“I am my beloved’s, and He is mine.”
—Song of Solomon 6:3
I’m over halfway through this, my likely final pregnancy. That means I’m headed in for the 20-week ultrasound. Here’s how this usually goes:
I walk into the office ready to flood the place because I’ve consumed the prescribed amount of water. My heart’s racing and I’m all jittery because I CANNOT WAIT to catch a glimpse of that little munchkin who is wreaking so much havoc around my midsection. As I lay on the table, I peek cautiously (because we never find out the gender of our babies before they’re born…just because), and I eventually stare like crazy and take it all in. What a miracle!
From all appearances, I’m in seventh heaven. But at the back of my mind, other thoughts are lurking. Does everything look okay? Are those measurements normal? Is anything wrong with the little one? And on and on and on…
When you’re pregnant, well-meaning people ask whether you’re hoping for a boy or a girl. (Ha! If they could only hear the prayer wars my children have, the boys praying for another brother, and Lydia praying for a sister!) They always follow up with, “well, as long as it’s healthy…” Yes, as long as…but wait; health and longevity aren’t the chief goals of life, are they? When I think of my funeral, I’d be horribly disheartened if the most people could say about me was that I lived a long time and that I was really healthy. That ranks right up there with people shrugging and saying, “she had a lot of money” or “she typically smelled nice.” These are externals that might occur, that might make the journey a bit easier, but can never leave us feeling fulfilled, and hopefully don’t sum up our life worth.
I’ve seen people endure horrific experiences, watching those they love suffer and sometimes die far earlier than any of them could have wished. Of course we don’t hope for that. Ever. I’ll sure continue to pray for health and protection for my entire family. But this pregnancy has illuminated a change in my heart. The panicky hopes for perfection, my attempt to control and avoid pain, are essentially gone. I am learning to care less about my agenda, surrendering instead to the Lord’s, whose is always better; it does, after all, reflect a view of eternity and not just this moment. I’m resting in an abiding peace that comes from believing that I am my Beloved’s, and He is mine.
This transformation is reflected in prayers now primarily full of heartfelt appeals for this baby (and my whole family) to be intimately connected with God. I pray for God to send “just the right baby for our family,” the one He knows we need, in order for us to embrace and share His love more. There WILL be challenges, and we will love one another with everything we’ve got, not “as long as,” but regardless! There WILL be fatigue, and He is prepared to provide the “plenty” when we’re drained. There WILL be surprises (to us), and He’s working all things out according to His purposes.
As I head in for the ultrasound tomorrow, I’m looking forward to a fresh experience. No, I’m still old fashioned (when I feel like it) and won’t find out what we’re having, but I will enjoy resting in whatever plan He has for His beloved.