In February of 2020, my husband and I celebrated our first anniversary. Tucked away in the mountains in Southern California, we looked back and reflected on what felt like a very full first year of marriage – moving and setting up our first home together, demanding seasons at work, getting a puppy, finding out I was pregnant, and making an offer on a house. We joked about how we needed to put a ban on any more major life changes – our first year of marriage had brought more than enough transition!
In March of 2020, I was 8 ½ months pregnant when we closed escrow and started packing up our first apartment. A week later, we moved into our new place and got to work setting up ourhome as we counted down the days until our baby girl would arrive. Because of a few mild complications, my doctor hadscheduled me for a C-section on March 27th so we knew we had just shy of 2 weeks to unpack and be ready to bring our daughter home.
And then the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
After following the developments of COVID-19 closely and talking with our doctor, we made the difficult decision to call our parents (who live in Oregon and Kentucky) and tell them to cancel their travel plans. It was one of the hardest decisions we’ve had to make, and while we’re so grateful for their support from a distance we wish they could be here in person.
As this new reality set in, I found myself having to grieve my expectations about how this pregnancy would go. Grandparents won’t be there to welcome their granddaughter into the world. My husband and I will be missing the support of our parents. Friends won’t be able to visit us in the hospital. We’ll bring our daughter home only to have to keep “social distance” from our support system. And I can only hope that we’ll be able to find essential items at the stores when we need them! Instead of a season that feels safe and secure, it seems that each day brings a new uncertainty or challenge. New home. New baby. New pandemic. New everything. (And don’t forget the added challenge of heightened pregnancy emotions!)
During these last two weeks, I’ve found myself waging a daily emotional wrestling match against fear and uncertainty. And in the wrestling, ever so slowly, I’m experiencing God in a new way.
I’M EXPERIENCING WHAT IT MEANS TO TRUST THAT GOD IS IN CONTROL.
I’m a person who likes being in control. I like to have a plan, and I like to work hard to make sure that my plan works out. But now, I’ve lost count of how many factors are outside of my control. And yet, in the sweetest way, I sense God’s invitation to trust that HE is in control and to surrender my anxiety to him.
A wise friend once told me to not doubt in the darkness what I knew for sure in the light. 9 months ago when I found out I was pregnant, there was no doubt that this pregnancy was a gift from God. And 9 months ago, God also knew the exact circumstances that we’d be bringing our daughter into. God has not changed. His plans have not changed. He is not surprised, he is not shaken, he is not swayed. I don’t have to be in control, because the One who is in control is good. And I’m experiencing what it means to trust Him ever more deeply.
I’M EXPERIENCING THE GOODNESS OF GOD IN COMMUNITY.
The church is a family, and I’ve felt deeply loved and cared for by my church family in this season. Every day, someone new reaches out and let’s me know that they’re praying for me, or asks if I need anything. My husband has been my rock through it all, taking care of me and running all of our family errands so I don’t have to risk being in a crowd.
The church is a body, and the tangible support in this season has carried me through. Friends have rallied to help us move and paint. One friend texts every time she’s at a grocery store and asks what she can pick up for us. Friends have set up a meal train to drop off meals at our doorstep the first few weeks we come home from the hospital. The beauty of community has wrapped around my husband and I, and reminded us daily that we are not alone.
This pregnancy might not look the way I wanted it to look. Bringing our daughter into the world during a pandemic certainly wasn’t anything I would ever hope for. And yet, as I wrestle through the emotions of these last few weeks, I sense an invitation from God to trust that He is bringing good out of this situation. We’re going to have a beautiful daughter, and my husband and I will be better parents because of what we’re learning and experiencing of God in this season. The emotions of fear and uncertainty are real, but our faith is deeper. Our community is with us. And God is still in control.