dear daughter yet unborn,
today we’ve been together 38 weeks, you inside of me. and i know that soon i’ll see your face and press your soft skin against my own while we soak in the miracle of oxytocin, milk and tears that is promised us. i’m so excited for that. for YOU.
this pregnancy has been smooth and mostly easy. carrying you has felt light and joyful, in body and in spirit. but it’s been eventful, these last 9 months. it feels as though nearly every part of life has been put on the table and subject to reevaluation and upset while you float there warm and enveloped in waters and flesh.
your daddy and i have put all the pieces of our shared family life and marriage out there, sifting and sorting through it all, imagining new possibilities for how we make our life together. we’ve changed our roles, created new rhythms, busted out of boxes, and started some things we’re pretty proud of. we’ve found that we like splitting income-earning and parenting roles pretty evenly, and we hope that we can continue to arrange the pieces to make that possible, so that you get the best of both of us. we’ve been through another round of marriage counseling and emerged with a hope and depth we didn’t previously have. there’s been so much good fruit.
together with our friends and co-leaders the Coopers, we’ve taken every piece of what our ministry is and has done and have laid it on the chopping block, beginning an intentional and measured process of discerning together what God is actually asking of us as two healthy families on mission, and then fearlessly cutting off the parts that no longer fit or work. it’s been long — so much longer than we could have imagined — and emotional and challenging and also encouraging and clarifying and yet. yet it’s all still so very unsettled, at a time when i just want it all to be established. we don’t know what the implications will be for income or vocation, and if i’m honest i have a fair bit of anxiety about those unknowns, and what the outcomes will mean for our financial security, our sense of identity and the calling on your daddy’s life.
meanwhile, we the American people have elected a new president, and i did NOT see it (him) coming. his victory seemed only remotely possible, and so i will never forget the night i laid in bed watching the poll results roll in, at first confident and interested to see the first woman president be elected… and then stunned into near denial as the trend in the numbers shifted and it became evident that it would be Donald Trump that would be carrying away the title of President-Elect the next morning. and, my daughter, he is not what i would have hoped for this nation, he is not a leader i can point to with pride and confidence, happy to be welcoming a daughter into this world under his administration. in fact, there are so many things that his rise to power has stirred up in our country and in the church that at the moment it feels rather impossible to imagine how it will get sorted out into something that is okay again. i look to our King and Father and i think I can see how He is not alarmed or shocked, and that He has good purposes in spite of and through this development, but i believe that what lies ahead will be a sifting and a refining that will be both painful and long. we will be tested.
finally, my dear girl, a very personal dream has been birthed while you’ve been growing inside my womb. i will write to you more about this part later, as your name has significance in telling the story. but it’s about becoming a midwife, one who is with women through their childbearing year. it’s a calling and i’ve finally said yes to it, but the timing sure is funny, isn’t it? because you are coming — so soon! — and that poses certain limitations on taking next steps in pursuit of that calling. you will be one of my teachers and your birth and infancy will undoubtedly be part of my shaping as a midwife. i receive you joyfully in exactly your timing, yet another part of my spirit is absolutely chomping at the bit to get to work on my studies and apprenticeship, and i worry that it will be a dream deferred to the point of discouragement.
so, you see, little one, that there’s very little certain at the moment. the nest into which you will soon be born is shaky and ill-defined. i am praying that this won’t too significantly get in the way of labor beginning or your birth unfolding smoothly. i hope that i will be given eyes of faith, that my heart will rest in full confidence in the stability and unchangeable nature of the Father of Lights, the giver of all good gifts, who does not change like shifting shadows. I choose to rest in Him so that I can offer to you by His presence what I cannot offer out of my own flesh: a soft place to land, a secure fortress in which to hide, and a provision and protection that is sufficient.
i want to tell you, beloved girl, that you can come. i know i’ve told you to stay put until certain t’s are crossed and i’s dotted, but in this moment i tell you, you can come when you are ready. because as unprepared as i may feel, He is prepared for you, and I am leaning against His strong chest. you are so welcome here, and i will catch you.