Thursday, November 19, 2009

True hope

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." -- Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

I can quote this verse, but I forget, sometimes, to claim its truth and live it out. It's been a rough couple of weeks with the pregnancy, not because of any problems really, but because of expectations and false hopes.

Last week, at 37 weeks, I was barely dilated, but the doctor was hopeful that something would be happening soon. Other mommy friends told me their stories and I started to get excited that maybe we'd have a baby by the end of the week. On Friday, after timing contractions for an hour between 4 and 5 a.m., I woke Phil up, certain we'd be heading to the hospital. As I sat on the couch, though, just to be sure I was feeling what I was feeling, the contractions stopped. And as the day went on, life resumed to normal. Disappointment set in as I refreshed my memory about the signs of false labor. Then, I got angry. So, I took out my frustrations on the dishes and anything else I thought needed a good cleaning. And I wore myself out.

At my next appointment, I went in with the hope that my cervical dilation would have progressed in the last week only to find out that really nothing had happened. Same dilation, same belly measurement, and now the doctor was talking possible C-section if the baby didn't drop soon. We did have another ultrasound to measure the baby's growth, and he or she is not quite 8 lbs. yet, so the news wasn't all bad.

I left the appointment in tears, with more disappointment and frustration taking control of my attitude. After rejoicing that we made it past the 35-week mark, I've convinced myself that this baby is never going to be born, even though I'm still two weeks from my due date. I've allowed the doctor appointments, and even other birth experiences, to build my expectations and set me up for false hope. Not that anyone has intended to do that; I've just been willing to cling to any kind of hope that the baby will be here sooner than my due date.

Even the doctor this week, though, said he wished he had a crystal ball and could tell me what was going to happen. As I've thought more about the past couple of weeks, I'm being reminded that even though the doctor can't tell me for certain what will happen and my friends' birth experiences won't necessarily be mine, I have a Father in Heaven who knows EXACTLY how this pregnancy will end. He knows the time, day, place and circumstances. And though I wish He would let me in on some of that, I have no other option but to trust that His timing is perfect and will be perfect and there's a reason for all this waiting. I cannot trust in what I know, what my friends know or even 100 percent in what the doctors know because none of us is God Almighty.

And I have to remember that the hope I have in Christ is "an anchor for the soul, firm and secure." (Hebrews 6:19, NIV) When I cling to this hope, I will not be tossed about, emotionally or spiritually, but can wait with confidence for Him.

Easy? No, but neither is freaking out and placing my hope in news that seems to change from week to week. Firm and secure. That's what I need. That's what I've been lacking.

As the hymn says, "On Christ the Solid Rock, I stand. All other ground is sinking sand." Amen. And Amen.