April

RApril

April saw more sunshine, more thunderstorms, and more growth. More of the, “I just want things to be easy,” alongside the, “Whatever You want is what I want, Lord.”

As the month drew to a close, I felt God asking me to share verses, encouragement, and blatant honesty with my Instagram community. I was reading through the Psalms, and verses kept piercing my heart. And so #nofearMay was born.

#nofearmay #becauseHelivesicanfacetomorrow #prayfortupelo

A post shared by Jeniffer Smith (@smith_jeniffer) on

Beginning at the end of April, five years after my first positive pregnancy test, I would post each day on Instagram, focusing on verses that stuck out to me and sharing my heart with my friends and followers. I also started the hashtag #becauseHelivesIcanfacetomorrow to remind myself of the push behind it all. I didn’t have to fear or be anxious because God knows. I didn’t have to fear because He was and is close.

And then. Right after I started my #nofearMay practice, a tornado hit our city.

Not just the outskirts but the residential areas. While most of the city was unaffected, I did have some intense Hurricane Katrina flashbacks. My brother-in-law and his family stayed with us that week because they were evacuated out of their homes. At first, they weren’t told why, but it was later learned that there was a major gas leak in the neighborhood.

Spending an unexpected week with family in a small house was not exactly easy. What I mean by that is it was one of the hardest, selfless things that I did. Even harder, in many ways, than pregnancy or doing dairy free and soy free. My space, while not violated or taken away, was compromised. And it hurt.

At the same time, it was so good. We had some great days and some of the best conversations that would not have happened otherwise. And with their days in the States coming to a close, we knew that we probably wouldn’t have this time with them for much longer.

They stayed for only a week, but that week did much to build our relationships. (Also, my mother-in-law took their older four kiddos for a few days, which helped a lot. With only two littles of my own and pregnancy to boot, I was not always the most gracious hostess.)

I was stretched, and I grew. I offered of myself in more ways than one, and, as always, when I allowed God to stretch and grow me, I was blessed. It’s always hard. It’s never what I want it to be. But it’s always worth it.

This post is part of a 31 Days series on Raising My Ebenezer, part of my story and my own testimony of God’s goodness and faithfulness. As the song Come Thou Fount says, “Here I raise my Ebenezer, hither by Thine help I’m come.” For the month of October, I’ll be writing our story, outlining the Ebenezers in recognition of His mighty hand on our lives. His doings and His workings because of and sometimes in spite of our best efforts. My hope is that you’ll see a lot of Him and little to none of me. Because in the end, it is by His help that we have come this far.

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