I have had the privilege of carrying 6 babies.
With the first five I found myself complaining a lot… I don’t feel good… I’m tired… I feel fat… I am HUNGRY… nothing fits!
I went through each of those pregnancies pretty self-focused (except with #3, whose miracle story is for another day). I expected a healthy baby because, well, why would I expect anything different? I rejoiced at those first flutters and giggled as we watched little elbows and fists make it look like an alien was trying to escape the confines of my abdomen. As they grew bigger and I became more uncomfortable, I knew it was just temporary and soon enough I would hold those precious babies in my arms, count those fingers and toes that tickled my ribcage and just melt. But I still whined like crazy.
Each day I find myself looking forward to Phoebe’s next movements. With each little punch or kick and roll I breathe a sigh of relief and utter “I love you, little one” in my heart, like I’m sending her a message from mama that will go straight to her soul; hoping my heart’s words will encourage her to keep fighting and to completely heal.
While it hasn’t been easy at all, I count it an absolute privilege to have been on this journey with her. By being told she likely wouldn’t make it and enduring that grotesque heart pain, we were put in the unusual position of daily, purposefully choosing to be grateful for her life NOW. That meant through 19 weeks of near-constant morning sickness I learned to be grateful for it, as that meant she was still fighting for life. Through the continued weight gain and gross skin I had to say, “thank You, God” because my body was doing all it could to keep her alive. Through the hemorrhages and months of fear that “today is the last day,” I had to learn to say, “I am afraid, but I trust You.” I sometimes wonder if God has allowed us this struggle so that I would learn to cherish our daughter; to claim victory for every single cell of her being.
Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our own design for our lives that we miss out on the beauty of resting on and in God’s plan for it, which is so very often unexpected, but always beautiful. It is never without muddy, broken and sometimes downright unbearable spots, but that is what makes Him so amazing… from those places of unbelievable brokenness and seemingly irreparable, ash-covered damage, He creates something beautiful. Ashes are the absolute ruin of something that once was. Our Father in heaven takes the absolute ruin of our lives and fashions what once was barren into something profoundly and uniquely beautiful.
And just like I find myself saying to Phoebe with each sign of life she shows me, our Father says, “I love you, little one” while He’s forming us into a new creation.
“How deep the Father’s love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure”
His love is so profoundly deep and He is overcome with joy whenever we show Him signs of a new life in Him; entrusting our very beings to His perfect care.
His voice calling to you too, dear one. Do you hear it? He’s saying “I love you.”
“How Deep the Father’s Love For Us” –Lyrics by Phillips, Craig & Dean