The Father’s Love in Motherhood
I am twelve weeks pregnant today.
A few weeks ago, when I wrote about the fear of anticipating what I hoped would be my fourth pregnancy, my dime-sized baby was already growing inside of me. I was tired, nauseous, and cautiously optimistic. That tiny life—the fourth that the Lord had planted—was blooming.
That tiny life is blooming.
And I pray that it will continue to do so. I hope to ring in the new year with a sweet little baby in my arms, my heart close to bursting as I watch my son learn how to be someone’s big brother.
I hope and pray that everything will be all right—even as I know that, two out of the four times I’ve previously carried a little life, everything has not gone according to plan.
And I think to myself: how he loves me.
The Father’s Love
I don’t always reflect on God’s love when I think of pregnancy.
Sometimes, it’s hard for me to reconcile my loving Father with the pangs of losing the babies he gave me. My God, who is sovereign over every single atom and molecule in space, was not surprised by my losses. Nor was he taken aback by my ache over losing them.
God is well-acquainted with loss. He not only watches his beloved children walk unwittingly down paths of destruction, choosing lives of distance from him, but he also gave up his only begotten Son to redeem those strays. He poured out his wrath on the only man who never deserved it, so that people like me might be brought into a family that I do not deserve. And though this sin-marred world is full of loss, from sweet babies in the womb to untimely deaths earthside, because of Jesus’ sacrifice, I know the peace that a heavenly home will bring.
And that’s beautiful.
God’s Gracious Handiwork
I also know how precious life is. I have been reminded of the miracle that is a baby’s birth. For every single process in the womb to lead, not to death, but to life. For every cell to grow, every single organ to function, for that tiny heart to start beating, and for those first few breaths.
A few weeks ago, after I discovered I was pregnant, I visited the doctor for some bloodwork. We were tracking my hCG to make sure that the numbers continued rising properly. Yet even though they tripled in just two days, I felt the slow rise of panic in anticipation of the third blood test. My numbers needed to double again, but I couldn’t make them double.
Sitting on my couch panicking over the mysterious process going on inside of my body, something dawned on me. If it were up to me to track the number of breaths and heartbeats needed to sustain me for the next day (23,040 and 115,000, respectively—thanks, Google) and if I were forced to rely on myself to remember to breathe or pump blood . . . I would end up in an insane asylum.
Fortunately, that’s not how God made me. My heart beats and my blood pumps regardless of whether or not it’s on my mind. My baby grows and flourishes independent of the worry I contribute to that growth. Because God sustains that baby in the same way that he sustains me. Our days are already numbered, for his glory. And he cares for us both.
A Mother’s Sacrifice
I’m twelve weeks pregnant today, but I can’t stop thinking about my son’s birth. Two weeks ago, Wynn turned two and I reminisced about the medication-free and intervention-free birth God allowed me to have. I don’t feel like a warrior princess when I think about ushering my son into the world (okay . . . maybe I do sometimes), so much as I recall that every ounce of strength I put toward motherhood is a gift from God. Apart from his grace—be it the common grace woven into my biology, or the saving grace that continues to mold me into the mother he’s called me to be—I have nothing to offer my children through worry, anxiety, and fear.
Because of his grace, my body is a living sacrifice for these tiny human beings, whether I sacrifice my health for morning sickness, my figure for impending whale status, my sleep for night feedings, my comfort for their births, or my heart in their loss. Because of the living sacrifice of Christ, I can offer my children a love that could only come from him.
And he loves me so well.
A Woman’s Love
This is the part where you might expect me to say that there’s nothing quite as fulfilling as growing, birthing, and raising children.
But I’m not going to say that. It’s easy for reflections on motherhood to become an idolization of that role. It’s easy to make my daily sacrifices seem like a martyr’s badge of honor.
But, woman, wherever you are sacrificing today you are loved with the fierce and perfect love of a Father who also loves like a mother (Isaiah 49:15). He is sustaining you with every bit of the care he gives to the little one in my womb. He monitors your heartbeats, your breaths, your steps. He is mindful of you as I am of the 2.09 inches of new life growing inside of me.
Let that inform your day today. Let it inform your sacrifice. Let this mother’s love push you, not deeper into your inadequate estimations of motherhood or the lack thereof, but into the truth of your daughterhood.
Because, sister: how he loves us!