God Wants to Meet You in the Middle
I have looked forward to motherhood for as long as I can remember. When I was a little girl I would push baby dolls around in little toy strollers all day long and force my little sister to play house (she always had to play the daughter, of course).I have always adored my mother and grandmother, both of whom I’ve been lucky enough to have as a major part of my life. Motherhood has been a little seed of desire that has only grown with age.
I’m now an elementary school teacher and my love for my students reminds me of the love I have for future children that I don’t even have yet. However, the season I’m in isn’t quite yet motherhood — rather, I’m in the season of “anticipating motherhood”.
Seasons of anticipation can come with mixed emotions and can often be conflated with waiting seasons. However, I’d like to argue that they’re a little bit different.
The Oxford Dictionary defines “waiting” as, “(n.) the action of staying where one is or delaying action until a particular thing happens”. Anticipation, on the other hand, is defined as, “(n.) the action of anticipating something; to regard something as probable; expectation or prediction”.
There is a nuanced difference between waiting and anticipating. Sometimes seasons of waiting are necessary — sitting tight without the specific promise of something to come. There is goodness and grace that comes with seasons of waiting. But with motherhood, I’ve found myself more specifically in a season of anticipation — expecting a probable outcome and expecting the Lord to work to make something come about.
That said, there are two important things to clarify.
1) Nowhere in the Bible does it promise that we will all have the gift of motherhood. The brokenness of this world means that not everyone can be a mother. If you are in that season, I ache with you and Jesus is with you in that deep heartache.
2) Jesus certainly shouldn’t be regarded as a magic eight ball, waiting to give us the wishes we speak to Him. Yet, God is a God who knows us and loves us. He knows our deepest desires, and very often will put our deepest desires in our hearts.
That clarified, there are also two reasons that I’ve felt convicted to view this season of my life as one of “anticipation” rather than “waiting”.
1) My husband and I feel very clearly that God has placed being parents in our hearts. This means, even if at some point we are unable to naturally conceive, we are committed to adopting. Thus, it’s reasonable for me to expect to be a mother, one way or another, eventually.
2) I think motherhood is a season for which we can, and should, anticipate! We can use our season of anticipation to prayerfully and intentionally prepare our hearts for motherhood, and God delights in partnering with us to do so.
God has placed a few reminders on my heart as I anticipate motherhood:
Jesus is near and He hears us.
God is not a God of distance. He intimately knows our hearts and desires. Jesus died to give us the gift of the Holy Spirit indwelling us! He is near and He cares. He cares about the things we think are silly and He cares about the things that we think are too painful even to say out loud. We are not alone in our wanting.
While we can’t control our future, we have been given access to the power of prayer.
While we can’t control “exacts” and “specifics” with our children (truly with everything from boy/girl, timing, hair color…the list goes on), God has invited us to present our requests before Him. Jesus wants to hear your “oh that’s too specific” truest heart wishes. In the same way I’ve told my closest friends my secret hopes, God invites us to share those with Him too.
Children are gifts from God for us to steward, not to own.
The minute my husband and I decided we were in a season of being open to having children, waves and waves of worry came to my mind. It felt like every few days I thought of a new way our future children could get hurt or something could go wrong. Then, I practically heard God audibly say: “Your children are not your own”.
Our children, if we are blessed with them, are gifts from God. While they are our responsibility and blessing to raise up, love, and nurture; our children belong to the Lord.
It was such an obvious reality, but such a significant mindset shift. I was holding my children so tightly (before we even had any!) that I was overwhelmed with the feeling of responsibility and pressure. God invites us to place that weight on His shoulders.
We are not alone.
The enemy works most effectively in isolation, but God comforts through community. I have found so much joy and peace from sharing my wonders, hopes, and worries with my sisters in Christ. There is such joy and richness to be found in sharing vulnerably with your people.
God loves you and He knows you. There is a special sweetness that comes from inviting God into the whole process — the season of anticipation and when dreams have been realized.
|Arianna Li lives with her husband in Nashville, TN. She currently works as a teacher in a homeschool co-op, has a strong passion for community building, and is regularly involved in her church. Arianna can also be found hosting friends for dinner, baking for loved ones, and going on neighborhood walks.