A colleague of mine and his wife are expecting their first baby. The other morning over a hallway cup of coffee we were chatting about what a shift that is for a couple when "we" becomes "three." Being a parent has taught me more deeply about the nature of God.
I never knew the depth and breadth to which I could rejoice, feel sadness, experience pain, or love with abandon until each of my children entered my life.
When I was just shy of three months pregnant with my second child I was rear-ended by an SUV (suburban assault vehicle as I took to calling it) while I was driving my little Honda Civic. After being rushed to the hospital via ambulance I was told I would, "Just have to wait and see if the baby makes it." These are not words an expectant mother wants to hear. I urgently persued a better answer, "Well if the pre-term labor continues what can you do?!" I did not like the response, "Nothing. Your baby won't be viable for several weeks."
VIABLE? This was not a business option or a piece of real estate this was my CHILD! I tried to calm myself, went home and hoped for the best. Time crept on, and after the next OBGYN appointment I was told if I wanted this baby to have a chance I would need to schedule surgery and move from "taking it easy" to full on bed rest. I resigned myself to the reality. On the way home I stopped at the mall for a frozen Coke and soft pretzel (a couple of the very few things I could actually keep down) and as I was strolling out to leave, a piece of jewelry caught my eye. I meandered over to the case to get a closer look. I really liked it, but there were four figures on the pendant. What if my future family only maintained the present three? After a brief inner monologue and an unspoken prayer I decided I would buy the piece as a representation of this covenant I desired. If God would see my little family through this and bring this baby into our world, I would press into Him and strive to be
I printed off a calendar, used a stamp of baby feet to tick off each day. I laid about, read, feasted on food from friends, hit 202 pounds on the scale generously gestating.
Last week in church the sermon was in John 15:1-4 The speaker offered so many things to ponder. When he said that sometimes life has a way of stripping our concerns down to what really matters; to the essential. I immediately thought of the chapter of my life when I was on bedrest. "I collects and cuts. He provides and prunes. These pairs seem so juxtaposed. God parents us with tough and tender hands.
So I purchased the pendant above. I did not wear it until April 7th, 2005 (only a week early) when we brought our almost 10 pound hefty and healthy baby boy home. I learned much about myself as a person and parent during my bedrest sentence. Eventually it became less of a sentence of body and more of a sanctuary of mind. The experience peeled back another layer of what it means to be family.