I will never forget that ultrasound. In the second trimester of my pregnancy , the quietness from the ultrasound technician was deafening.
“No, no, no…” I heard myself say audibly as I watched her face fill with sadness, “Please tell me ‘no.'”
Then the words I had heard once before were spoken, “GraceAnna, I’m so sorry. There is no heartbeat.”
The days that followed were difficult and oh so painful. My husband and I drove to the hospital the next morning and I delivered a perfect little girl, we named her Rose. She was tiny in Grant’s hands and we loved her so. We buried her in a cemetery not far from his childhood home in Dallas.
I’ve always gotten so sick in each of my pregnancies. I have four beautiful children now and have felt the waves of sickness that pregnancy brings with seven little ones. It is really hard. But when I got pregnant with our little boy, Patrick, my perspective was different.
It’s not that it wasn’t hard, it’s just that after holding and burying Rose, I viewed it all differently. I was sick, but I didn’t care like I had before, I just wanted him.
Rose, along with the other two children who went to be with the Lord in my womb, taught me that pregnancy might be the only time I ever got with this boy.
As my perspective shifted with my view of this time, my words changed too. I no longer said, “I just can’t wait for…” anymore. I didn’t feel guaranteed the “next phase” even though I longed to hold him in my arms one day.
It was a season of waiting, for sure, but it was also an ever important season of being the mother to the little boy in my womb right then. Rushing it away, could be rushing away the only time God had given me with Patrick in this life.
I think in mothering little ones, there is often a temptation to hurry things along. I know because I’ve been there. We are ready for that little one to be born. We are ready for them to sleep through the night. We are ready for them to quit teething. We are ready for them to walk and not crawl. We are ready for them to distinguish between edible and inedible objects. We are ready for them to transition out of diapers. We are ready for nap time or bedtime or the next stage, whatever is. We are just so ready.
Maybe we wonder why God is making us wait. It is interesting though, to think about all of these stages that God created. Nine months in the womb, the newborn stage, teething, sitting up at six months, learning to walk around twelve months. He created an order of events. Maybe He knew we would want to rush things. That we would want to hurry when this is what He wants us to focus on, the right now.
Because so often what we think is just “waiting,” is exactly where we need to be.
When I was pregnant with each of my children, I wasn’t waiting to mother him or her, I was mothering them in my womb. Protecting them, praying for them, and nourishing them, right then.
And now that their voices fill our home, I’m not waiting to one day be useful with my life , I am being useful right now. I’m not waiting have a ministry, I have a ministry right now ~ the most important ministry I will ever have. I’m not waiting to enjoy my life when things are more orderly, more quiet, less stressful, I am enjoying it right now.
I can choose to view every stage of my life as something to get through, but if I am always viewing my moments as a waiting game, I will soon discover that I will be waiting my whole life. For the seasons of life always involve waiting. It is how God designed it and He is calling me above all not to wait for the next season, but to wait for HIM. Wait for His presence, wait for His deliverance, and yes, even pray for some seasons to pass in His timing, but most of all that I would find Him in my waiting.
For ultimately, we are waiting for eternity where God will one day make all things right.
Instead of just waiting for the next thing, I want to be investing right now. Lord, help me invest right here in this moment where you have so clearly put me! How does one invest over a lifetime? It’s not by hurrying each day by until nap time, the weekend, or waiting for the next stage of life or our children’s lives.
It’s not by encouraging one another by saying, “Just wait, when this phase passes, it will be so much easier.” And who knows, maybe it will be way easier, and maybe we will enjoy it more, but it won’t be any less important. It’s not guaranteed either.
I want to stop believing the lie that tomorrow is more important than today or that something is better because it’s easier. I want to invest right now. How can I dig in to this really hard moment and give God glory? In this moment of chaos and hard, God hasn’t forgotten or left me, this is the moment He knows I need.
I want to embrace all the hours with my children and realize how important they really are. Sure, I’m going to get tired and worn out, but what can I teach them about trusting God in the midst of that? What can I share with them about my relationship with God and how I am growing? How can I pour myself completely into right now and not just wish for it to be over?
Maybe I can grab my kids and read to them on the couch when I have a million other things to do. Maybe I can teach them to roller blade or build a lego tower (or maybe he will teach me). Maybe I can fold the laundry with my girls and really listen to their questions. Maybe, just maybe, there’s a world right here in front of me that doesn’t need to be hurried through, but just needs me.
Because the next phase will come. When Christmas is over, believe me, I am ready to get that tree out. It’s time. The season has passed and I’m not usually sad about it.
And I want to embrace all the next phases with my children without regret. I know too well I fail, I will make mistakes, but I want to know that I didn’t spend the time hurrying it by. But that I invested in the midst of it. That I learned everything I could about how to teach my children to obey, to love the Lord, to grow. And that during these years, I grew right alongside with them.
Right now, I am teaching my children the hymn Take My Life And Let It Be. The first verse says this,
Take my life and let is be consecrated Lord to Thee.
Take my moments and my days;
Let them flow in ceaseless praise, let them flow in ceaseless praise.
So, let’s encourage each other to fully be right here, which is where we need to be today. Let’s not hurry by what He has ordained, but wait for His presence in it. Let’s trust Him to grow something beautiful today, that one day we will enjoy because we knew His faithfulness in all the moments leading up to it.
“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” – Galations 6:9