"He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end." Ecclesiastes 3:11
Today we had another doctor's appointment. Twenty four weeks into the pregnancy and baby and mommy are doing fine. Daddy is too, for that matter.
We wanted God to do something special in this pregnancy. We wanted a pregnancy redeemed. With Madeline and Oliver, the pregnancy was "fun." It was a time of anticipating life and preparing for it, in spite of the aches and pains and antojos (cravings).
Since we lost Oliver in January, 2008, we've had two full pregnancies. These two pregnancies, which gave us Kayden and Micah, were not "fun." There was plenty of nervousness and anxiousness, even apprehension. So we asked God to redeem our next pregnancy, thinking it would come after we got to Uruguay.
Fast-forward to January, 2012. We just made an international move, were just beginning to live in a new land, with a new culture, new language, and new life. God picked this year and this setting to answer our prayer. This pregnancy was completely unexpected, and, in fact, is happening during what most people call the most stressful year of a family's life. The year of language study definitely has enough challenges and transitions in itself without a high-risk pregnancy.
We have to admit, life has been so busy, we have not had a lot of time to think about the pregnancy, except for the occasional doctor visit. Well, now the pregnancy is forcing itself into awareness. You could say it's coming into full view. The Latinos have no problem letting us know how big Timbrel is getting. It's great in this culture to comment on the size of the pregnant mommy. The physical discomfort for Timbrel is making it hard to sit in classes or lay down or stand or sit. A phrase we often tell our teachers and Latino friends is "a Timbrel le duele todo el cuerpo," literally, Timbrel's whole body hurts. So baby "L" is making herself a topic of discussion, making the pregnancy come to the forefronts of our minds on a more permanent basis.
So this week, I (Jimbo) have been thinking more about this pregnancy. The old fears and shadows of anxiety have been poking their heads up on occasion. I began to think about all that God has done in our lives over the past year and a half through emotional healing in spiritual places. Why is the anxiety returning?
Is it a matter of faith, in that I find myself lacking and thus falling into old traps? Do I just somehow need to have more faith? Or is it that I do have faith, but have it in something I don't and can't know, a mystery, and thus don't have a box sufficient for my fears? God I know, but His heaven I don't. These ponderings over my current situation and over eternity filled my mind.
Then a question came to mind, "If God were to open heaven and show me all that He is preparing for me, would I be afraid of or anxious for anything in this life?" As I thought about this question and discussed it with Timbrel, a boldness and courage came over me. There would be nothing to fear. Life would have nothing in it with any power to rock my world. There would be no such thing as personal bad news (sad news, yes, but bad news, no.) Even the most earth-shaking news of impending death could not move me. Dying would be a sad time to say good-bye, but a joyous time of transition and victory. Death would have no sting, no hold over me. The pain would not bring fear, but greater anticipation, for I would soon be entering the rest of God.
Today in the doctor's office we had a sonogram. The nurse came in and prepared Timbrel and did whatever it is she does. Then the doctor came in and the nurse shot him an uncertain look. An all too familiar feeling overwhelmed me. It was the same feeling when I saw the nurses and doctors look at each other on the cold night of January 20, 2008 before telling us the baby was no longer with us. That icy feeling came back today and I felt myself wanting to bolt. I stood up, but there was no place to run. No place to get away to. The doctor then proceeded to do the sonogram, and I heard the baby's heart beat and saw her moving around. I saw a 3-D image, and she even appeared to be smiling at us. Everything was good and well in her little world. Nothing was out of the ordinary.
As I stood there, the question came back into my mind, but it was a little different, "If God were to open heaven and show me all that He is preparing for my children, would I be afraid of anything in this life?" That boldness and courage came back. The cowardliness I just felt turned into peace. Why would I not want my children to be in that wonderful palace, in the physical presence of the King of kings, where there is no fear, no pain, no hurt, and with nothing or no one to ever harm them again. Would that really be bad news? That's where Oliver is already, in reality.
I walked out of the doctor's office and waited for Timbrel to pay the bill. I walked to the elevators and there painted on the entire wall was the verse that started this blogpost: "Todo lo hizo hermoso en su tiempo, y ha puesto eternidad en el corazón del hombre, sin que este alcance a comprender la obra hecha por Dios desde el principio hasta el fin." Eclesiastés 3:11 God really does speak Spanish and He was speaking directly to my heart in this new language. He has put eternity into my heart. His ways are mysterious. From our earthly perspective, He is not safe. He is redeeming this pregnancy. There is joy in His presence. He has made all things beautiful in its time. SO THAT in the coming ages He might show the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus FOR ALL ETERNITY!!!