He was an irresistible week-old newborn, and it was his first Sunday at church. When his mom held him to her shoulder he bore the trademark “I’m just gonna mold completely to your body” newborn snuggle. Talk about baby fever right there!
And then I thought, “That is going to come out of me? That baby is huge!”
Now, it must be said that this little guy is a perfectly average, healthy baby. He wasn’t a 16 pounder.
Though you’ve likely read between the lines, (and noticed the picture) I should probably bring some of you up to speed. I suppose you can tell that I haven’t written in awhile. I guess there is less need for deep processing in the happy, hustling and bustling seasons. Well, I do write all the time these days, but technical reports for work don’t really seem to count.
Anyway, for those who don’t know me in real life or at least on Facebook, I am 5 1/2 months pregnant with our first child! Hooray!
And he’s a boy! We are so delighted to be having a son. He’s a gift long prayed for. The feeling of little kicks from the inside, hearing his heartbeat, seeing him move on ultrasound; these are among the best things I’ve ever experienced. We already know his name, but I’ll save that story for another day.
But I digress. I met a sweet little newborn at church. He was adorable; thoughts of awe and terror simultaneously flitted across my mind.
“Wow God you are amazing!”
“But someone that big is going to come out of me?”
Being pregnant has produced its own set of fears. Fears about labor and delivery. Fears about parenting. Fear that something would happen to our baby—There I’ve said it out loud. It’s uncharted territory, a completely new avenue in which I am learning trust.
I’ve wanted to be a mom for as long as I can remember. It’s one of those desires that had to be stripped away for me to see what it had become. An idol. It was a dream I had begun to worship, something I thought I had to have to be happy. It was a good desire I had let turn into an ultimate desire.
You may remember that my first husband and I tried to get pregnant for a year and half before he died. God did a lot in my heart over that year and half. But the battle was real and intense. So often I prayed for a child. So often I tried to hold my hands open to the Lord.
And when Jon died, all the hopes and dreams of being a mom shattered also. I remember when I started my period about a week after he died: I crumpled on my bathroom floor and sobbed.
So here I am, turning 35 tomorrow and pregnant! They say I’m of “advanced maternal age.” That makes me smile.
And I am amazed at God’s goodness and grace. In the years of widowhood He taught me much about living with open hands. He was good when my hands were empty. And He is good now.
The day I found out I was pregnant, I again knelt on the floor, tears streaming. Y’all know I have a strong relationship with crying.
“Lord, even from the very beginning this baby is yours. I hold my hands open to you. Do what you want with this little life. I pray you would give us grace to point this baby to Jesus. ”
But sometimes open hands are hard.
We’re five and a half months down this path, and already we’re trying to make decisions for the good of our son.
Am I eating the right foods? Taking the right vitamins? Drinking enough water?
Do I go get a Tetanus shot because I cut my toe on a screw?
The flu. Severe dehydration. “I think we better go to the hospital.”
In all this I’m starting to understand that trusting God with our son is life long. We can try to make the best, most informed decisions but ultimately God is sovereign.
He is weaving this little one together in his mother’s womb. Our son is fearfully, and wonderfully made. How much richer are those words now! God will do what brings himself honor and glory.
We’re going to make mistakes. Sometimes we’re going to have no clue what we’re doing. Maybe a lot of times. I’ll probably freak out. Meltdowns will happen—both from me and the baby.
Sometimes we’ll even sin against him. What?! I’m not going to be a perfect parent?
I see your looks of incredulity, but yes friends it’s true.
Therefore, as I learned to preach the gospel to myself in marriage, widowhood, and marriage again, so must I learn it now.
I’m well aware that my highly sensitive heart and strong need for introspection can lead an internal dialogue of fear. We all have our sin tendencies. So I have to change the dialogue.
- God is the perfect parent. Therefore I don’t have to be.
- If God did not spare His own Son, will he spare any omnipotent effort to do good to me? (or to my son?)
- The cross and resurrection prove that the Lord is trustworthy. He always does what he says he will. Because I have been made alive, new, redeemed I can trust God.
- My Father has promised to sanctify me. He is committed to transforming into the image of his Son. Therefore, he will give grace to admit when I am wrong. Grace to say, “Mommy is sorry. Please forgive me.”
- God loves our baby far more than we do.
It still feels surreal sometimes. In a few short months we’ll be responsible to keep a tiny human alive, to meet his needs, to instruct him, to protect, to shepherd him. We pray many things for our baby, but most of all we pray he would know Jesus. Because who’s the real Shepherd? Who’s the real Provider and Protector? It certainly isn’t me.
That I think, is the sum of what God has called us to do—point him to the marvelous grace found in Christ alone. We are channels, channels only to the one who is the answer to all fears, to the one who fully satisfies.