3/7/14 2:04 AM
I guess I should start to write all this down…
Having a baby has always been a weighty concept for me. Starting with the delicate age when I officially became a “woman”, as they say. I’d learned in middle school health class, mixed with those awkward talks with my mom, that a woman’s monthly cycle is essential in having a baby. Of course, I wanted a baby. Most females do, right? Who among us didn’t play “house” as little girls; mimicking our own mothers’ bossy, firm mannerisms and domestic chores?
I guess it all came down to being a mother, and not just having a baby.
Beyond the biological means, I felt that bearing children served as a birthright to my gender. A privilege, even.
I now recognize the irony:
…my desire for [natural-born] children has finally taken a backseat to my biological abilities and shortcomings. No matter how much I WANT to bear my husband a baby,
I am still here.
Chained to strict bed rest and nightly medication.
Mentally prepared for my body to signal premature birth, despite how much more time would benefit my little one, kicking naively inside me.
I’m here, at the mercy of biology, and any number of unknown, random combinations of physiological shortcomings.
My intention is not to sound pessimistic. My faith is working harder than it ever has; flexing muscles I had no clue existed. My posture for prayer has changed, metaphorically and literally: I’m forced to go before God while lying in bed (on my left side, of course).
But this is real. And the ending is still covered in a thick fog, because things are still so uncertain. Kept from me for a reason.
I do feel peace more often these days. At first, I thought it was because I’m currently at the point of 95% survival if my baby is born. But it’s not that…
There is only one major truth that has been unwavering since we received the news: God will be with me. Many times, we jump ahead, filling in all the blanks that He’s intentionally left unanswered. And they are all filled with the miracles you’d expect:
…the ultrasound was actually read incorrectly, and I’ll have a perfectly normal pregnancy.
…my body is the rare, dynamic type that bounces back quickly. No medication or bed rest required, after all.
Or….Baby born at full term, completely healthy and normal.
Wouldn’t that be amazing? I know I’d shout hearing a testimony like that in church. Who wouldn’t?
But what about a not-so happy ending?
…baby born premature and needed months in NICU; receiving multiple surgeries and procedures.
…baby born early and grows up with physical or mental challenges.
I’m sure those words are as hard to read, as they were to type. But what if? Is God unjust or unfair? Did He back out on His original promise?
“I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)
The hardest part of waiting to hold my child in my arms is simply this:
Do I want God to give me what I want or what He wills?
My husband and I named her already: Naomi Alese. Granted, we struggled with the middle name, but whenever we refer to her, it feels like we’ve been calling her that for years. Like saying her name out loud will receive an audible response from the other room. We’ve already given her a very significant, open space in our lives. We’ve made room for her, and she fits perfectly. That’s one of the reasons why we want her with everything we have…
…and why it would be painful if God saw fit to take her sooner, rather than later.
But, I am not instructed to know every part of how it’s going to work out. I used to want to know…I remember begging God to let me in on His plan, so that I can stop being in agony. So that I can begin to prepare for what’s ahead. Whatever it is…
…but He isn’t giving me that God-like luxury. And He won’t. A couple of our close friends, family members, and spiritual leaders have spoken that Naomi will be just fine. They look us in the eyes with assuredness and complete hope that we will not endure the pain that comes with losing a child.
After hearing it, I exhale, being extremely grateful that we are surrounded with such encouragement and faith. But, I know that they are not psychic, nor can they see beyond what the hand of God has chosen to reveal. Despite their sense of “knowing”, I cannot replace their comfort with what God has spoken; no matter how collective we are in this desire. The hands of our loved ones serve us daily, and it would be hard to picture my little family making it without them….
But, as nimble and gracious as their hands are, their backs are not strong enough to handle the weight of what my husband and I are carrying. Only God can provide that level of comfort. And He reminds me often that His comfort has little to do with knowing what’s ahead, and more about us submitting totally to His Will:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. “(Proverbs 3:5-6)
Granted, I’m just one set of eyes and a spirit, but I am only able to see two things:
My desire & my biological makeup.
The Lord has shielded me from the rest.
I submit the two every day to the Lord. I pray for Him to surround my desires; protect them. I know He gave them to me for a reason, so I ask that He not allow me to abandon them because I am in pain. Because it would be easier to not connect with my child; to not allow myself to love her. Losing her wouldn’t hurt so much if I didn’t want her. So, I ask God to remove the barrier between us, so that we can enjoy one another fully; beyond our shared body.
Secondly, I pray over my body. I do believe that healing is possible, and that it’s one of the best ways for God to do His work. Consider how untraceable sudden healing can be: cancer disappearing, blood flowing to dead limbs; causing them to move…inexplicable things happen often, and I bet God thoroughly enjoys acting out His glory in this way. Because of this, I believe God’s hands are not bound by sickness and disease. And if I fully recognize that, then I know that He can keep this baby inside me, for as long as He wills, DESPITE my body’s shortcomings. He will either become my body’s strength or enable my body to become strong.
So, I pray in this manner…
Knowing that God hears me and He knows my heart.
And I will lean on Him, so that I may trust Him no matter what the outcome.