A white antique dresser.
Stacks of the tiniest clothing.
A young man and woman who’ve spent the last seven years becoming husband and wife, whose togetherness has resulted in a miracle, realizing that their identities will forever change to Dad and Mom the moment this new life arrives.
Last night Seth and I knelt on the carpet in William John’s nursery, folding and sorting his miniature wardrobe. Cloth diapers and changing supplies in the top drawer. Newborn to 3-month clothes in the middle drawer. And 6-12 month clothes in the bottom drawer.
It was a simple time of organizing and preparing. But it was a momentous occasion for my heart. A tender moment shared with my life partner, finding a new orientation to our lives that will become our reality soon and change us forever.
In these last days before the baby arrives, I am quiet and reflective, watching, waiting, remembering and anticipating. I let the fullness of my life so far roll around inside of me, like tasting the nuances of a rich-brewed coffee. I remember the sweet laughter, burning lessons, bright adventures, and invigorating freedoms God has granted me so far. I recall the longings and prayers for a child and the joyful tears when Seth and I found out I was pregnant in February. I want to remember the flavors of my life so far, to commit them to memory for the future me to look back on occasionally. And then I consider the still empty unknown that is to come, the aspects of myself I am yet to discover, the dynamics to our relationship yet to develop. The vast possibilities both thrill and terrify, like standing on a high rock ledge before leaping out into the river below.
My identity is secure as God’s beloved daughter and the unique soul that He’s created in me. But my role in this world is about to take on a new dynamic as Mother, which I can only imagine but not yet understand. I do know that when I first hold that baby boy in my arms, I will feel new emotions and convictions well up in my heart, I will never see the world in quite the same light.
I will join in Mary’s song of magnificat, sung by millions of mother hearts through the centuries:
“My soul magnifies the Lord
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.”
And I’m sure I will know the moments of suffering as well, the pains felt by the mother of Christ and every mother throughout time. God grant me strength.
Meanwhile, I will focus on this tender moment. I celebrate the gifts of the past and the gifts to come. But mostly, I rejoice in the gifts of today, this moment. From somewhere deep inside, I begin to sing the ancient song of the woman who is both beloved daughter and loving mother, “My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my savior!”