I wrote the below reflection when I was 18 weeks pregnant and at the Presbyterian CREDO conference. Tomorrow, I will be 25 weeks along and the time has already flown by. Looking at it again, I decided to post it here so I could “keep” it but also being mindful of the women who are still struggling to have children or who won’t have the opportunity to be mothers in the ways that they thought. My love and my prayers for all of us on the journey.
May 20, 2017
“For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.” -Jeremiah 29:11
Or rather, really how I want to say it every time is, “I’m pregnant!!”
I want to tell you what a rough road it was to get to this point, and how it felt super hard. Yes, it did take us a lot longer than either one of us thought it would take for us to get pregnant. Yes, we did have to go through a hell of a lot of testing and yes, eventually we did have to go through fertility treatments to get to this point. And yes, getting here felt more like a ritual or formula and definitely discipline than “That was super fun, and now we’re pregnant!”
But it did not feel hard or rough in the ways I thought it would. I don’t mean to say that to minimalize the ups and downs and “hard” that many women who struggle to get pregnant go through. I also know I do not speak for my partner. But today I begin and I’m mindful of the fact that although there were stressful moments in the process, overall, I felt a deep peace throughout the whole journey, and I want to begin there, because looking back to where I am today, at 18 weeks pregnant, I am so grateful.
I’m grateful that I’m married to someone who wanted kids as much as I did when we got married. We both “goo goo” and “ga ga” whenever we see babies.
I’m grateful that when we found out that the road might be longer than we initially thought to get there, that we talked through and prayed through the possibility that maybe this wasn’t the plan for us in the way we had initially envisioned. We even considered the possibility that we may be a childless couple, and that didn’t freak us out (too much). We stayed hopeful and committed ourselves to loving the children in our lives and to keep love for one another in different ways as we got older. After all, I have friends and colleagues that model that for me already, and we are blessed to be already a part of so many children’s lives.
I’m grateful for doctors and specialists and health insurance.
And I’m grateful to be 18 weeks pregnant. Every day, I wake up grateful for this gift growing inside of me.
And I don’t know what the future holds.
Now don’t get me wrong. I do worry. I have no idea what it’s going to be like to be a mother. Of course, I pray every day for a healthy baby. I worry about how I’m going to shift and live into a calling I LOVE as a full time minister and as a mother and in the midst of a discernment process. I worry about balance. And I worry about being called into a new direction at the same time that I’m pregnant with my first child.
But when I quoted the Jeremiah passage, of God knowing the plans God has for me, plans for a hope and a future, for me that didn’t only translate into this baby in my womb.
Rather, it reminds me that no matter what happens, in the face of so many unknowns and worries ahead, that somehow I’m being asked to trust that future into God’s hands. And it may sound trite and corny even as I’m writing this, but I also believe it with every fiber of my being. Not because I’m somehow more faithful, but because as I approach the 37th year of my life, I’m recognizing more fully how God is faithful to me. And how God has been faithful to me despite myself.
Nothing has actually gone according to MY plan, and for that, I thank God today.
It’s also a strong reminder that I need to continue to be willing to leap into unknown waters, to enjoy the life I have been given, and to soak in the moments where I am right now.
This Umma loves you so much already. Your Appa is so excited to meet you (I even have video footage of how happy he was when he found out you existed). We hope you continue to grow healthy and stronger every day.
You know the places between this new calling of motherhood and in my vocation where I feel incredibly called to both places. You have been faithful to me. Help me to keep trust in you, and to live each day with continued gratitude.