Monday, September 28, 2015

Pregnancy Anthem

From my mother's womb, You have chosen me...

I have been anxious about this pregnancy since the moment I felt that sudden, sharp twinge of back pain ushering in a dull ache that stayed with me those first few weeks. I figured I was either exhibiting some new lupus symptom or -- the thing that made my heart race -- I was finally experiencing firsthand the back pain my mom always described as unlike any other, felt only during pregnancy.

A week later the fear ratcheted up a notch when two lines confirmed my suspicion. And the fear only increased a few weeks after that when antiphospholipid antibodies, what I had prayed so fervently against, were positively identified in my lab work.

This pregnancy has made me afraid. I've dealt with fears and anxieties I couldn't have even anticipated.

Now that I am in my final weeks, free from so many of the bad things that could have happened, I still fret about what is ahead. Even if everything goes "smoothly" I can't think of a non-scary way to get this boy out of my body. A newborn onesie never looked so big as when I considered getting something out of me that could fit into that thing! (Please do not do what Johnie did and hold up a 0-3 month sleeper and say, "He might even fit in this when he's born.") Then after that, you know, I'll have a son to raise.

But anxiety is not a new friend. It has been with me before. I have fought it and by the grace of God it has yet to completely overtake me. When I feel its rough, gnarled fingers curl around my neck and tighten, I cling to Jesus.

While I battle back fear, I strive always to remember that I belong to Jesus and because of Him I do not have to be afraid. I try not to live a fear-filled life. As Johnie and I have made several decisions over the years, we have chosen to go for many things when we see our "no" list is just fear based.

The first time I heard Bethel Music's No Longer Slaves I was driving. It immediately resonated. What a beautiful thing to proclaim: I'm no longer a slave to fear. I am a child of God.

The pregnancy hormones have leaked from my eyes in buckets of tears. And that's what I blame for sobbing down the interstate the moment I heard the line "From my mother's womb, You have chosen me. Love has called my name."

Over halfway through the pregnancy, with a clean bill of health from the anatomy scan and finally starting to regain some strength and energy that had abandoned me around week nine or so, I felt like I could turn my prayer attention more toward Matthias' character and life outside the womb. I could feel his movements and kicks inside of me. I could dream about the things we would do together, the things he would do in his life. As I began to dream and pray about what I hoped he would accomplish, I realized those decisions were best left to God.

Just the night before I had prayed for the Lord to knit him together specifically for the kingdom work He wanted for our boy. To place in him the character he would need to serve the Lord in whatever capacity He deemed best. To put in him the desire to do His will. To plant in his heart the safeguards he would need to withstand whatever temptations he would face. And to equip us as parents to nurture those things and help them grow. To open us up to support the Lord's will in Matthias' life even if it wouldn't be what we would pick for him.

The song painted a beautiful picture of the Lord doing just that. Already choosing our son. Already covering him in grace and love and weaving him into the beautiful tapestry of His kingdom. Something He had been doing for me since I was in my own mother's womb. How profound. How overwhelming is His love.

So much about Matthias is a mystery. What will he look like? What will he enjoy? Where will his talents lie? What kind of struggles and triumphs are ahead for him? For us? I don't know. But the Lord knows. Thank God, He knows.

All my fears were drowned in perfect love.