It’s Christmas night, silent and holy, and all is calm except my mind. I lay beside my sleeping husband in the hours of the night that I rarely see. Lying on my left side, I can feel our unborn baby boy tossing and turning inside my belly, kicking me where my tummy and the mattress meet. He’s due to arrive in April when everything is new and all abloom. Spring is the perfect time for new life; the season is filled with hope and promise.
But on a sleepless night like this, I’m filled less with hope and promise and more with worry and racing thoughts.
Over the past 6 months, I’ve cycled through many of the anxieties that new moms face: Can I do this? Am I up to the task of such an enormous responsibility? What are we thinking, bringing a baby into a world so chaotic? Or, I haven’t felt him move yet today, is he okay? But my worry of choice tonight has to do with my husband. What if something happens to him? He drives to work every day, and his safety is out of my control. What if I’m left a widow with a new baby?
When these disturbing thoughts invade, I’m left breathless. Dread falls on me like a heavy fog. It isn’t until I pray and ask the Lord to help me relinquish these intrusive thoughts that I can calm down and get some sleep.
And it strikes me like it has many times on this journey toward motherhood: parenting is an exercise of faith.
In growing our family, will I put my life, my husband’s life, and my baby’s life in the Lord’s hands? Am I going to have faith that God will work all things out for our good and His glory? (Romans 8:28) Am I going to trust that the Holy Spirit will be with me, counseling me, guiding me, and helping me in this exciting but challenging season of life?
This new adventure we’re embarking on is another opportunity to daily follow the Lord’s leading and to trust Him with our son’s life. We aren’t alone in raising this child because Emmanuel, God with us, will be there every step of the way. This precious baby will be best provided for if he has a mother and father who practice surrendering control to the Sovereign Lord.
And of course, as a follower of Christ, I know that life itself is an exercise of faith. Though I sometimes take this truth for granted, my next meal, my next breath, my Todays and Tomorrows aren’t promised to me. I must make choices and take next steps with the awareness that God is Someone I can trust. And if tragedy does strike, if my what-ifs do come true, I can have faith that my good God will walk me through the unthinkably bad times.
In the stillness of a silent and holy night, God reminds me to walk in faith, one day at a time, even in something as life-altering as becoming a mother. As my baby settles in my womb on this peaceful Christmas, I smile and think, God is still using babies to change the world.
“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7