SERIOUSLY THOUGH. Thank you all for your love and support during this time.
I honestly have not gone through anything that was more difficult to me than pregnancy and becoming a Mother. Like, planting a potato field in Burma while wearing flip flops was easier (yes, that happened). Or getting stuck under a bridge in Prague with a man wanted for homicide, that was easier. Even that one time I accidentally wore my t-shirt that had The Lord’s Prayer in Arabic while walking past 2 extremist muslims holding semi-automatics. THAT was easier!
I will never again think little of the task of Parenthood. Granted, I had a physically very rough go at pregnancy. Sometimes, when you go through a period of pain you just check out mentally to get through it. I felt as if I almost lost 9 months of my life and re-emerged as someone I didn’t recognize. *It’s getting real in here* The emotions that wrack your mind and body are something I’d never had to contend with before. God was asking me to put real faith in Him, just hang on, don’t try to “figure it all out”. You can only deal with so many emotional triggers at one time and Everly has pushed nearly all of them already, just through being her beautiful self and my daughter. I mean, I had faced how many difficult teenage drama situations working in YWAM. I knew interpersonal communication like the back of my hand.
But when something hits you out of nowhere -the pregnancy was unplanned (I wasn’t sure I was courageous enough yet) Apparently, we are the 2% mentioned on the insert. And that something is something SO deep and questions everything you’ve known. “Do I really believe that God is a good Father?” “Can I raise a Child in this World, where I’ve seen too much pain?” “Can I bear this amount of vulnerability 24/7?”
Now, I realize that many people don’t go through this intense of a process with learning you are to have a child. I don’t share this story often because I get a lot of blank stares or even upset people. I realize how many people long to be a Mother and I should have rejoiced instead of grieved. And I feel for those Women, I do. But this is my story. To understand this you need to understand that back before I became a radical for God I wanted nothing to do with having a Family. Actually, I was convinced for many years that I would die before I was 25 (I’ve since rebuked that lie and will be 28 this August, Praise The Lord). When Lucas and I first met as friends in 2009 I told him I was never getting married and never having children, this was the extent of my fear and pain. What an incredible man to meet me on those terms and then pursue my heart until 2012 when I Married that gem. The days of falling in Love with Lucas were filled with so much fun (we were both working together in YWAM) but also many anxiety attacks when I would feel that deep vulnerability.
I started getting counseling for these issues in 2010 and I can tell you now that I can’t even resonate with any of my past opinions! Father has healed me and my mind so beautifully. However, things get deeper and more real as life goes on.
Spring: We finished up an AMAZING series out outreaches with YWAM. So much fruit, we saw people born again and healed on a regular basis that spring. Luke & I felt a pull on our hearts that God was moving us from Northwoods to a major City. We needed to learn to live this lifestyle of worship and spirit outside of our safe “bubble”. In the noise of a City. With Millennials and Immigrants and all the people that Father loves and wants us to reach. *This seemed like a hard enough task in itself*
Summer: We leave Northwoods campus. Have 1 month of homeless wandering, visiting people, weddings, etc. Meanwhile, My entire Family moves from WI to Texas. Find a small apartment in Minneapolis in August and move in with only 1 months rent in our savings. Doing this all on faith in what we felt God called us to do. Leave behind all Family, Friends, YWAMers and our wonderful Church family. Starting new with only 1 other couple in the twin cities workings with us. Dreams of starting a Discipleship program downtown. TWO WEEKS LATER. I find out I’m pregnant, I proceed to pass out on the bathroom floor in shock.
So, friends, this is where the rubber meets the road. See, to me, the crazy faith feats come very easily. I’m convinced that if God says jump He will then catch me. He is safe. But people, people are tricky! It took me so long to work out my issues on Marriage, I didn’t feel like I was totally ready for Parenting! I knew I would love this child with every ounce of my being, my whole soul. And when you’ve seen so many suffering children around the world it can kind of mess you up inside. “How can I put my heart through this?”. Lucas is His own man, who I trust to make his own choices. But an innocent child???!!! I was to be her protection. Yet at the same time remain fully in faith and not fear. I feared my own place, Motherhood. In my experience in my own life and in counseling young people at our camps I learned how crucial the Mother’s role was. She has an incredible amount of power. That power scared me silly. “Can I love well?” I kept asking myself. I loved her already, in the womb, and that frightened me. Already, I felt something I had never known before. That innate connection.
I resolved to push onward in love. And then physically my body started to revolt. Rejecting the process nearly every step of the way. Everly had to be born via emergency c-section 4 weeks early (after myself being hospitalized for 5 days). All of this happening in a new, strange land with none of my dear friends around. I was shook. I felt like God spent years building up my trust to let people in, only to take them away when I would need it most. That tested my ability to function in what I know to be true. My test, my trial. And see, even as I type this I have pangs of guilt for sharing my struggle. So many women would give anything for this trial! But such is the state of my heart through my life-lense. I don’t share many of my internal struggles outside of my inner circle, because I believe in healing. I believe in Victory. No matter was has been done to me I will never be a victim. And so I choose to live in God’s power. Overcoming. Not forgetting my past, but loving through it. Not becoming a slave to trauma, but overthrowing it. Maybe one day I will write about my healing journey, but this is good for today.
I should say: Our Church from WI was AMAZING at supporting me through that all. I had visitors come and encourage, it was wonderful. I cannot imagine how difficult it would have been without those moments on pushing me onward. So, THANK YOU ALL. You know who you are.
I’m rambling now. I just wanted to hare a glimpse into my heart over the last chapter of my life. I’ve come through to this side having wrestled my demons and more vulnerable than ever. But I feel more ready to take on the world than ever before. I can relate in ways I could not relate before. I can serve my community with a heavy dose of the weight someone feels for their Family & how to overcome that fear in the presence of God. Please continue praying for us, we totally don’t have it figured out, just a grasp! But that’s all we need.
One of YWAM’s point phrases is to “do new things in new ways” in Missions. I feel like Luke and I just went through the 101 on serving Families in the twin cities. haha!
Love you all, We will update soon with more of the actual fun things going on here in our Ministry! But this was a “heart check” moment. I hope it can serve you and even broaden your understanding of some people. Let’s be gracious to one another, because even the most fearless among us are fighting their internal battles.
Let God’s love reign.
– Cheyenne (& Everly Lily says “hi”… literally. *oh boy*)