Here I am in all my pregnant glory. Last pregnancy I was much better at keeping a record of my growing belly but this time around it's been so different that I haven't wanted to remember much other than eventually I'm going to be holding a tiny human in my arms and he or she is going to be mine (along with God's, Nelson's and the rest of the family's).
It's the very thought of this sweet baby that puts that smile on my face in the midst of the nausea, reflux, varicose veins, breathlessness, and now finger pricking and glucose testing four times every day. It has not been easy. However, I know that in a few short weeks all this suffering will be a quickly fading memory that will pale in comparison to the joy a child brings.
This is what I heard the Lord say to me a few weeks ago as I sat in the chair waiting for the nurse to draw my blood and absolutely dreading the fasting and sugary drink that I was about to have to chug. I was intent on trying not to start the process feeling sick when the nurse plopped some paper work down on the counter next to me.
That's when I saw it. Permission for delivery - simple and sweet - right there shouting out at me. "Don't forget, you're about to have a baby!" And yet, I had. I had forgotten that glaring piece of information that makes it all worthwhile. The realization of that had me fighting back tears.
We tend to get so caught up in the here and now, the present suffering, that we forget that this is not the point. The here and now is just to prepare us for the glories ahead. This is not the end, but rather the means to THE END. We forget we're working towards Heaven, not living there.
God didn't promise any of us a rose garden. He doesn't exempt us from suffering. In fact, He sent Jesus to explain that if we want to get to Heaven, we have to take up our cross and follow Him. But, He also promises us that if we do, what waits for us is so much better than we can wrap our minds around. It will be so good that we will forget this life, its trials and suffering.
I'll leave you with this photo which is kind of like the lesson I learned. Baby, please know that the suffering I endure is nothing compared to the love I have for you. It is a small price to pay to take part in the act of creation. Look at the picture above if you ever doubt how much you are wanted and loved before we've even seen your face or discovered your gender. Your brothers and sister are anxiously awaiting your arrival. They have been for what they feel has been forever. They love you. You can see it on their faces. You became one of us the moment you were conceived and nothing will ever take that away.
We all love you little baby and we always will.