This is the week in my pregnancy that I had Brooklyn. I was 38 weeks and 3 days along. Induced for high amniotic fluid levels. It is a little ironic now (if I were a superstitious type of person) that I posted this picture a few weeks ago with the inscription, “Lydie, are you trying to tell me something about June 11th?”. At the time, I had no idea that I would be 38&3 on that day.
It’s strange how the emptiness of anticipation and the emptiness left by loss can look so similar. I’m sure there’s some amazing parallel to the emptiness and the promise of the tomb in all of that, but I’m a seminary degree away from any ability to extract that.
So, clarity I’m not exactly sure I’ve received? But somehow He gave me the grace to let my mind and heart be still enough to hear from Him in these days and weeks of anticipation, ambiguity and constant reading into everything my body is doing.
Every ache, every unfamiliar twinge, whether she’s super active that day or not, I am plugging into this nonexistent formula in order to deduce whether labor is about to strike. I have even gone so far as to start analyzing Maggie’s behavior to try and tell me something about whether “the hour” is near. It’s pretty nut-so and dishearteningly normal for so many of us.
Last night in one of my luke-warm (or, as I have labeled them in my head…Lydia-warm) baths, my thoughts were brought to this place of church-camp, retreat- like surrender. Images of every evening worship service I had attended, mostly the alter-call part, or the part you were asked to give something up or make some sort of commitment, came flashing through my head. And then those thoughts were high-jacked. They were no longer filled of dimly lit chapels or hotel banquet halls. I was in broad day-light with the sun hitting my face and shoulders. I think I was sitting on a blanket and there was definitely the sound of trees swaying in the wind. Even though the setting was completely different, I still had this feeling like I was supposed to give something up. I sat up in the serene image in my mind and started to check my pockets like I had encountered a needy person on the street and wondered if I had some quick cash to give away my guilt. Then behind me I saw a stack of signs. Kind of like the stop and go signs the orange-vested adults wave around in the middle of the street during your local elementary school’s dismissal time. And, you might have guessed already what these represented to me in my heart…no expository study skills needed here…these were all the “signs” I am looking for to tell me where my body is in this process of Lydia-making and eventual Lydia-expelling. He didn’t ask me to give them up necessarily, like I thought He would, but He showed me how much I am missing out on when I’m focusing on these signs so closely. I think that’s why He brought me to this serene, peaceful, blissful spot in my mind.
The coming days and maybe weeks of waiting can be marked by something more than educated (or not so educated) guesses, anxiety and attempts at feeling mentally prepared. Maybe the preparation for the big event has more to do with me learning to allow myself to enjoy, savor and give thanks without stopping for these last moments in my pregnancy than it does about checking things off a to-do list, or reading through all may VBAC labor & delivery pinterest pins. What healing might He bring to me through the warm sun and the cool breeze of relaxing and reclining in His care? What assurance can the act of just being in His presence and feeling known bring? There is no room for anxiety or fear in the picture He’s given me. And if the uncertainty and the fear of another loss or another tragedy find me in this place He has prepared for me to come to in my mind, I can see Him leading me to my feet and walking with me through trees ripe with fruit. Any of which I can take and eat, and be satisfied along the way, no sign posts necessary.
And I wonder if this is what is meant by, perfect love casts out all fear.
-Brooklyn & Lydia’s Mommy