Friday, September 28, 2012

The Promises of Pregnancy

When a woman becomes pregnant, it is not just a new life, but a series of promises by God to that woman and to the world around her.  These are the promises He makes to every pregnant woman:

1) You are never alone

This is never more true than for a pregnant woman.  That baby is always with her.  The baby is there with her when she sleeps, when she's afraid, when she's happy, when she's sad, when she's full of hope and joy, and when she's suffering through depression.  The child is her unseen companion, even though for the first four months she cannot feel it move and the only reason she knows it is really there is because of the subtle (and sometimes NOT so subtle) changes it makes to her body.  The baby is her reminder of the truth about her relationship with God - that even though she cannot see Him, He is nevertheless always there for her.

2) This is just the beginning

Pregnancy is not the end, but the beginning of a new life.  God wants to reassure the woman that, although this pregnancy will certainly change her life - it's not going to be the end, but rather is just the beginning of a life that will be better, richer, fuller, and yes - happier. Not every woman embraces her pregnancy, not every woman understands why God allows this to happen, but every woman is being promised that this is not the end of her life but the beginning of a new life, not just for the baby but for herself as well.

3) There is hope for the future

When a woman gets pregnant unexpectedly, or through tragic circumstances such as in the case of rape, incest, or even just after the death of a spouse, there is one thing she lacks at that moment - hope.  It's hard to believe that there's something better than what today has to offer.  It can become difficult to see anything but more suffering in the future.  Society certainly doesn't help with this, as it pounds her constantly with messages that the future is bleak economically, it's costly to raise a baby, the American dream is dead, and then tells her she should abort so that she and the baby can avoid suffering.  Of course, this is all nonsense.  God's promise to every pregnant woman is that there is hope for the future.  No matter how bleak things may seem right now, there is something better up ahead even though you cannot see it yet.

4) I will never let you suffer without bringing something good out of it.

Every woman who is pregnant knows that suffering is part of pregnancy.  Most of us suffer at the beginning of pregnancy to some degree, toward the end when we're so heavy with child that we can hardly walk, and definitely during labor when we're working to bring that new life into the world. Most of us are rewarded with a healthy child at the end of that suffering, a child who brings a joy into our lives that we never could have imagined.

Yet even when the reward of our labor and suffering isn't a healthy child but a stillborn child, or a child who lives mere moments, we know that we did our best for our child - that we fought every moment of their lives for their right to exist.  We didn't quit on them, we didn't give up on them, and we loved them every single moment that God gave them into our care.  Our struggle may not be rewarded with the fruit of a living child, but our reward is the knowledge that when God tested us, we were found worthy of Him.  We were willing to take up our cross and to die emotionally so that another might live, no matter how brief the life.

5) You can do this

God knows us, often better than we know ourselves.  He knows we are selfish, immature, emotionally fragile, wounded creatures.  He knows we are perfectionists, career minded, driven women with ambition and lofty goals. He knows we are drug or alcohol addicted women.  He knows we've failed in the past and we're afraid to try again.  He knows the secrets that we carry, the fear that we have that we aren't lovable, aren't wanted, aren't worthy.  He knows all of that, and yet he trusts us with this tiny new life.  Why on earth would He do that?

He does this because He knows that the best way to help us grow up and overcome our selfishness is to be responsible for someone else.  He does this because He knows that our perfectionism is driven by our fear that we aren't lovable, and that our ambitions and goals are driven by the fear of going without and He wants us to know that we are lovable and there is a better way to get what we need.  He does this because He knows the bottle and the pills are just ways of shielding ourselves from the pain we carry with us like so much baggage, and that the best way to overcome that pain is through experiencing unconditional love.  He does this because He wants us to understand that He doesn't count the number of times we fail to do something right, He only counts the number of times we fail to get back up and try again.  He wants us to know that we are lovable, are wanted, are worthy.  In short, He does this because He knows that we are capable of far more than we think we are and He wants to prove it to us by entrusting into our care someone who is completely dependent upon us for everything.

What makes me so sure

If you're pregnant and afraid, I was there once myself.  I was 19 years old, three months pregnant, living out of a car, no job and nothing more than a high school diploma.  I was afraid I couldn't do it, couldn't raise my son. I felt alone. I couldn't see a future for myself.  I wasn't sure I was ready for the responsibility.  However, I took that leap of faith.  I kept the baby.  I ignored the voices that told me I would never make it, that a woman who chose motherhood was choosing a life of hardship and wage slavery, and that I could always just have another.  I'm glad I did.  My son is almost 17 now. I own my own business, I was never again able to get pregnant, and that child transformed my life completely.

There were years when I struggled to find my way, when my future looked grim, but my son was the best thing that ever happened to me.  I was willing to do things for his sake that I would not do for my own. I grew up, overcame selfishness, discovered that I was lovable, and figured out that although money is good relationships are better.

Your Turn

Agree? Disagree? Want to add something? Have your own story to share? I want to hear from you. Leave a comment below and let me know :)


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