So here is me at 39 1/2 Weeks… SHEESH!
I decided to try my hand at cute little headbands… they are always way too expensive to buy… I think they turned pretty cute!
For those of you who are wondering… yes, we are still waiting for baby love. I had a realization that all of the 13 babies born in our life this year came at least a little early, which is actually not a statistical representation of the average first time mom gestational period. So perhaps my expectations were skewed just a little bit about this process. It doesn’t really help that pretty much every conversation I have had both with strangers and familiar people the last couple of days orbits around how big my belly is or “wow, you could go into labor any minute!” Well, any minute has still not come. I oscillate between wanting baby’s brain cells to grow in the safety of the womb and wanting her here, like, yesterday.
A Radio Lab story stopped me in my tracks today. Titled “23 weeks and 6 days,” it is the story of a couple who delivered their baby girl Juniper only barely over half way through the mother’s pregnancy. They spent a little over 6 months in the NICU with the baby and coming close to losing the baby was an everyday reality. The story was a beautiful piece grappling with questions of how long should we fight for life and what are the ethics behind medical intervention in such cases. Juniper’s fighting spirit caused her to keep breathing despite insurmountable odds.
So why do we fight for life this hard? This little baby only knew life inside of a little plastic box, and had no expectation of what awaited her… actual arms to hold her, soft blankets, warm summer breezes… her father mentions in the story that perhaps why we fight so hard for life is that we are hungry to know what is next … we are hungry to finish our stories. Perhaps there is power in waiting for life to unfold. In 6 months, little Juniper grew from a translucent skinned premie with her eyes sealed shut into a young baby girl able to go home and breathe freely on her own terms. Do I really know how to wait in a way that allows life to forge such powerful changes? And how much more powerful is it for me to wait on the Lord and expect His word to achieve fulfillment?
In the OT, waiting is often translated as: binding together (twisting strands to create a rope), looking patiently, hoping, expecting, and waiting with expectancy. There is a clear call to daily walk out waiting on the Lord as He cares for us even in the midst of the pressures of life (see this great expositional article here – http://bible.org/article/waiting-lord). In the NT, this waiting shifts primarily to eagerly looking for the return of Christ and how this should look in our daily walks. To me, there is a warrior sense in this process of waiting. This is our weapon, as we actively and hopefully trust the Lord to see us through instead of taking things into our own hands. I am still not sure how to walk this out, but I am encouraged to think that my waiting is not fruitless… and I am laying my fears down and asking God to forge in me the strength and blessings of waiting for His fulfillment.
Get your tissues out – Here is a link to the Radio Lab story:
Patience has never been my strong suit.
I visualize the end of a project, map out how to get there and then work as hard as I can to accomplish the goal. When I started my pregnancy 268 days ago, I was thrilled, scared, nervous and then I settled into rhythms. As most of you know, I have had a relatively breezy pregnancy with no morning sickness, lots of energy in the second trimester, steady weight gain and perfect timing for the baby to be born before the heat of the summer…
Then halfway through my third trimester hit! Constant back pain, restless sleepless nights, and the reality that I will not get to labor at home as much as I have zealously wished would happen because of a few complications.
I really can’t complain…baby girl is moving, her heart beat is strong, and she is coming around the corner to full term. However, these last few weeks have pushed me to the edge. I am humbled… I get up, get dressed, then sit on my red medicine ball and bounce, pretty much worn out for the day. My feet swell again the second I get up from lying down. My sweet husband, family members and friends orbit around me, bringing in water, food, and finishing the baby list. I have never felt so sluggish or helpless, and I know this is just the beginning of a long postpartum recovery. Oh, how I groan with creation! Oh, how I wait to meet baby love.
I drench my heart in Romans 8. These are the words I want to define my perspective, the life transforming process I long to submit to everyday but through which I usually only catch a glimpse of real life (from ESV, Amplified and The Message):
“Truth: The law of the Spirit of Life has set me free in Christ Jesus. When I set my mind of the Spirit, I have life and peace. His spirit is life to me when my mind is set on Him and not on my flesh. I rejoice that I did not receive a spirit of slavery or fear, but the spirit of adoption as a daughter.
So I wait, and I hope to be set free from bondage and corruption, letting His life forge freedom in me. He makes the way for me to see this world through the eyes of His Kingdom, in tune with what He is doing in the earth… for this hope I was saved!
I am thankful His spirit helps in my weakness. He works everything together for my good, calls me, justifies me. He withholds nothing. My resurrection life is not a timid, grave tending life. It is adventurously expectant, God’s spirit touching my spirit and confirming who I really am. I am enlarged in my waiting…my joyful expectancy grows. You come along side me in the waiting and encourage me by praying… you know my pregnant condition.”
Can I really trust His dreams to come to pass? All of the preparation, all of the laying down, all of the waiting and hoping… not even these moments can separate me from His love. And when the dreams He has planted take longer to come to fruition or turn out differently than expected, I still work to trust that He walks with me every step of the way. I thank Him that I am delivered from a dead life and now live wide-eyed, aware that work and goals are not the point and relationship matters the most. And so I wait for baby love, wrestling with these ideals and longing to live transformed just a little more.
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