second try

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Looking Forward

Even when I am not pregnant, I watch birth videos and read other people's birth stories. I simply love birth. Nothing weird about that; God does too! Because he loves babies, and because he loves giving humanity good gifts. When I was little I learned that good things come in small packages. Surely, babies are one of the best gifts to humanity. God could keep them to himself, but in kindness that we do not deserve, he chooses instead to share them with we who are not worthy of them. He entrusts people who may not be trustworthy with his prized jewels. He gives us a chance to mature, to rise to the occasion of love. A chance to put aside childish thinking no matter our age and live selflessly even if we already thought we were.

God teaches us humility in the fact that he once entered our flesh and blood world squirming, messy and wriggling, totally dependent on his mother to nourish him until he grew older. The most worthy of all once arrived this way, and he is the only one who is the King of all kings and has the one Name above all names. I hope the whole world over will someday learn that worth is gifted to us in these small bundles. How many little ones has he longed to bless us with that we have refused? Only eternity knows the answer. Even so, one thing is clear- he does not refuse those who have refused his children. He has open arms for all who call on his name. Yet I imagine it brings his heart joy each time we say yes to a child, by birth or the spirit of adoption. I am humbled that he has chosen me, unworthy of such gifts as I am, to carry yet another human soul. I contain the laughter of another, the personality and destiny of another that I can bless and impact but never own for myself. I am carrying life. I remain forever awed that God chose me to conceive and carry his creations whom no one else ever may. What a joy; what a gift!

Now that I am over halfway in the "approximate" gestational timeline of this new child I feel the nearness of that time deeply. I am so looking forward to this new birth experience because it will be very different than my others, including our early miscarriage. The first was a different kind of birth, one I don't think God desires us to experience. I grew closer to God in that loss and never counted him unfaithful because he is not. My firstborn I have always said was a promise fulfilled, and as much as ever, I know God is faithful as I raise now two sweet girls. They are each unique, as were their births. I loved the experiences I had with each of them. Was thrilled with them! But this third one is different, and I am so excited. It is so much more low key and calm, easy-going. This is such a relaxing time for me in so many ways as I look ahead.

My husband said this week, "It doesn't take faith to look in the past and see how good things used to be, it takes faith to look into the future and see the possibilities of how good things could be." Hebrews 11:1 It hit home with me for this upcoming birth. I have great experiences to build on and have walked in God's faithfulness with my girls, for which I am thankful. But as every mother knows, each time you go to birth, you have to give it all, you have to ignore and refuse to hear the fear and focus instead on the positive. I have prayed through God's promises to pregnant and birthing women in scripture with my last two, and now with this one. But living out the blessings the last two times is one thing; walking it out again, this time is fresh and requires faith of me once more.

I believe that God designed us to have children simply. He gave us what we need to do it. Unfortunately, humanity has messed up his designs and we regularly ruin our bodies and how they function with what we eat, what we are exposed to and are affected even by how our grandparent's ate. Even so, it all comes back to my faith in God's faithfulness. He doesn't need us to fix what is outside of our control, only to believe that he loves to give good gifts to his children. Good gifts that come in little wiggling packages. Good gifts that maybe genetics or environment did not bestow upon us but he can and will, with gladness.

In looking back I look into One who is full of Faith and spilled it all over me with two beautiful births. In good faith I look forward and do almost always all that I can, trying myself to be faithful with what I know is beneficial practically, but my reliance and security comes not from my own attempts at functioning well in a fallen world but in the power of the Word and Blood of Jesus Christ. He is the Word who was made flesh for us, who was beaten and bruised for us (Isaiah 53) so that we, as women, can invite his true words to live in us    and posses the way we conceive, carry and birth our babies. I am looking forward to not just a natural birth, but a supernatural birth, covered by the very hand of God.

One simple way we as women can train ourselves to believe what God says about birth and children is to stop the ready American flow of negative words about both. God says that children are a blessing in scripture. Those are his words. When we come into alignment with how he thinks we no longer need accept that children are a curse in the womb and we will be miserable while they are inside, as if children are only a blessing when they are out. There are practical things we can do to be healthier, to be more comfortable carrying the extra weight out front and all of that, but the biggest thing we can do is receive the true words that children are a blessing. If we really decide to believe God, that truth will change the confessions of our mouths and the outcomes and emotions we experience. Quite honestly, if we believe all the people that say being pregnant in the summer stinks then we will likely have an experience that agrees. If we think in the opposite spirit, chances are much higher we will enjoy the summer! Life and death is in the power of the tongue.

In looking forward we can use our tongue to build up or tear down are birth experiences. I always say that in the midst of it we ought to take where we are, be flexible with our expectations and choose whatever decisions will keep us in peace. We are blessed with nine months of carrying preparation within us. My prayer is that we would use the time wisely and cling to the words of God in the midst of it, for his words are the very words of eternal life. In building our pregnancy and birth on the solid rock of Christ we can rest on a sure foundation where the voice of fear has no hold. We can look forward to peace, love, joy and kindness in the midst of any circumstance. We can look forward to a beautiful gift from a beautiful Father who loves us. Whether we have heartbreak behind us, joy or both, we can all choose to look forward in faith. God's promises to his children await us there.

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