I started my maternity leave last month. I was nearing the last weeks of pregnancy and I was tired. My body ached and my mind was filled with all the things I needed to do to prepare for our new baby. With my history of birthing babies, I thought it would only be a few weeks before I could turn my mind back to this space and what the Lord had for me here.
I was wrong. So wrong.
My mind was blown a long, long time ago, but I still manage to wake up a little more surprised everyday at my reality. I thought I would be holding a baby by now, muddling my way through family visits and well wishers. I thought my body would be halfway through recovery and my baby’s eyes would be opening right now. I thought my husband would be at his new job while I was home picking up the baton of full-time stay at home mom to three little boys.
And perhaps we’ve done some of those things, are doing some of those things, but without a baby to hold. All those things remain a part of our present and future – and none of it is part of the past just yet.
I’m still muddling my way through family visits and well wishers. My mom is still doing my laundry, people are bringing us meals, and sending us gifts of encouragement everyday. My body is one day closer to recovery, but not on the side I imagined. My baby’s eyes aren’t open, but he’s growing and healthy …and well, snug as he can be. My husband isn’t at the office that hired him, but he’s communicating with his boss and getting to know him while I learn to be a mom of three little boys with one of them still inside of me.
I’ve been doing a lot of fist shaking lately. Fist shaking at God that is. But this morning I woke up with a thought on my mind that I couldn’t shake.
He never promised us a baby by now.
Prodromal labor is awful, but it wasn’t the start of a promise. My oldest coming out at 39 weeks and my second coming at 38 weeks wasn’t a promise that this baby would come at 37 weeks. Miscarrying a baby last year wasn’t a promise that my faith wouldn’t be tested again.
Yet I adopted a promise that I believed to be from God.
I didn’t realize it, but I did.
I adopted the promise that I would be holding a baby by now and claimed it as mine. Forgive me, Lord. You are the potter and I am the clay.
I didn’t expect the end of pregnancy to go like this. I didn’t expect it to be such a spiritual battle. I was blind, but now I see … at least a little. I’m no fool to think I see clearly. But I’m learning to see things His way and not my own.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts. ~Isaiah 55:8-9
I don’t know what the future holds, but I do know Whose Hands hold my future. I’m limited in what I can do right now for my family, but I’m learning this year that the Christian life is so much less about doing and so much more about being.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God. ~Ephesians 2:8
It’s something He’s determined that I will understand.
I can love fiercely because of the love of my Father.
I can live joyfully because of the One who died for me.
I can give praise to the One who created me because of the freedom He bought for me.
And this can all be done regardless of my circumstances, feelings, or mess ups because it’s not about what I do but who I am.
I am loved.
I am forgiven.
I am free.
Strengthen me, Lord, for a new day. And if it pleases you, can I please hold my baby tonight?