We've been writing letters to our baby (well, to be honest, we're writing entries in a special Evernote folder, since Drew is a technology nerd) since that first day when Drew took a second look at a "negative" pregnancy test I'd abandoned and bellowed WE'VE GOT A SECOND LINE HERE!!!! I recently reread my very first letter and bawled my hormonal eyes out. My letters have since simmered down to things like "This week you are the size of an avocado and I'm still sick. Why do continue to reject fruits and vegetables? HELP ME HELP YOU!" so, reading back to a more contemplative time was intense and almost funny. While it seems weirdly intimate to share this letter to our future child, I'm just going for it. I promise this will not turn into a mommy blog, but this is where I'm still sitting. This is what I would write about anyways: Waking up every day with a full bladder and new sprouts of fear. Recommitting to my choices and resubmitting to His promises. In all honesty, pregnancy hasn't made me glow or nest or zen out - it has mostly made me deeply and painfully aware of my choices - that constant struggle between love and fear.
We officially knew you existed only 5 days ago, but in my most secret heart I have known for a while now. I've known since I woke up that one March morning with inexplicable peace, knowing that I could finish my book and grow you at the same time. I woke up remembering one of the most important lessons I've ever learned. I pass it to you now, hoping you absorb it through some magical baby osmosis - or at least from this letter in the future:
Choose love over fear.
Fear is the most versatile, subtle and yet most paralyzing weapon our enemy has against us. And it may seem oxymoronic, but I've learned that Love - not courage or surety or boldness- is the great dissolver of fear.
Now, I am not very old or wise yet and I hope that someday you are much wiser than I am or have been. But in my 26 years, Marcus Mumford's words have never proven false: that love will not betray you, dismay or enslave you - it will set you free. More like the man (or woman!) you were meant to be.Whenever you have a big decision to make, whenever you feel worried or scared or confused - I hope that you will err on the side of Love. You will not be disappointed, because perfect love drives out fear.
I woke up that morning and decided to stop making choices out of fear. Fear that (sorry, Baby) you might mess up my career. That you might make me sick or unable to work hard and finish my book. That you might distract or weaken my talents. In one freefalling instant, I chose love over fear.
Love for you, love for your dad, love for my holistic future.
And I chose God's love for me. Weirdly, this is often the hardest choice for me to make: the choice to accept perfect love, the choice to believe that it exists and is active in my life.
I chose to believe that He does not lead His children into destruction. That when I walk with Him, my deep desires are GOOD and GLORIFYING. I chose to believe that you are a gift - a benefit, not a sacrifice. I chose to ignore those mommy-bloggers who told me you'd make my life bleak and suck my joy and my time and my marriage. I chose to believe that I was worth more than many sparrows and that an omniscient God could work all of these things for good. I chose to believe in my calling and the strength of His plans for me. I chose to believe that you'd not only allow for this book, but that you'd be an asset. I chose to believe that you - with your weird, baby powers, would make me more creative and organized than ever. That my joy in your life would overflow into my book, giving me that surge of inspiration to cross the finish line.
And I chose to believe in His plan for you. That it would start now and that it would be Good, as He always is.
So far, He has not failed. (and He never will, little one. You will forget this fact so many times in the years ahead. It's okay - you come by that forgetfulness honestly and I promise He will chase you relentlessly, no matter how far or fast your little legs run.) Yes, you have made me a little queasy. You made me spit out a pink Starburst onto the table at Gusto Cafe. (I guess you take after your dad when it comes to sugar. Fair enough.) But it made your Auntie Beeg laugh so hard and you know what a great laugh she has. And you've given me some restless nights, with all of the peeing and leg cramps and insomnia. But, in those quiet night hours, we've had some good talks together- you, me and God. Of course you'll never remember, but He was very near to us those nights. He always is.
I know that the coming days and months and years will be filled with choices for me to make. Most of them will affect you as much as they affect me and, honestly, that thought paralyzes me with fear if I linger too long on it. I know I'll fail both of us and that just makes my hormonal, perfectionist self cry just a little. There's not much I can do about that, but one thing I promise to do- every day for the next 9 months and beyond- is to wake up every day and reset myself on His promises. To remember that we're not alone and I don't have to be perfect. I just have to be His.
I'm so glad you're here, little baby. God has written your dad and I some amazing adventures these past few years and I can't wait to see where this next one takes the three of us. It is unreasonable how much I love you already. I'll do my best to keep you safe and live well for us.
Your blubbering, confused and joyful mom. (I'm a mom!??)
Um, also...Quick update...It's a girl!!!