Never have I more fully understood the concept of being a vessel than during pregnancy. Of course. It makes sense. I'm growing a human. There's a life inside me, not just my own, being sustained by me and my daily decisions. Drink enough water. Eat the right foods. Take my vitamins. Try to rest (ha). It goes without saying that my body is a vessel for this growing baby. And yet this pregnancy has taught me a whole new level of this idea as it relates to being used by God.
While I am a vessel for my unborn child, watching and experiencing my body undergo miraculous and often crazy changes, I've learned my place. I can do my best to take care of myself and my body and my unborn baby, but there's still an element of this being completely out of my hands. Oh yes, you can only imagine how this control-freak has had to be put in her place learning this lesson. Needless to say, it's been on repeat for 9 months now.
Though I cannot wait to hold her in my arms, I have not been fashioning her with my own hands. While I can dream of kisses, snuggles, making memories and family traditions yet to come, I have not ordained the days of her life. We've had ultra sounds and even a few 3-D images to give us a sneak peek of her precious face but I've not been able to see her unborn body. I often wonder will she have hair? What color will her eyes be? Will she look like her daddy or maybe more like me? It's not only fun to wonder about but yet another reminder of just how little I actually have to do with this creation of God. Sure, we've contributed DNA and genetic codes but I didn't get to dictate my hazel eyes or her dad's blue eyes. No more than I didn't get to choose, plan or predict that my sweet Eli would sovereignly look like he shares my genetics too. It's amazingly mind blowing when I take it all in and recognize my role.
You see, I prayed to become a mother. I begged God for a child. My entire journey to and through motherhood has been nothing short of a complete faith walk. God has answered these prayers and yet He's also reminded me how much it has required my full and complete trust. Reminding me through adoption, miscarriage and now full term pregnancy that I truly am nothing more than a vessel. It doesn't require passivity. This isn't for the faint of heart. It demands my surrender. It expects my trust. It requires my faith and belief that His ways are higher than mine. That He alone is working it all out for the good. That I cannot step in, intervene or do anything within my human power that would supersede His sovereign plan. That is what I'm learning. To truly be a vessel. To let go of the death grip of control I so often inflict on that which I want to fix, do, be and simply let Him.
What's even more mind blowing is to stop and consider how each day of this pregnancy, everyday of my own life, was planned for me long ago as He was fashioning and forming my own unborn body. He knew how hard headed, stubborn and controlling I would be. And He's loved me regardless.
This week I was reminded of a familiar yet promising verse:
"He who begin a good work in you is faithful to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus." Phil. 1:6
I don't know when she's coming. I don't know the day or time or circumstance surrounding her birth. I do know God knows and I trust He is faithfully working to complete the good work He began 9 months ago. I trust in His perfect timing, despite my impatience. I wait knowing the only thing I can do is be but a vessel for Him and my baby. He's not finished with her yet, and thank God, He's not finished with me yet either!