m pregnant again.

I cried many tears during the first few weeks after I saw those two pink lines, and they weren’t tears of joy. I was bitterly disappointed at needing to put my own plans on hold again. I was terrified of how on earth I’d manage to care for two under twos in a brand new city when just one baby had stretched me in every way imaginable. I felt terribly guilty for not feeling happy about this pregnancy when I know personally the pain of miscarriage, know how many friends long for a child of their own.

And I was so angry with God, angry with him for apparently stepping in and scuppering all my carefully laid plans. Why woo me with whispers of dreams realised and gifts utilised if I was going to be stuck at home trying to keep two small humans alive? It felt cruel and mean and like the biggest killjoy.

A lot has happened in the weeks since I found out I’d been growing life within me unknowingly.

I had my first scan and realised how deeply protective I already felt over this tiny “inconvenience.” And I got some needed perspective from friends and mentors, who shook me from my disappointment and fear to look again with positivity and possibility. I sat one sunny afternoon in the garden with Rasmus and Kaya, and imagined us next summer, with an extra babbling baby cooing at the laundry on the line and trying to eat daisies. And just like that, a spark of excitement appeared and began to banish the darker emotions.

I realised though, that my gut instinct in that moment when I meet an unexpected twist in the path is to distrust my heavenly Father, to assign God the character of a mean trickster, ready to spitefully take away anything meaningful to me in a jealous attempt to secure my faithfulness.

I don’t believe in this god. But apparently there are still parts of my heart, my gut, that still do. Places where the message received is wrath instead of grace, fear instead of goodness. I need that to change. I need to, as my spiritual director puts it, preach the Gospel of Love to those parts of me that haven’t yet heard it.

I need a faith that floods my entire being with the truth of the goodness of God. I need to know it in my very bones that I am a beloved and cherished daughter of the Divine. I need to understand deep in my gut, that instinctual part of me, that the twists and turns of life are never God’s mean-spirited attempt to quench my spirit or hold me back.

Instead, God is here in the grit and the glory. Here in the still-lingering disappointment of changed plans, here in the hope and joy of new life. When I dare to admit that my emotions are not always rose-tinted, I believe I allow space for Spirit to work through them, and I’m better able to accept the grace that’s there for me, always overflowing. I want to be a healthy and happy mama to this new baby that I already love so dearly, and I can only do that by being authentically me.

For now I see that God is renewing me in and through every curve of the road, every hill I face, every view I get to enjoy. And the birth of this child next year will also be the birth of a new me, as I allow the Spirit to bring forth new and glorious life.

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Fiona Koefoed-Jespersen
Fiona lives in London with her Danish husband and her two young children. She is determinedly seeking the sacred in the ordinary, learning to see that even the most mundane moments of her day can be spiritual if she wakes up to the Divine in those places. She is in training to become a Spiritual Director, and baking is her favourite spiritual practice. You can follow her through her blog at fionalynne.com.
Fiona Koefoed-Jespersen
Fiona Koefoed-Jespersen

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