Here you'll find current musings, as well as the archives from two blogs of yesteryear: YoungMarriedMom and What I Learned While Writing a Novel. Please comment and share. We love well when we are in conversation with one another.
Dear Little One,
I have thought of beginning my motherly letters to you often over the five weeks that I’ve known you exist. I’m sorry to say it’s my own fear that has kept me from even considering what I would say to you. Having lost your brother Ethan just five months ago, I’m not really convinced that come January, you will be a healthy baby in my arms.
I am learning what it means to trust without thinking about it or feeling it. For a long time I’ve understood that fruitful prayer does not need to be felt to be effective. Really, it’s those times when we don’t feel like praying but we do it with our whole hearts anyway that make the difference—both in how God hears us and in how we hear God.
The trouble is how to offer my trust in something without allowing myself to think about it. I can’t think about how wonderful it would be to meet you, because a part of me is already playing defense, trying to protect myself from more pain. On the other hand, I can’t think about the possibility of losing you. Then it feels like I already have, and I crumble.
I hadn’t realized it until this weekend, but there is something in me—something entirely attributable to God’s grace—that has allowed me, for a moment here or there, to offer up that necessary confidence in God, without thinking or feeling it. When I am torn between thoughts of the possibilities that lie in the future, I remind myself it is out of my control, and that trusting in God, continuing to pray, and giving my whole heart and will to Him when I lost Ethan was all that kept me going. Was all that allowed me to accept the gift of your life, no matter how long it lasts.
This is a pretty heavy way to begin our relationship, but that, too, is out of my control. I hope the example that God sets for you in me is one that teaches you to trust without having to try so hard.
My little one, I believe that you are a girl. Everyone who has an opinion and is willing to share it with me agrees. We have already begun to call you Sarah. We love you so much already. Unfortunately on my part, that love has been expressed primarily through fear thus far. I hope the results of our ultrasound next week give me cause to change that.
Something happened in me this past week. I’m not sure what it was, but I think it has something to do with your daddy and me attending three major milestones for friends and family inside of a week: a graduation, a wedding, and a confirmation. Though churches full of people attended these events, they provided me some time alone with God. Perhaps because your biggest brother Jacob wasn’t with us (they all coincided with naps or bedtime), I was able to concentrate more fully on the physical presence of God. At every event, I cried. And not only for joy for the people involved, but even more so for a release of the emotions and things I’ve unconsciously held inside the past few weeks. First, I would think, “I lost a baby,” and I would mourn Ethan. Then I would think, “And now I have this new one,” and I would struggle to believe that God’s will would be done and I would have to accept it.
I was quiet in all these moments, but only because I was biting my lip to keep from great sobs. I am grateful for the way God helped me handle losing Ethan, but I am angry with Him for suggesting the possibility that I could lose another precious child so soon thereafter. On top of being tired, hungry, and otherwise emotional, I am so very scared. I know things could be worse, and I try to see the blessings around me, but that doesn’t make things much easier.
Back to the strange thing that has happened to me. At all these celebrations, I was afraid, but I tried to choose love, like this prayer says:
Love and Fear
There are only two feelings. Love and fear.
There are only two languages. Love and fear.
There are only two activities. Love and fear.
There are only two motives, two procedures, two frameworks,
two results. Love and fear.
Love and fear.
—from “A Common Prayer” by Leunig
By the end of this weekend, I found a new kind of anxiety setting in, one that I thought would be more welcome, but still has me scared out of my mind.
If you are alive and healthy at our next ultrasound, we are more likely to, come January, have two babies to care for. A toddler and an infant, your dad corrects me, but in my mind, that’s still two babies. Two babies. In January. Despite our crazy weather, do you know what one word comes to mind when I think of two babies—a toddler boy who needs to go outside every day and has come to ask for it verbally, and an infant who really shouldn’t be outside much in winter—in January?
Two babies. January. Blizzard. Two babies. January. Blizzard.
Oh, my Little One. I can’t wait to meet you, if God gives me the chance. Boy or girl, I love you to my very core, and I always will. I hope that if you’re a girl, I haven’t frightened you away from motherhood. It is the single most exhilarating, terrifying, and challenging journey upon which I’ve ever embarked, but let me tell you, baby, it’s worth every minute.
I’m looking forward to seeing you next week! In the meantime, thanks for all the chocolate you’re making me crave.