"We're having another baby!"
"Baby #2 coming July 2018!"
As we approached the end of our first trimester after loss, I started to think through the language we would use to announce our pregnancy. So much of the rhetoric I would have previously used without thought caused me to wince a bit as I thought of it now. As we prepared to share the news about this tiny life growing within my womb, speaking with any certainty about the arrival or birth of this new little one seemed so presumptuous to me now after another baby's heart had once ceased to beat before birth. Statistically, yes, the chances of loss decrease significantly with the passing of each gestational week. But after watching so many friends I love suffer late losses, still births, and unexpected complications, I cannot read, or for that matter make, pregnancy announcements the same way anymore.
Now don't get me wrong, I am all for rejoicing over the miracle of life in the womb, and I understand the concept of looking forward to something, really I do. In no way am I advocating cynicism, fatalism, or an Eeyore mode of living or thinking. But David and I felt convicted this time around that sharing the news of the growing life within my womb should be done more delicately, with a nod towards our limited knowledge and the source of our true hope.
Recently, I've heard the words "speak life over ____" tossed around superstitiously within some faith circles. While I would agree wholeheartedly that at some level our attitudes inform our living, I do not believe in any way that they influence the circumstances of our lives that are beyond our jurisdiction.
And so, with James 4 in mind, we joyfully shared the news that God has allowed life to flourish in a space that we were so grieved to learn was inhabited by death last April using the words "lord willing, we will welcome another child to our home and family in July 2018." We do not use those words as a superstitious caveat or a trite platitude but as a nod to the true and relieving fact that we worship a God who is fully in control of the life of this child.
We believe that God, in his sovereign goodness and outside of time, determines the directions and events of our life and family, prioritizing his glory and our good, which cannot be divorced from one another. And that truth is of greater comfort than the flicker of any heart beat or the news of any clear anatomy scan or the sound of any cry in the delivery room.
This knowledge also affords us the beautiful gift of being able to live in the moment, as Jesus invites us to let tomorrow worry about itself, trusting that God's grace will be sufficient should grief knock at the door of our home again. So today we rejoice and delight in the beautiful and undeserved gift that God has bestowed upon us in the presence of this child within our family this very moment as its heart beats and its tiny arms and legs jerk within my womb. We praise God for his kindness to us in sustaining his or her life through the first trimester, and will continue to rejoice for each day as it comes, one at a time. Most of all, we thank him for the sure and steady hope he offers in the finished work of Jesus. Our lives and the precious lives of our children are but a vapor, but his promises endure forever.