If there's one thing I've learned in the last few weeks, it's this:
I stink at waiting.
I have been uncomfortable and Pascal has been low for 3 months. That definitely adds to the difficulty. But the hardest part, I think, is not knowing when he will arrive.
It could have been last month. It might not be til later this month. And while I know he WILL come, I don't know when.
And I'm dying to meet him.
Yes, I want relief from the discomfort.
Yes, I want deliverance from the constant burden.
But most of all I want to meet this darling and see his face and cuddle him all soft and nuzzley against my neck.
I want to get to know his personality and watch him carve his own niche in our family.
I want to see him interact with his siblings and see their lives and habits change as they become his big brothers, big sister.
I am longing for and eagerly anticipating his arrival.
Technically I've been ready for him to arrive since August 3 - hospital bag packed, with his homecoming outfit and soft blankets ready to go - but every day or so I think of something else to do to become even more ready.
I boiled the soothers.
I opened the box of newborn diapers.
I found the playpen sheets.
I peeled the tinfoil cover off the Penaten.
I asked Dad to cover the important but forgettable chores of emptying the dehumidifier and putting out the garbage if I'm in hospital.
And along with all that, I've chafed against the waiting.
Every morning I wake up thinking this might be the day!
Every night I go to sleep thinking this might be the night!
And as tossing night follows humid day I groan.
A few years ago, I read an article that pointed out the best quality to find in a spouse is the ability to suffer well ... and that's not really me. I'm okay when things are going well, and I'm actually pretty good in a short-term crisis. But suffering well? Not my forte.
So when I realized I was turning into little more than a grumble, I asked God for help.
And I heard His great heart laugh as I asked what I could learn from Him in the waiting.
Because He waits for His children always. Like the father of the prodigal son, He waits for us to come to Him. He yearns to shelter us and celebrate with us and welcome us to our long home.
And He has built waiting into our journey too. When we receive salvation, we aren't wooshed into heaven. We aren't magicked into perfect versions of ourselves. Our characters are formed slowly, our Father's traits developed in us through trial and effort. Sloooowly. We wait. And while we wait, we feel it - all of creation, groaning for redemption, aching for deliverance. The dissonance between what we want and where we are is only known in the waiting.
It reminds me of what Paul wrote in Romans 8 when he described waiting for Jesus' return and the redemption of all creation: all creation groans together in the pains of childbirth. The ache of waiting and the groans of longing will be more than worth it - more than worth it! - for the glory that waits.
So maybe the gift in my waiting for Pascal is this reminder: good things are worth waiting for. Jesus will come. And He will redeem this aching creation in the freedom of glory.
So I'll take a breath and try to suffer well in the waiting. Sooner or later, this baby will come - and oh, he will bring so much joy with him.
Remind me to wait in hope, friends.
Thanks for your prayers.