The first time I was “waiting for the baby” (Izayla was 10 days “overdue”) a wise midwife friend of mine put my feelings into words: “there is this weird thing that happens when you are waiting for labor to begin – every day that it doesn’t, it seems harder to believe that it ever will, even though we rationally know that it is a day closer. The baby WILL come – it is just a matter of when.”
Now, with baby #5 aggressively wiggling inside of me, presumably hunting for the exit, but with no imminent signs of labor despite being 9 days “late”, I no longer get stressed out or succumb to the irrational thoughts that if the baby hasn’t come yet, she is not going to come. She will come. She has to get out somehow, eventually.
This week we are going about our life, but well aware that, depending on the time of day and traffic patterns our hospital is anywhere from 25 minutes to more than two hours away, and the last labor was just 2.5 hours total. With that always in our minds, we live life with the kids, eat papaya salad and sticky rice outside on the street as usual, do laundry, meet with teammates, greet neighbors, and go about living – albeit very close to home – with friends who can take our kids at a moment’s notice and our packed hospital bag (including the “just in case” bag of extra towels, etc. if traffic doesn’t allow us to get there in time). “Regular life” goes on, give or take, but we are all constantly wondering in the back of our heads which moment a strong contraction will signal that it is time to change plans, or when exactly my water will break. We don’t usually live life like this, and I am glad about it.
That said, Iven was reflecting today about how this “waiting for baby” season could and honestly even really does reflect the invitation we have as Believers to live in constant awareness and faith in Jesus’ imminent return. He is coming – it will change everything – and though we don’t know when, the fact that it hasn’t happened yet does not, in any way, mean His return is less certain. There is a unique sort of certainty of few things in life – birth, death, and Jesus returning as King are some of the only ones. Right now every minute of our days are held in the tension that plans could change dramatically within a course of a few minutes. Really life is always like that, but waiting for a baby is one of those seasons that reminds us of the acuteness of things being sure, and unsure, all in the same moment. What would it look like for me to live in full awareness that Jesus IS returning, that everything will be different when He does, and that although we know not the “when” our uncertainty of the timing does not in any way reflect the certainty of that most life-altering of realities. Scripture warns us to not go back into our house for anything, but to be ready to GO. Our family is postured that way this week, but if all of us could be living that way always, how would it change this day?