May is here.
The month we’ve waiting for. The month of the due date for our first child.
At 37 weeks on Monday, medically I am considered full-term. Baby Lydia is fully developed at this point. She’s dropped into the head down position and I’m dilated 2 centimeters and 80 percent effaced. Now it’s just a waiting game.
Apparently I look 8 ½ months pregnant because how big I am tends to dominate my every conversation with friends, coworkers and strangers. One of the common questions I recieve on a daily basis is, Are you ready? That’s a tough question to answer.
Sometimes I answer with an quick yes.
Kevin and I are so excited to be parents!
We can’t wait to meet Lydia!
We have all the items we need, the hospital bag packed, and our to-do lists completed.
We are ready for her, any day now!
And then occasionally someone will ask me on a day when I’m feeling a bit more realistic. I might answer with an as ready as I can be, honestly doubting that achieving the state of “readiness” is even possible.
The conversation typically continues with people offering their best advice or words of wisdom.
You have no idea what you’re getting yourself into.
Your life is about to change forever.
You’ll regret not having an epidural, you’re submitting yourself to torture.
Natural birth is the best choice I ever made, it’s wonderful.
Being a parent is amazing.
Your life is over.
You’ll love being a mom!
Are you sure you’re ready to be a mom?
C H A N G E .
I’ve been through various changes and transitions in my life, but never one so physically obvious to others. Strangers take one look at me and know that I’m getting ready to embark on one of the biggest “changes” that anyone can go through.
Here’s the deal. While I’m still on the waiting side of motherhood, if there is anything that I’ve learned in my short 27 years of life it’s this: There are only two constants in life, God and change.
“For I the Lord do not change.” (Malachi 3:6)
God is who He says He is. He is unchanging, unwavering, eternal. Thank the Lord there is One who is consistent and One who never changes!
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)
The only other thing that is certain is that change will happen. It is an inevitable part of human life. Most of us naturally avoid change and anticipate change as a bad thing. Yet often, it’s unavoidable and out of our control. However, change is the only way that we grow and are challenged to become more of the humans that we were ultimately created to be.
T R A N S F O R M .
The other known thing about change is that usually we will first try to manage it on our own without God. Here I am, weeks or possibly days away from the biggest change of my life, and I am finding much of my confidence in the to-do lists, the preparations, and my own physical body.
At our doctor’s appointment last week, I found out that Lydia has dropped into the perfect head down position. I got the numbers on the dilation and effacement, and I left my appointment elated by my own self-righteousness, thinking I’m good to go. My body is built for childbirth. (I am honestly embarrassed to type out those thoughts but truly that’s what was going through my mind!) Then the next day I got a phone call from my doctor’s office that I tested positive for group B Strep, which means that I’ll need an antibiotic as soon as I go into labor so it’s not passed on to Lydia when she’s born. I got off the phone and immediately realized that this diagnosis actually was a blessing. I needed a direct reminder from God that no, it’s not up to my physical body how my child birth will go. It’s not up to the preparations I’ve made for labor. Her healthy delivery is completely and wholly in God’s control.
The next day I was reading Philippians 3 and found affirmation in God’s voice from the following scripture:
“We… worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh.” (Philippians 3:3)
My confidence is not in my physical body or the current state of baby Lydia. My confidence is in the Lord, His goodness and His promises.
Though my flesh is weak, His Spirit is strong in me (Matthew 26:40).
He will transform our lowly bodies to be like His glorious body (Philippians 3:21).
He will transform our hearts and minds to be like that of Christ (Romans 12:2).
In the hard and the dark moments of childbirth and parenting, I don’t have to fear or have anxiety, because I rely on the Holy Spirit.
He will intervene in those difficult moments giving me discernment and strength.
I don’t have to fear change because of God’s promise to never leave me nor forsake me (Joshua 1:15, Hebrews 13:5).
He will be with me always (Matthew 28:20).
“God is not human, that He should lie, not a human being, that He should change His mind. Does He speak and then not act? Does He promise and not fulfill?” (Numbers 23:19)
This is why I think of this upcoming season less as merely change and more as an opportunity for God to transform me into the woman that He has ultimately created me to be.
P R E S S . O N .
In confidence, because I know that God is with me and in me, as May is here, I have the great privilege of living out this commision:
“But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss of the sake of Christ…. Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own because Christ Jesus has made me His own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead. I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:7-14)
I’ll end with this. Perhaps one of the most cliché Bible verses about having a child says that every good and perfect gift comes from above. This is true! Lydia is a gift from God above! Yet read the second half of the verse and take comfort. In this life we will change, but God, thank God, You never will.
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17)