As I sit down to begin writing this article, my seven-month-old gives me reason to rejoice – God has blessed her with two lungs in excellent working condition and has given her both strength and stamina to use them. Not my usual response to what sometimes seems like incessant crying and unending sleepless nights, but an appropriate response as I begin to share my expectations and journey of motherhood thus far, and my struggle and challenge to cultivate an attitude of joy and thankfulness.
Every journey begins with great expectations, not least of all this journey of becoming a parent. I will never forget seeing our “jelly bean” sized baby for the first time, reading Ina May’s ‘Guide to Child Birth’, writing out my ‘birth plan’ as all the books suggest and envisioning how my natural, pain medication-free labour would unfold in a dimly lit cosy room where my precious baby would latch on; we’d lock eyes, and so would begin a fine romance.
As the big day drew closer, I came back to earth with a bump (excuse the pun) as I discovered that our baby was in a breach position from which she had no apparent plans to move, not even an inch, despite half hourly sessions of me lying upside down and doing everything else at my disposal to convince her otherwise! In God’s sovereign planning (obviously not mine) we had a Caesarean in a room that was all but dimly lit and cosy, with a medical student observing the proceedings from a bench nearby (naturally!) There was indeed pain medication, which I praise God for, however it was so strong I struggled to discern the real from the fantasy for nearly two weeks! As for the breastfeeding… there are no words.
And so it was that I began to learn my expectations would be very different from the reality that had just bitten me. On reflection, I’m not sure how the idea even crept into my head that I would be able to plan my future and have control over any events that unfolded. Life has never worked that way before. In fact, if I’d have gone to the source of unchanging truth earlier, I would’ve been reminded that God’s Word tells me so: “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21.
The truth is that no matter how great our expectations are, it is only our great God who knows what is written on the pages of the future, because He is their author. And yet, as we look to the future, and live now in light of the future, our loving Father has told us what to expect in the here and now and where to have our greatest expectations…
Two and a quarter years in on this journey, I’m slowly learning to ignore most of the “how to” books and learning to listen to one – the Bible. For us, as Christian women, the journey of motherhood forms part of an even greater adventure – the race marked out for us that leads to heaven. Here’s what God’s Word tells us to expect along the way…
READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE IN RADIANT’S SEP/OCT ISSUE ON PAGE 29.