Five years ago today, I was “great with child,” and eagerly anticipating the arrival of my little girl. For nine months I had carried the promise of her, and on this day — the day before her Birth Day — I was ready to burst in excitement over finally having her in my arms, not just my belly.
Leading up to her delivery, I sat on the edge of my seat with anticipation. Every little twinge, pain or discomfort made me excited that it might be that very day. I would wake up in the middle of the night hoping for my water to break. I secretly prayed that the doctor would tell me each week that I looked ready to go straight to the hospital.
I tried everything I could to speed her up, but there was nothing worked. Not excessive walking, not Eggplant Parmesan at Scalini’s, not mineral oil mixed in my orange juice. I had to simply wait on her to be ready.
On the morning of February 25, Ash Wednesday, we checked into the hospital. I remember signing papers with the nurse and being overwhelmed to the point of tears. A part of me was scared, but mostly I was so overcome that the day was finally here. All the waiting was about to be over, and we would greet our little one.
We knew the promise was coming. We knew what it was a baby. We knew she was a she. We even knew her name. But when she finally came, she was still a surprise. It was a surprise that she existed externally, not just internally. It was a surprise that she “suddenly” was here. It was a surprise that she looked nothing like I expected. I expected her to be pale and bald — but her color was rich and healthy, and she had a full head of dark hair. But I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. She was more beautiful than I had imagined.
In the hospital, I had a hard time resting because I would just watch her and hold her. I couldn’t wait to leave the hospital and get her home. I was so ready for Greg and I to just have her at our house — for it to just be the three of us, cocooned. We had spent so many months preparing for her. The crib had been outfitted, the swing had fresh batteries, and the diaper bag was full of enough diapers to take her on a three-month excursion. We had planned, prepared and were ready.
When we finally got her home, it was emotional. To see her engulfed by her car seat made me cry. To see her in her crib, that sat empty for so long, made me sob. To see her on her changing table, mad and wiggling, made me laugh through my tears. It was the visual fruition of what we had dreamed about and prepared for, and it was beautiful.
Five years later, the fulfillment of the promise of her is more than I could have imagined. And as I prepare to celebrate her birthday tomorrow, God is speaking so incredibly clearly to me. He has given me another promise, one only he could have conceived deep inside. He is reminding me of the process of the promise. That I have to wait for it. I have to prepare for it. That all this eager anticipation I feel every single day is an indication that it’s coming soon…coming soon. That I may know what it is, I may have even named it — but it will still take my breath away. It will still surprise me to no end. It may look different than I thought, but I won’t be able to take my eyes off it. And it will fit in so perfectly because I made room for it. Nothing I can do can make it happen any faster — he will make it ready in due time. But when it comes it will be more beautiful…so beautiful.
“Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.” (Romans 4:20-21)