It is the early morning and I am strapped to a hospital bed with a terrible night’s sleep behind me and an adventure ahead. I hear from a nurse that a patient has arrived that delivered her baby in the car on the 405 freeway an hour ago and I say a prayer of thanks that it wasn’t me, while at the same time wishing that it was, because at least then I would be through the harrowing part of this journey. Twenty-four hours ago, I chose to induce labor four days past the promised arrival date for a variety of reasons. I wanted to control this one thing, to get through the storm and be on the other side of it, and yet, it is clear that I am not in control. Anxiety digs it’s claws in and I feel more desperate than ever to get done with this. I wait and imagine myself into labor, with no progress. Twelve hours of pitocin and no change. I am discouraged.
Everything about this pregnancy was a trauma to my soul. The day I found out I would be having another baby, I cried. It was not my plan. The timing was off and nothing made sense about having a baby during grad school years and our simplest, poorest days. I was blindsided by the two pink lines and the weight of what they would mean for us. In my heart, I wrestled with God, questioning what He must be thinking to bring us a child at this challenging time, because I had done everything I knew how to do to avoid it. It was not my first choice, but I responded with a yes in my heart. Yes, I would do this. Yes, I would lean hard into God for His provision and help, mostly because I had no other way to go. And yes, I would still wrestle the whole way to maintain some sense of control, until I realized (after the fact) that surrender was the whole point. I did not choose Him, but He chose me for this task.
In the hospital, round with child and a heart that did not feel ready to accept God’s plans for me, I somehow found myself in the middle of God’s transformative work in my life anyway. I see it now as the kindness of God. He knew the plans He had for me, and was not about to let me alter them to fit my own will, even if it meant pushing me past my comfort zone. Ok, way past it.
He planned this boy for our family, and through his birth and five years of watching him grow, I am convinced that through the most uncomfortable season of my life, God was illuminating for me His desire to make the proud heart (mine) humble and to pour out gifts of immeasurable worth even though I have not deserved them.
My second son arrived on the scene after a wild 45 minutes of hard labor following a night of anxious nothing, and has continued to surprise and delight us every day since. What treasures are found when we accept what the Lord gives, even if it makes no sense at first. Happy Birthday, my son. I am so thankful for you, and for everything I have learned from you in your five beautiful years.
“You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.” John 15:16
“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.’” Jeremiah 29:11
“Many, Lord my God, are the wonders You have done, the things You planned for us. None can compare with You; were I to speak and tell of Your deeds, they would be too many to declare.” Psalm 40:5
371. my sweet beautiful birthday boy with the biggest heart, 372. highly sophisticated interlocking brick system creations, 373. a special daddy-made birthday breakfast, 374. discovering beauty in unexpected places, 375. reminders of faith milestones, 376. a household schedule that is working, 377. family meetings, 378. generosity of strangers, 379. promises fulfilled, 380. wholeness of heart