May 27th has proven to be an important/significant/meaningful day in my life, especially over the last 3 years.
3 years ago on this date, Brady asked me about 17 times if I would be his girlfriend. He then approached my dad later that night to ask if he could start dating me (super old fashioned and respectful, which I love), and we officially dove into this adventure that has been our relationship.
2 years ago, he asked me to be his bride, changing everything we had ever known about relationships since it was a stage neither of us had ever reached before.
And yesterday, May 27th, our little one decided they wanted to give their daddy and momma a scare by putting me into premature labor.
*Before we totally dive in, I need to disclaim that everything is fine. The baby is still kicking me hard and constantly from the inside of my belly, and they are happy and healthy. I’m doing fine as well, just a little discomfort still here and there, but apparently that’s to be expected from this point on (no one told me that it’s “normal” to experience 6-8 contractions in an hour when you’re 30 weeks preggers).*
I’ve been running into this idea in my walk with the Lord that has begun to challenge me deeply. Following Jesus is the best decision I’ve ever made… but it’s definitely not safe. Jesus promises me the security of being with Him forever, and of being forgiven of my mistakes… but He certainly doesn’t promise that everything will go smoothly in following Him. In fact, it’s usually in the times when you’re most uncomfortable, most unsure, most afraid when you’re probably headed in the direction that Jesus is leading your life.
Abraham didn’t know where he was supposed to go… yet God continued to tell him to go…. go go go.
Peter and the rest of the disciples didn’t really know what they were getting themselves into by dropping their whole lives (careers, families, social expectations, etc) and choosing to day in day out literally follow Jesus… and it brought them into some really uncomfortable situations. Yet Jesus continually told them, “Follow Me.”
Those are the situations where growth takes place.
You need to be uncomfortable to grow.
Remember growing pains as a kid? If you had been able to opt out of those, you’d still be a tiny human that would have a really difficult time seeing over those who did go through those intense growth spurts in their lives.
Just think, concerts would suck so much without those pains…getting things down from cupboards would require ladders… and people would always mistake you for a child.
Pain is sometimes absolutely necessary to get you to where you need to be, both physically and spiritually.
So back to yesterday (because this does indeed have a flow, I promise).
It’s really a horrifying moment when those practice contractions turn into the real deal when they’re not supposed to.
It’s also super inconvenient to have that happen halfway through your last day of teaching (you know, finals prep day… super good).
But the moment I got off the phone with my doctor, right after hearing the words “I need to you to go to labor and delivery immediately to be monitored… I’m concerned,” I felt about the size of an elementary school student.
I’ve been really fortunate to be one of those pregnant ladies who have barely experienced anything negative with being pregnant.
Sure I’ve had uncomfortable days, but I had no morning sickness, only a few headaches, I’ve been sleeping well (about 90% of the time), I’ve been able to work all the way through, and much much more.
But yesterday was a scare… a place where “what ifs” flooded incredibly fast… a place where I was met face to face with this idea: do I trust Jesus with where He is leading this? Do I believe that He works everything out for the good of those who love Him i.e. me? Will I trust Him if things begin to go horribly wrong? Will I still praise Him in my fear, in my discomfort, and in my unknown?
I definitely didn’t handle it with an enormous amount of grace… I was more of a blubbering mess initially and then constant ball of frustration over the last 24 hours.
But this baby has already begun to teach me so much, reinforcing beliefs I’ve had for a long time, as well as showing me ways where God is growing me and teaching me about His love.
Here are just a few things:
1). Becoming a mom means giving it all, even when you don’t feel you can. I obviously haven’t experienced this face to face with my nugget yet, but I have experienced it physically in pregnancy (through being exhausted, making sure you’re eating right, drinking more water than you possibly think you can, and taking the bench even when you have things that “need to get done” for the sake of the baby’s health and development).
2). Becoming a mom has shown me just how valuable life is… and how early that value begins. Before we even knew I was pregnant, this little one had a heart beat. Shortly after we found out, it already was showing signs of brainwave activity. I never knew that I could love something so tiny and so quickly, as well as become so defensive over a little thing I couldn’t even feel yet. Over this entire process, it’s been awesome to read and see how God knits things together in the womb, and I get to be a part of that story. It’s fabulous.
3). Becoming a mom has reinforced to me that God’s plans are so much bigger than mine. Yes, Brady and I wanted kids, but we definitely were trying to manage that responsibly. Yes, some people thought and probably still think that we got into this situation much too soon… and that’s all well and good. But that’s not what God planned for us… and now here we are, 9.5 weeks away (hopefully) from meeting the person that will totally change our world. Besides giving my life to Christ, meeting Brady, and choosing to spend the rest of my life with him, this is the biggest adventure I’ve ever embarked on. It’s horrifying and thrilling all at the same time.
Yesterday really really reinforced this to me… because going into labor on the last full day of school and when I still have several weeks to make it through before I can hold this little one in my arms was certainly not in my plans at all. But for whatever reason, it was in God’s… and it’ll be really interesting to see why, whether its a big reason or a small reason… whether we ever find out or not.
4). This experience has caused me to already be on my knees in the Lord’s presence, begging for strength, wisdom, and direction on where He is going… it has challenged me to trust deeply… as well as to begin leading well in relying on Him. I want my kid to know that they have a God that is big enough to handle the most difficult, misunderstood situations. I want them to know that they have a Jesus that is trustworthy… that His faithfulness is a refuge. But I can’t teach those things if I don’t first live them out myself.
5). This whole being pregnant thing has only confirmed over and over that God blessed me with my best counterpart. When Brady and I first started dating, he said to me that I intimidated him because I didn’t need him. But marriage changes you… and I don’t know how I would do life without his love. I find myself needing him more and more every day in every way (in healthy terms, of course). He is my rock, my protector, my comedian, my encourager, and he has quickly become one of my heroes. They say you fall more in love with the man you married as time progresses, but one of those moments when it swells up to new levels is when you see them hold your child for the first time. I’m sure that’s true… but I can confidently say that I have grown more crazy in love with Brady as I’ve experienced how he has cared for me during this season.
Even though May 27th is a great day, I’m really glad that Little Redick didn’t make their debut then. I’m also really glad to begin walking into this new season being reminded that I have a God who wants me to trust Him with every little thing. I’m also really glad I have a God who loves me, Brady and this baby radically and will lead us to places we never dreamed possible… they might be scary places, but they will be good, and we will trust Him through every step.