24… that’s almost a quarter of a century! When I was little, 24 sounded old, almost boring. Surely by 24 most of my life – the EXCITING parts anyway – would be behind me, and I would be an experienced matron surrounded by my ten adopted children (adopting, sad to say, was my easy fix for dealing with the whole husband question. If I could just have my kids via an agency, I wouldn’t have to worry about who was the right man for me and whether or not he ever came! And I could feel good about myself while I was at it, since adopting is such a charitable thing to do!) I’m sure I’ll be saying this for the rest of my life, but… I’m glad God’s plans are different than mine. Aren’t you?
What 24 really looks like for me is this:
– a husband who still feels like a brand new gift, after our brief 11 months together.
– the daily feeling of inadequacy, as I look at said husband, along with our beautiful home and happy life, and realize how little, how very little I deserve it all, and how frequently I take it all for granted, and mistreat those precious gifts.
– the wonder and amazement that WE ARE EXPECTING A CHILD, AND HOW IN THE WORLD ARE WE EVER GOING TO BE READY FOR THIS????
– also, the giddy realization that WE ARE EXPECTING A CHILD, and one of the biggest dreams of our lives are coming true!
– the sobering thought that life is not a joke anymore. It never was, but when you’re young everything seems so easy to fix. Choices and decisions don’t seem irrevocable – at least, they are never so bad that mom and dad can’t fix them! But now, I realize that I am shaping my own life by each step I now take. I am not “practicing” for the real thing. This IS the real thing! I am really in a marriage, and it depends largely on me – my attitudes, choices and motives – to make or break it, to nurture this relationship “till death do us part” or to allow selfishness to slow choke it and leave us a bitter old couple with little in common except a mutual endurance. I am really a Christian, and an adult, and God expects some things of me. Not of my parents, not of my siblings. Of me. I really am a mother, and what kind of mother I am will inevitably shape my children. It’s all so serious, isn’t it?!
But. Enough seriousness. Aside from being twenty-four, I am now about four weeks away from meeting our little one. How awesome is that?! (I’ll tell you a secret. I am terrified.) I know, I know. Birth is natural, my body is designed for it, millions of other women have successfully gone through it, and I even witnessed my own mother go through it 4 times without any problems….but the thought of it happening to ME? Petrifying. Gone is the confidence I felt just a few days ago, the calm assurance that all will go well and I will do very well. Now, I am struggling with a crippling fear – not of any complications, or something terrible like that – but simply a fear of the pain. I keep telling myself, “God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” If I fear, it is not of God. He gives power. He can – and will – give me power to go through whatever amount of pain I need to go through. I just need to come back to a place of rest in His ability and care.
I am praying that this new year of my life – while it is going to be different than anything I’ve ever experienced – will be one of more growth towards the Lord, especially in the next few weeks before Baby’s arrival. I’m sure it will be easier to read my Bible and spend quality time in prayer BEFORE there is a demanding newborn and a numb, tired mind and body. 🙂