Confined to a Recliner

October 17, 2022

This is my first pregnancy, and in some ways it is not what I expected. I knew that with EDS (Ehlers-Danlos syndrome), pregnancy would be painful and have its risks. But I also thought that I could still keep up the same pace of life and push through when I needed to. This, however, was not the case. I soon realized the Lord would use this time for intensive refinement. I can tend to be an independent person who does not want to burden or bother others with things that I feel I should be doing. There is definitely an aspect of pride in this, but also of fear. 

For many years this has been a foundational struggle and point of anxiety for me. It was first addressed when I started dating my now-husband. I initially resisted his help and care in fear of being too much or being high-maintenance. From that point on, the Lord slowly started to grow my trust in him and show me how accepting care and support is vital for a healthy relationship. I needed to be humble and vulnerable. This was, and still is, a trying lesson to learn. 

Fast forward to when we found out I was pregnant with our first baby. We were so excited and I started gearing up for a rough but “doable” pregnancy…or so I thought. I knew that the first trimester would likely be the most debilitating, and I would need to take it easy. But I expected I should be able to push through most of the physical aspects that come with the second and third trimesters…right? Nope, not right at all. 

Yes, the first trimester was bad, and I was down for the count, but then the reality of pregnancy mixed with my health issues hit. Despite this, I still resisted seeking help and attempted to carry on as usual. As you can imagine, this didn’t exactly work in my favor. It resulted in several times where I could barely leave the couch and was forced to rely entirely on others. At this point, I was slowly seeing that I needed to lean more on God and the community he has blessed me with. Sometimes God confines you to a recliner to show you that you cannot go through life alone and without his strength. Oftentimes, relying on his strength comes in the form of accepting care and support from those around you. Each member of the body has giftings and strengths that are needed to support the whole. No single part of the body is self-sustaining (1 Corinthians 12).

I wish I could say that I have fully learned this lesson, and I can now cheerfully ask for and receive assistance, but that would be a lie. However, I can say that I am starting to understand that we in the body of Christ are designed to support one another and to need one another. My husband and I have moved in with my parents while we are in the process of selling our condo. Having their support and being able to support them has been such a huge blessing. Part of the decision to move in came from us knowing that we would need more help, especially towards the end of my pregnancy. It has also been a humbling and encouraging experience seeing how our broader church community has supported us through this time. Being able to say that you are independent and get things done on your own is not worth missing the blessings that come from being vulnerable and seeking the help of others.

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