This is a piece that I wrote back when I was still pregnant with my daughter. I considered fitting its perspective to the present, but I thought it would remain more powerful if I kept it in its original form, to demonstrate that it is possible to achieve peace even during our pregnancies. I don’t want anyone to think this piece came out of my postpartum time when I could finally see with my own eyes that Lydia was perfectly healthy—no; this post represents the journey God led me down when Lydia was still something of the unknown. If there’s anything troubling you today, rest assured; you can find comfort even now in what the Lord has to say. Keep reading.
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
Psalm 139:13-16 (NIV)
Recently I went in to my OB’s office for a second anatomy scan of my unborn child. During the first ultrasound, the technician couldn’t get a clear enough view of my baby’s heart. Only a week ago, my husband and I had sat in the same place learning the joyful news that the first child we would welcome into the world would be a daughter.
This time around, I began to sense that the ultrasound tech was seeing something she didn’t last time. It was subtle, but she was quieter and more focused. As she drifted out of conversation, so did I, retreating into myself to ask the question, “What on earth is wrong?”
Twenty minutes later, my doctor came into the room where I was waiting and told me that they discovered an anomaly on my daughter’s heart, that it often turns out to be nothing, but it can also point to some genetic disorders, and she was sending me to the high-risk office for another scan.
Genetic disorders. High-risk office. Those are scary words when you’re expecting your first child. My doctor told me not to worry yet, but I’ve learned in the last few months of budding motherhood that a mother will worry anyway. As I left the office, my mind was spinning with all the possibilities, my shoulders growing tense amid a flood of rushing thoughts and concerns. I shouldn’t have, but as soon as I sat down in my car outside, I searched about the anomaly online. Apparently, it’s a soft marker for Downs Syndrome. My throat grew tighter as I felt anxiety constricting all of my joy and hope.
The more I’ve learned about the process God crafted for growing an unborn child, the more I’ve been inundated by just how many teeny-tiny things can go slightly wrong and throw the entire course off track. Most days, my womb feels like the ultimate mystery or “secret place,” so intimately close to me and yet so closed off to my own knowledge and my own eyes. As a prospective mother, I already yearn to rest my eyes upon my child and feel the glowing reassurance that she’s all right.
I think this is why God brought me to the above verses months ago, one day during church when I was so caught up in concerns that I couldn’t concentrate on the message for the day. As my eyes rested on something tangible—not the physical form of my child who I can’t yet see, but rather on the timeless words of God—I felt the deepest kind of peace infiltrate my deepest worries. Ever since, God has been teaching me to trust Him as I entrust Him with the child He has gifted to me.
The stark reality of motherhood is that we as mothers can never fully protect our children, and that can feel not only frustrating, but also confusing, because we understand in a profound way that we are called to protect our babies. The truth of this passage in Psalms reminds us that our role can only extend so far. We can do everything right, give them every protection possible, and it will never be enough for a guarantee.
However, we serve the One who has had His eyes on our babies since the moment each of them was sparked into existence. God has seen their unformed bodies from day one, and all the days of their lives have been written in His book before any of them came to be. We can trust Him from pregnancy through their very last day, for His works are wonderful. Ultimately, though He has given us our precious children, they are His, and God does not forsake what He has made, because He is good. What a comfort!
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