When the Greatest Gift is No Gift

          Conversation starters generally take the form of, “How are you?”  “What’s going on?”  “Good to see you!”  But when one is pregnant, the most common conversation starter is: “How are you feeling?”  It stems from a genuine concern for that person’s well-being, I believe.

          I am overjoyed to be on the receiving end of that question once again.  Although I have been grateful for each of my previous pregnancies, never have I been so grateful to be pregnant..  This time, however, I have been given a great gift, the gift of perspective.

          Prior to this pregnancy, I had experienced a year of infertility.  As much as I wanted another child, I believe that God wanted to teach me a lesson I would not soon forget:  He is the author of all human life, and He alone determines when that gift will be given and when that life on earth will end.  Of course, I was aware of that fact before the infertility.  But there’s a difference between knowing something and experiencing it.

          After going through the experience of infertility, the experience of pregnancy is completely different.  Oh sure, I still have all the nausea, discomforts, aches, and pains.  It may even be worse this time than ever before because I’m older.  But I am embracing all of that with open arms this time around.

          No longer do I yearn for my due date, feeling that time is passing slowly because I’m counting down the weeks.  Oh, no!  I’m savoring every minute of this pregnancy.  Every precious minute.  I’m much more cognizant of how temporary it is… and how soon it will pass.  And, yes, I’m painfully aware of the reality that it may be my last pregnancy, considering that I’m nearing the end of typical child-bearing years.

          With this renewed perspective, I rejoice in every little kick and movement of my baby.  There is nothing in the world like the feeling of life within you.  Even the memory of it pales in comparison to actually experiencing it here and now.  It’s a miracle in every sense.  I am thrilled to have my baby with me wherever I go, whatever I do.  There is no separation, no good-bye – even just to go to a different room!  There is only togetherness – all of the time.  Oh, what bliss.  Mother and baby are made for this togetherness.  It is truly a foreshadowing and taste of Heaven, where there will be no separation or good-byes.

          Pregnancy is a gift, a wonder, a joy.  I cannot thank God enough for allowing me to be the unworthy recipient of this great grace!  The only greater gift He gave to me, was the experience of having this great gift withheld for a time.  So I could come to learn, albeit painfully at the time, a new appreciation for it.

          Fortunately, it’s never too late to learn some lessons.

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