What will you be doing on Sunday?
I’m skipping church.
I’m going to be having a baby.
I hope my hair will look good.
I’m bringing my princess slippers.
I am already missing my doctor’s office. When we left yesterday, I admit that I cried a little. When I first came to that office, I could hardly stand and was pregnant with my little Noah. I had finally realized that Joy wasn’t coming back and was suffering intensely from anxiety and just feeling completely overwhelmed. I cannot begin to describe how much I needed this particular staff to help me through that time. God truly led me to them.
All of them are angels in my book.
And this two years of pregnancy has really given me a chance to develop a relationship with them. They are amazing, and I really, really will miss them. If I ever have another baby, I have seriously contemplated coming to stay here during my last trimester so I can have them take care of me. I can’t imagine anyone else.
Isn’t it just heavenly when God can turn something as ordinary as prenatal visits into something so beautiful? And healing? And wonderful?
I am nervous.
I get stage fright before I go into labor. It’s total stage fright. Once things get going, I am okay, but the anticipation makes me want to vomit.
Why is that? I don’t know. Maybe it’s because in my years as a Thespian on stage, I always fancied myself a performer–and labor is the ultimate performance.
What if I forget a line? What if I push myself off the bed? What if I forget to push? What if, at the end, I change my mind and decide I don’t want to push? (Okay, that happens every time.) It’s all so crazy. No matter how much I think I have the script memorized, in the end, it ends up mostly improv, and what if I do a horrible job?
I guess sometimes I think I feel that way about most EVENTS.
EVENTS make me nervous.
I realized a long time ago that life really isn’t defined by EVENTS but by the moments, little tiny ones–and it was such a relief to me because I have always felt so much pressure to make the EVENT perfect. Christmas, birthdays, holidays…I had always felt like I had to overdo it to cover everything so it was all absolutely magazine perfect.
I was so silly.
Now, I realize that the only way those EVENTS can happen beautifully is if all the little moments for weeks and months before the event are beautiful…well, most of them anyway.
What I realized, I guess, was that most grand events in our lives are beyond our ability to control at the time of the actual event. What happens during these grand times is usually a consequence of all the actions leading up to it, so there is no way to control the outcome while it’s happening…we control it beforehand by our actions, the event is usually a group of natural consequences we cannot escape.
So, does this bode ill for my Sunday event?
As I look over my behavior and actions over the last several months, I have to say…I am hoping that mercy will play a big part in the outcome.
Because I have had my moments over the last few months of being rather like a shrew…and while I have repented and am repenting, I wonder how much mercy can cover me after the thirty minutes of ranting and screaming I did about my family living like swine because the kitchen was an utter disaster.
I waxed poetic regarding livestock comparisons and whether or not we needed an actual house, since my children would apparently be happier in a barn.
I spoke with melodrama regarding my opinion of men and their habitations without women and referred to the refrigerator area as something out of a bachelor’s apartment (I couldn’t go any lower than that, could I?).
I wondered aloud (so loudly, in fact, I suppose it could have been assumed I was posing the question to the entire neighborhood), if we needed to call the sanitation department and be arrested and spend the weekend in jail?
So, I am hoping that mercy can cover that.
But, on the other hand, there have been times when I have exercised patience and smiled when I felt like crying, and there have been times when I listened to my children and tried to cheer them up when I felt like I was far beyond the end of my rope.
So, we’ll see.
In the end, I’ve noticed that God is more merciful than I ever realize. He gives me the most credit for the good I have done, and the minimal punishment for my stupidity. Maybe that’s why He pleads with us to have charity as much as possible–because charity can go such a long way in making our events in life beautiful–it can alter the consequences for our good in ways we don’t understand. Maybe that’s what Peter meant when he said:
And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
Not that it takes away the fact that we need to repent, but that somehow, charity helps us to repent even if we aren’t even fully aware of it. I don’t know. But, I hope it’s something like that.
One of my favorite speeches from a play are Portia’s from The Merchant of Venice:
The quality of mercy is not strained.
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven,
Upon the place beneath.
It is twice blessed.
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.
It is mightiest in the mightiest,
It becomes the throned monarch better than his crown.
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
An attribute to awe and majesty.
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings.
But mercy is above this sceptred sway,
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself.
And earthly power dost the become likest God’s,
Where mercy seasons justice.
Though justice be thy plea, consider this,
That in the course of justice we all must see salvation,
We all do pray for mercy
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render the deeds of mercy.
I have spoke thus much to mitigate the justice of thy plea,
Which if thou dost follow,
This strict court of Venice
Must needs give sentance gainst the merchant there.
So, I think for the next three days, I’ll be praying for charity and mercy, and even as I write this, I know that mercy will win, because I have placed my life in the Savior’s hands and He has paid the price for me so that I can have a beautiful life, if I will just cleave to mercy and love.
It’s going to be a beautiful Sabbath, even if I am skipping church….I remember once thinking about childbirth and how, for that few minutes of bringing another soul into the world, it is the ultimate expression of living covenants and worshiping God.
…true and perfect worship consists in following in the steps of the Son of God; it consists in keeping the commandments and obeying the will of the Father to that degree that we advance from grace to grace until we are glorified in Christ as he is in his Father. It is far more than prayer and sermon and song. It is living and doing and obeying. It is emulating the life of the great Exemplar.
For a few hours on Sunday, I will be closer to emulating the great Exemplar than I normally am:
Therefore I give unto you a commandment, to teach these things freely unto your children, saying:
That by reason of transgression cometh the fall, which fall bringeth death, and inasmuch as ye were born into the world by water, and blood, and the spirit, which I have made, and so became of dust a living soul, even so ye must be born again into the kingdom of heaven, of water, and of the Spirit, and be cleansed by blood, even the blood of mine Only Begotten; that ye might be sanctified from all sin, and enjoy the words of eternal life in this world, and eternal life in the world to come, even immortal glory;
For by the water ye keep the commandment; by the Spirit ye are justified, and by the blood ye are sanctified;
So, I guess from now until Sunday morning, I will be praying for mercy to claim me and for angels to be with me. It is going to be just fine.
You Might Like...