Twenty-four days until Baby Monster makes his or her arrival into the world, and we are really, really excited. :)
I wonder though, if I "seem" excited. I've had quite a few people ask me if I am, or how my heart is doing in preparation for this baby. And I'm sure those who haven't experienced infant loss wonder what a subsequent pregnancy feels like, and how to emotionally prepare... so I know it's all in love that I'm being asked.
Before Gwendolyn was born, I had this mental expectation that my life was on the verge of fulfillment... like the ultimate culmination of my life's purpose was at hand, and it was going to be beautiful. I had centered my soul around being a wife and a mother, and here I was! About to see it fulfilled. And then... :)
And then the Lord chose me to carry the weight of a daughter waiting in Heaven, asking me to bear her loss with joy. And He challenged my worldview on every level, redefining my beliefs - not according to what I wanted, or what an American Christian culture was telling me "I deserved" - but according to His Word and His Son, whom He willingly gave up for us all.
And I'm SO thankful. I'm so thankful that I now look forward to Heaven, when formerly I was afraid of eternity and pleaded with God not to take me before I had "lived deep and sucked the marrow out of life", to quote Thoreau. I had thought that everything here was worth living for, and eternity in Heaven was a nice substitute for damnation. And I'm thankful for how losing Gwenny and gaining Christ has shifted my perspective about who I am as a woman.
I am called FIRST to be a disciple of Christ, to KNOW Him and love God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. This is the culmination of my existence. The way in which I can do that best is to be the wife and Mom he's called me to be (Titus 2, Galatians 2:20, 1 Corinthians 15). But being a Mom is not the main point of who I am. It is an awesome responsibility and privilege, full of wonder and joy and delights yet unknown. But ultimately I am called to raise little disciples, to teach them about the Lord, laboring with the Spirit for the salvation and sanctification of their souls. That is crazy! And too big for me... but not for my God.
And so if you ask me whether or not I am excited about Baby Monster... my answer is, "Of course! I am blessed among women; humbled to be chosen; thankful that I am not alone in the work of raising them to know and love the Lord. And if I can teach them but one thing (apart from knowing Jesus), it is that they will KNOW that they are called to much more than what this dying world has to offer, and that Heaven -- Heaven! -- is our home."
24 more days, and then the adventure begins. :)