The Pack ’n Play and infant bathtub were gone. So were the bags of onesies and rompers. Each item discarded was a symbolic step away from baby-land and into the promised land of older childhood, which for me meant uninterrupted sleep, time for writing, and freedom to be my own person again.
Then two pink lines showed up again on the pregnancy test—for the third time—after we had made up our minds that twice was more than enough. Like Sarah, Abraham’s wife (Gen. 18:12), I laughed in disbelief. I also laughed out of helplessness and hysteria.
Two pink lines showed up again on the pregnancy test—for the third time.
I will tell you in all honesty that I am not a baby person. My sons’ infancies had been a wilderness of outsized anxieties, frayed tempers, and frustration with the ways neither my children’s sleeping patterns nor my days would mold to my intentions. Now, just when I thought I was nearly out of the woods, I would be plunked back at the starting line. I felt caught in an interminable game of Sorry!
In my laughter, like Sarah’s, was a hint of defiance. Really, Lord? You really think this is going to go well—given my condition? Sarah was considering her physical age, but I was thinking of my mental and emotional unpreparedness. Also mixed in, however, was a question, a plea. What are you up to, God? How is this going to be OK?
As my third child has grown within me, so these questions have tumbled around in my soul. Slowly they are creating a space where different possibilities and new postures of heart have emerged. Like Sarah, I am being called to show hospitality, not to three strangers but to one tiny human whom I didn’t expect. I am being called to make space—in my plans, in my daily schedule, in the closets and rooms that I had already prepared for other purposes—for yet another set of sticky fingers and pattering feet.
I can sense the Spirit nudging: Let go of your expectations. Make room for God to surprise you. This new child comes as a guest, bearing gifts for you and your family.
I didn’t think it would happen this way, just as Sarah had her own ideas about how God would fulfill His promise to Abraham. Thankfully, in the end, things don’t go according to our plans.