It’s always encouraging when God takes us in our ugliest, yuckiest, grumpiest moments and uses us for His glory.
That happened to me last week. In a big way.
Last Friday, I was scheduled for what I was *hoping* to be my last baby doctor appointment before our Little Patriot’s arrival. I was about 39 and a half weeks along… and unfortunately, the doc’s predictions of me delivering “ahead of schedule” hadn’t come true. (SIGH.)
Unfortunately for me (actually, unfortunately for everyone I encountered) I was in a MOOD. It really wasn’t the fact that I was very largely pregnant and had been contracting for nearly a month… But it was because it has been quite a trying week in our life as an army family. One thing after another seemed to pile up and mess with our hopes and plans. Although I was scheduled for a final ultrasound that day, things had spun out of control with my beloved husband’s job as a drill sergeant– so there was no way he was going to make it to join me in what I hoped was a joyous experience on our path to parenthood.
He was disappointed. I was lonely. Hormonal. And pissed. (Not at him… just the circumstances that had continued to beat up my heart for the last week or so.) Nothing about me that morning said “I love Jesus, please talk to me and let me share the love of Christ with you.” (Additional sidenote: Can you say “pissed” in a Christian blog?)
Anywho, I was mad, frustrated, exhausted. It was early by doctor standards as I was the first appointment out of that gate that morning. I was sitting in the chairs, waiting for the ultrasound tech to call me in… When SHE walked by. Yep, it was the ultrasound tech who had a rep for being grumpy (and had been a lil bit grumbly during our previous visits.) I looked up from my iPad and our eyes locked.
She scowled at me... <Oh no she didn’t!> Oh yes, she did, just like I was about to be a huge inconvenience to her day.
Let’s just say~ that didn’t help my mood.
As I continued to wait, I was texting my sweet mother-in-love, Lex. And by texting, I really mean complaining/whining/venting. Real classy, I know. She tried to encourage me and told me to pray for the scowling tech of doom.
My snarky non-Jesusy reply? “After this week, my prayer tank is running on empty. I want to be joyful, but I don’t feel joy anywhere.”
I’m not proud of my response… but it’s the truth. I did manage to pray for God to give the strength to make it through the appointment without venting to a stranger about how upset I was that my beloved husband couldn’t come or how uncomfortable I was or blah blah blah. I squeezed out a feeble prayer for Him to help me rediscover my joy and be an example for this scowling ultrasound tech.
They finally called me back to the room and I hoisted (waddled? lumbered?) my extremely large self onto the table. The scowling tech remained silent and the gal running the show started asking questions as they went to work, checking baby’s size/position, etc.
Somehow, within about 15 seconds into the conversation, they asked if I was an army wife. (How they knew, I will never know…)
I responded yes and explained (briefly and vaguely) that my husband wasn’t deployed but his job was incredibly demanding so he couldn’t make this big appointment today.
Their response? They both scrunched up their faces and said, “Ug, I don’t know how you do it.”
Enter stage left: Jesus moment.
I took the opportunity to share with them my faith– how Jesus is the reason I get up in the morning, He’s the one who gives us strength, He is the rock on which our marriage is built. Both of the techs kind of stared at me… Unable to respond. I continued and told them that things were challenging with the army, especially this last week with some individuals specifically… but we prayed for them daily.
The scowling tech scoffed (in the joking-but-still-serious-way) and said, “Yeah, pray for them like that one country song… Pray that their brakes go out coming down the hill or a flower-pot hits them in the head from a window sill.”
They both chuckled at the notion… But I stayed serious– “No, ma’am… we pray for the grace and love of Jesus Christ to shine into their lives so they can experience what we do everyday.”
As we continued to talk about army life (aka our family was at least 1000 miles away, hubs works about 13-20 hrs per day on a normal basis, oh PS we are moving 2800 miles about 3 months after this kid is on the ground), the tech flipped a switch… and the screen transitioned to a 4D image.
My husband and I had decided early on that we couldn’t (ok, didn’t really want to) fork out the cash for a 4D ultrasound… They aren’t cheap, but for some reason, on that morning, I got a glimpse of our little one’s face.
Yeah. Lil Patriot looked about how I felt… Grumpy and smooshed and uncomfortable… But a lil Jesus encounter changed all that!
Between the quick witness to these ladies and the sight of our baby’s scrunched up face… My joy was restored.
Talk about your not-so-classic-ultra-sound-off for Jesus.
Thankful He shows up and shows out,
“I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies.” ~Psalm 18:3