Spring is coming. The flowers will be blooming soon, and you might not.
These words circled through my head, a descending corkscrew into the cold clutches of fear. I had been sick for six months. The earth was on the complete opposite side of the sun, and I felt just as far from health. Still, still was the only answer I received to my desperate prayers. I found myself in the dirt, in the dark of the dead of winter. And Jesus found me there.
This is what it feels like to be planted. To bring forth life, the seed must first be buried.
“Unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels–a plentiful harvest of new lives.” – John 12:24
The metaphor collided with the literal; I was going to bloom.
“What the..?” I had repeated this same “glamorous” ritual daily for months: dip the blue strip, give it 5 minutes, watch it turn negative, mark it on my calendar, and move on with my day. Weekly I took one of the pink ones, just to be sure. Neither had ever been positive. I was sure my body was broken, perhaps beyond repair.
Until this morning in the dead of late January. I stared at the two pink lines in disbelief. I repeated with a new test just to be sure. Same result: inexplicably, yet undeniably positive.
I collapsed into my chair, a mess of hot tears, and cried out in silent petition to God. The thoughts bounced between my ears like a racketball.
You can’t be doing this. You haven’t healed me. How do You expect me to carry a child? Why now? What now?
Then the still, small voice came with power:
I will heal you. You will carry this child by My strength. It will bring Me glory.
My next breath in tasted like grace. My chest loosened, my fists unclenched. He reminded me I had already surrendered. He had already given freedom. And once again, He was asking for everything. Scripture flooded my consciousness:
“Children are a gift from the Lord;
they are a reward from him.” – Psalm 127:3
“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished.” – Philippians 1:6
“Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy.” – Psalm 126:5
“Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16
I held this secret in silent tension until blood work could confirm what I already knew to be true: we are having a baby! Though I had resolved to abandon chasing experts for healing, this seemed different, so I did go to see an OB, where I had an ultrasound. She took measurements and confirmed I was exactly 7 weeks along. Seven.
This is the other branch of the double helix I mentioned in my previous post.
Spanned between the healing of whole food and the hope of this new life, were the sturdy rungs of God’s masterful design, which I used to climb out of this valley by His strength.
I needed empty hands to reach for the rungs. I needed steady feet to support my weight. And with Still, He had given me both.
My fingers had been pried loose months earlier in an act of severe mercy. I had my fists clenched around the short end of the stick and clung there, paralyzed. One by one my fingers were pried off, until all I could do was lift my hands high. And into these lifted hands, He poured the greatest gift I have ever received.
My feet were fixed to the ground, the same spot they had been when He told me to be still. I had stopped taking the antibiotics. I had ceased hyperbaric oxygen therapy. I had refused to try any new treatments until He told me otherwise. It suddenly became abundantly clear: God was intentionally protecting the secret child growing in silence in the dark of my womb. I couldn’t understand yet, but I could obey. And at the risk of appearing as a fool to the world, God held my child and me in His arms of protection, keeping us from harm.
No matter how loose your hands or how steady your feet though, it’s still just plain hard when you realize your life is about to change. Jimmy and I have been through a wide range of emotions through the last few months. It’s exciting and nerve-wracking and scary and stressful and joyous and giddy. It’s simultaneously mourning the old life while rejoicing in the new; it’s both cherishing each lazy Saturday morning and counting down the days.
Some pregnancies aren’t intentionally planned, but each child is intentionally given.
We can’t wait to meet the one He designed for us in September.
(P.S. In stepping into this new role of motherhood, I have stepped out of my old role as an engineer. This means you can expect a lot more words and recipes filling these pages in the months to come.
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