Tuesday, March 21, 2023

A Different Kind of Pregnancy

Spring is always a time of remembrance for me. I start walking back through the timeline of the last 1/3 of my pregnancy. Bedrest in March, first at home, then in the hospital. The entire months of April & May were inpatient at Northside Hospital. The delivery in late May, the ICU for me for 1 week, 5 weeks of NICU...a July release.

All of this occurred 19 years ago, and yet the rhythm and timing today is strangely similar. Waiting with anticipation for college decisions here in March. Hopeful, concerned, and trying to make sense of bad news mixed with good. Instead of weekly ultrasounds on Tuesdays, we have decisions in portals on Fridays. Information that will shape and change our lives, but yet we have no real control over what is happening internally. We simply wait to be told.

We deliver in May--then into the world as infants and now as baby adults.

So here in March I start to feel the contractions. The babies are getting crowded. There is the urge to push--but questions linger about their readiness. Anxiety lurks about how radically all our lives will change.  The difference? My ability to be present and wide awake in it now. I am not ill and on the sidelines, honestly concerned I may not survive to see them grow up. Those prayers were answered. Praise the Lord, for that.

There is a perspective I lacked before. God is sovereign. He can be trusted. His Will be done. I couldn't help but think about Romans 8. I particularly love the plain-speak of the Message translation.

19-21 Everything in creation is being more or less held back. God reins it in until both creation and all the creatures are ready and can be released at the same moment into the glorious times ahead. Meanwhile, the joyful anticipation deepens.

22-25 All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it’s not only around us; it’s within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We’re also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.

26-28 Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

29-30 God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity he restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him. After God made that decision of what his children should be like, he followed it up by calling people by name. After he called them by name, he set them on a solid basis with himself. And then, after getting them established, he stayed with them to the end, gloriously completing what he had begun.

Three versions of delivery--2004, 2023, and God's eternal way--and in all three, my heart is very much involved. 

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