This post has taken me longer to write than I had originally anticipated. Wading through my thoughts and emotions has been much like tromping in the mud. You know the rain that caused it is necessary to wash away the filth, quench deep thirsts and bring new life but boy does it make a mess of the ground we’re walking on.
Just as a reminder, I am 43 years old and have never been pregnant. So when I was experiencing odd physical goings on, being pregnant wasn’t even on my radar. When I finally gave into the thought and decided to take a pregnancy test there was A LOT of self-talk that went on. “You know it’s going to be negative…you’re just wasting your money…you’re going to be disappointed – AGAIN…you’re an idiot for even allowing this idea to take root.”
Finally, the day had been chosen and I wasn’t going to tell anyone, not even Steve. (What if they agreed with my fearful and anxious thoughts?) In God’s sovereign plan, Steve ended up coming home early on Friday and wanted to go grocery shopping with me. After wrestling with putting off buying the test, I gave in and told him what I was contemplating. As usual, he was very supportive and not once did he ridicule, mock or make a condescending remark.
Needless to say, sleep alluded me most of the night. The next morning was Steve’s 42nd birthday and I had lots of fun things planned for him. But first on my mind was the pregnancy test. We do strange things when we are fearful – like covering up the test until the timer buzzed. Like sneaking up on it will change the outcome. The unveiling nearly made my heart stop. Positive and 1-2 weeks along. REALLY??? Did I read that right?
Wow – God had really done this! Excitement and apprehension were my two vacillating emotions. One minute I was elated over the splendor of it all and the next worrying that this was too good to be true.
Over the next week or so, the pregnancy progressed as expected. I wasn’t having many of the “normal” symptoms, but was not sad about that I didn’t spend each day nauseous and miserable. There were still plenty of obvious signs that I really was pregnant. My first OB appointment was scheduled for the 17th. We told a minimal number of people since a lot can happen in the first few months, especially with me being a little older.
As most women tend to, I began do allow myself to daydream and begin planning for our future with a little one. Contemplating staying home rather than working outside the home, cloth or disposable diapers, changes to our living spaces and choosing baby names. Boy names came much easier than girl names, but the one that stuck out most to me was Grace. Grace exemplifies what God continually does in our lives. Whether through the precious gift of a child or in the daily opportunities to become like Christ grace is ever-present and flowing from a never-ending Source.
But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.
At this time I was working through Ephesians 4:1-17 in my Bible and the MacArthur commentary on Ephesians. The day after I had decided on Grace, verse 7 was on the agenda. I devoured the commentary notes that day and delved deeper into the Greek word that Paul used (as well as many other times in the New Testament) – charis.
This was my eureka moment. This is my baby’s name. For any Greek scholars out there, please be longsuffering with me. I realize that the actual pronunciation of this word sounds much like someone coughing up a lung. For my purpose that wasn’t going to work, the pronunciation for the baby would look something like shŭ-‘rēs.
Charis (grace) is much broader and deeper than many of us think. Not only is it the balm that God slathers on our sin sick souls, but it is also the scalpel that our gracious Father uses to remove the cancerous tumors that keep us from living more fully for Him. Charis is the bottomless love and desire for each of His children to be conformed to the image of Christ entering sovereignly into our lives.
Charis is who God gave me for 5 weeks to nurture and love. Charis is what has comforted me every day since he took our little one home.
For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.