Today is my first Mother’s Day, and as Kevin reminded me last night, the first of the rest of my life.
When I saw this date, May 13, 2018, just eight days away from my due date, I wondered if I would be spending Mother’s Day pregnant, in the hospital, or on the other side of Lydia’s birth. In this moment, early in the morning after yet another night of restless sleep, I sit in our nursery, wondering about meeting my daughter.
Baby Lydia’s room is on the east corner of our house, with two large windows facing the east. The morning sunrise shines brightly through the windows, light filling the space. Everything in her room is in order. Her clothes are washed, folded, and put away with a few dresses hanging in the closet. Her diaper changing pad sits on an old, hand-me-down dresser, big enough to store all of her diaper and sanitary needs. Her various blankets are folded and hung from a wooden ladder. Her books and a few toys are organized neatly in a crate on the floor. A white wall clock ticks as time passes, every second marking one second closer to her birthday. Decorations are set, custom designed with her name on them and Bible verses that already ring true in her life. I sit in our new rocking chair, swollen feet propped up on the ottoman, computer on my lap with my hands laid gently to the side of my 38 centimeter belly, watching my daughter’s movements as I type.
As my motherly instincts set in, I find an inner desire to bring her home to a clean, organized and prepared space. Like a mother bird building her nest, our little nest for Lydia is finally complete. As we put together the finishing touches for her nursery this weekend, I was reminded of Jesus’ words that He shared with His disciples during the Last Supper.
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also.” (John 14:1-3)
L E T . N O T .
In this simple passage, Jesus acknowledges our anxiety about that which is uncertain. In the context, Jesus had just finished prophesying Peter’s denial, and He was letting His close friends know that He was leaving them. Why? Because He had to die on a Cross in order to fulfill God’s great plan for the redemption of humanity. Yet we can hear these words, let not your hearts be troubled, and we can apply them to that which is uncertain in our own lives.
What day will I go into labor?
Will I be ready?
Will she be healthy?
What will life be like on the other side of her birth?
B E L I E V E .
Jesus’ response to why we should not be troubled? Because we have the incredible opportunity to believe in the promises of God fulfilled in the person of Jesus. These promises proclaim that He is sovereign over our circumstances, doubts, and fears because He goes before all things (Colossians 1:17). To my uncertainties, I need only to choose belief, and He grants me peace in the midst of the unknown.
He knows the day.
He has prepared me.
Her life is in His hands.
God will be with me on the other side of her birth.
A . P L A C E . F O R . Y O U .
Jesus says that He goes ahead of us to prepare a place for each of us. He says there are many rooms in His Father’s house, and one of those rooms seems to be set aside for each of His children. In this promise, I now think of Lydia Evelyn’s room.
As we prepare a place for her in our house
before her arrival,
Jesus has given me the perfect picture of the way
He is preparing a place for us in Heaven
before our arrival.
I imagine the joy that we will have when we bring Lydia home for the first time. One of the first things I’ll do is bring her into her room to show her all the preparations we’ve made for her. I’ll show her the closet and all her adorable clothes that her friends and family have purchased for her. I’ll show her the dresser, reassuring her that her needs will be cared for. I might let her feel her soft blankets, and tell her of the ones made by and in honor of her great grandmothers. I’ll show her some of her books and her toys. I’ll glance at the clock, which will remind me that the waiting is over, and I’ll tell her how happy I am to have her home. I’ll read her aloud the Scripture that hangs over her crib and tell her about Jesus. And then, soon enough, I’ll sit with her in my rocking chair, feet propped up on the ottoman, to spend intimate time feeding her and holding her.
Is this the way that God, our Father, waits to be fully united with us in heaven?
Is this the kind of joy that He experiences after our long awaited arrival?
Will we get to heaven, greeted by our Father, and He’ll immediately show us with eager excitement this place that He has prepared for us?
W H E R E . I . A M .
Jesus reassures His disciples that He will be coming back, even after death. He will rise from the dead.
To take us to Himself, so that where He is, we may be also (John 14:3).
He knows that in the deepest longing of our hearts, we need nothing more than to be with Him.
Why does God love us so much? Why does He want us to be with Him intimately? Are we not imperfect people that constantly fall short of His holiness?
With renewed perspective on my first Mother’s Day, I think about all we’ve done to prepare for Lydia. What has she done for me? Absolutely nothing. (In fact, made my life a little less convenient these last nine months!) However, I don’t love her because of what she’s done. She’s done nothing to earn our countless hours spent preparing a place for her. I love her because of who she is.
Because she is my daughter,
I long to meet her
to spend time with her in our home.
Because she is my daughter,
I prepare a place for her.
God loves you, did you know that? And it’s not because of what you’ve done or what you haven’t done or what you deserve. He loves you because you are His son or His daughter. He is preparing a place for me and for you. What other response do we have, but to believe?
“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Yet a little while and world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you also will live.” (John 14:18-18)