Sunday, November 16, 2014

A Life of Purpose

I wrote this back in October of 2012 when I was pregnant with E and never "published" it. I thought I'd share, as the words still ring true:

One of the first things that people ask when they find out someone is expecting is "was it planned"?  Now, granted, I've been known to ask the same question in the past, but now that I'm on the receiving end, it's definitely taken on a whole new light for me.
I am a very honest person, sometimes to a fault.  When asked if this pregnancy was planned, I've been truthful in saying, no.  We were going to wait at least another year until K was close to finishing his Master's degree and we had moved on to another base.
As a planner, finding out that something was happening against the plan that I had so meticulously scripted over the course of my 23 years was very hard for me.  Unlike many who see that positive sign on a pregnancy test and are ecstatic, my first few minutes after seeing that blue plus sign were spent in disbelief and silence.

Let me make this clear: I have never not wanted my child.  However, I do recall a distinct sense of loss when I found out I was going to be a mommy before I thought I was ready.  I had so much left that I wanted to do before having children.  I still feel like there are areas where I need to mature.  How could I be an adequate mother to my child when, so often, I still feel like a child myself?

From conversations with beloved friends and trusted mentors, these are not "bad" feeling at all.  In fact, I have come to find they are very common--we just don't talk about them.  My first instincts when we discovered that we were pregnant were simply to cry (and take another test, because obviously, I had a broken one).

I remember K asking me why I was crying.  "Why are you crying?  This is a happy thing."
I tried to explain to him that I was happy but that at the same time, I was struggling with an overwhelming fear of my perfectly scripted life taking on a whole new narrative.  I felt so ashamed that, instead of anticipation and excitement, I was feeling overwhelmed and scared.

Of course, within a couple of hours, the reality of what was happening had set in and the emotions that had bombarded me that morning transformed into the excitement that I so often hear others speak of.  Instead of saying that our pregnancy was unplanned, I was able to joyfully say that our pregnancy was a wonderful surprise.

As a planner, one of my greatest struggles with this pregnancy has been "letting go" of control and allowing God to work. 
Throughout this pregnancy, I have sensed a deeper part of my faith that I don't think I ever would have reached without facing a change to my many plans.
I am continually reminded that God's got this.  He has created my body perfectly and uniquely special to carry this precious life.  He has a plan and a purpose for my child.  I don't have to have all of the answers.

Of course, I'd love to say that I was able to reach this peace the same day we had that positive test, but this has been a process.  Even now, there are days where I struggle with trusting God with the unknown.  Life, especially when you don't know exactly where it's headed, can be very scary.
What a peace I have knowing that I've got the creator of the universe on my side!

The more and more I have thought about it, the more and more I'm realizing what a beautiful plan He has for our lives.  My daughter is not unplanned.  God knew about her before she was even conceived!  Jeremiah 1:5 says "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born, I consecrated you..."  So even though we weren't expecting our daughter quite yet, God knew her and knew exactly when she needed to come to this Earth!
And he's consecrated her for a purpose!
Isn't that incredible?!

My sweet daughter, only about a pound and the size of a squash, has a destiny and a purpose already!  Even now, I can see how He is using her in my life.  He is using her to teach me about His plans and trusting Him.  This makes me so excited because if she can already make such a difference before birth, what kinds of wonderful and incredible things does her life hold?!

Of course, I can't tell you whether she has brown or black hair or if she'll be an athlete.  I can tell you she will be short and that she has my nose.  I can't tell you whether she'll prefer academics or art, but I can tell you she is already incredibly loved.
I can't tell you, then, what the exact purpose for her life is yet.  I have no idea how God is going to use her in this life.  But what I can tell you is that He wouldn't bring her into this world unless there was a reason and divine purpose for it.

I am a firm believer that we need to speak destiny into our children.  There are so many wonderful verses that address purpose and God's plan:

Acts 26:16--
"I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you"

Proverbs 16:9--
"The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps"

John 15:16--
"You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide"

We are chosen.  My daughter is chosen.  What a wonderful thing we have in the Lord!

This only further challenges me, then, to raise her knowing that she is a woman of purpose.  God is going to use her.  Why else would He bring her to our arms earlier than we had planned?
There must be a very important reason!

I am 23 weeks pregnant today.  Each day, my love for my daughter deepens.  It's a type of love I've never experienced.
I am blessed to know that this life I carry has a purpose, a destiny, a meaning
and I feel compelled to express that to my daughter, even now.

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