That is the state of my life at the moment. In between the Christmas celebration and New Year’s Eve, I’m left waiting. Twirling my thumbs and watching for “signs” – of which there are none.
I’ve always been fantastic at preaching “guess dates” when it comes to baby birth days. It’s an easy place to preach from when you’ve previously birthed at 39 weeks, 0 days and 39 weeks, 6 days. Yes, until now, I have never hit a due date milestone. Today, I preach from the the depths … well, maybe not the true depths; I’ll reserve that for my heart spill next week :) At 40 weeks, 3 days I’m officially “overdue” in terms of baby’s expected arrival, and still, although anticipating my son’s arrival, I feel patiently peaceful about it.
Patience is the lesson this little one is already teaching me. Lessons from the womb, which seem both very near and very, very far. My third child, my second son, is weaving into my heart the beauty of patience. That less rush is good for my soul. That waiting, can be rewarding.
From her time inside, Jemma taught me a very different lesson. Into a weak woman my little lady planted perseverance into her mama’s core. Jemma’s journey began unexpected to her Daddy and I, but very planned by the Lord. An ode to why I was so drawn to Esther 4:14 as her birth verse, I suppose.
Through a bout of unemployment and a number of difficult decisions as we planned for her arrival, Dominic and I persevered. Little did I know, the lesson she hoped to teach me would stretch me so at the pinnacle of our time together. Her birth was exhausting. It was discouraging and at times, I found myself feeling beyond hopeless. I remember thinking, “They’re going to send me home, this baby is not coming” … even though my waters had ruptured and I had been in active labor for upwards of 24 hours.
But there are things in life that you can’t stop; labor being one of them. There is only one way to overcome and persevering through the process and pain was the lesson I needed to learn from my sweet girl. From those transitioning hours with Jemma, I learned that I can. I always can. No matter the trouble, it is within me to persevere through hard seasons. There is hope, victory, and immense treasure on the other side. No matter the technicalities of my darkest hours – perseverance in mind, in body, and in spirit rise up a warrior heart of commendable strength; one I want to fuel for a lifetime.
And my Max. The little boy I didn’t know I needed so desperately.
As a new, but seasoned mother I felt that I knew. More than felt, I believed I knew so very much about my role as a mom. And truly, I did! I had learned endless lessons through parenting my first child. So, during my pregnancy with Max, as I anticipated his arrival, I planned and prepared with the diligence of a second-time mom. I would circumvent my former missteps and repeat wise decisions from round one.
But then, surprise. My lesson from Max.
This gentle, fierce boy taught his mama that my careful planning, my well-intended control mean little if not, nothing. Briefly before his due date, in the quiet hours of the morning he came in a whirlwind. He had no worry of the time or day or location; he was just ready. Max was in my arms in 1/10th of the time it took his sister to arrive earth side. The surprise I felt was, and still is, an understatement.
Max came into the world with a vibrant fervor to live and be and feel. I couldn’t believe it – the timing of it all! Dominic couldn’t believe it – had we just had an unplanned, unassisted home birth? And most of all, I think our doula, who aided us in our midwife’s unsuspected absence, couldn’t believe it – her first solo delivery! My boy had surprised us all in a wonderful way. And through his surprise, he taught us all much about the grace we need to approach well laid plans with.
To this day, Max is my surprise. He teaches me to lay my plans, but lay then openly. He guides me to find flexibility in our routine and embrace the tiny moments of surprise that I so often glance over. Each day when we rise, I never know what he will do to steer our day in new ways. For his ability to loosen my ideals and draw me closer to the wild of life, I am forever thankful.
From before the beginning, these babies of mine have shared lessons I need. Lessons I don’t want because they are hard. And hard things are never my favorite. But still, I find myself yearning for these hard lessons. Motherhood is shaping me for great things. Things I don’t yet know the details of, but things I will have patience for, things I will persevere towards and things, I most assuredly will be surprised by.
Amen and amen. To all that is to come.