Tuesday, December 02, 2008

In Utero

"after the storm comes the calm; after crisis sometimes it is as if we've been reborn...the birth of your son will be another BIG change...As you hold him in your womb, perhaps you are realizing how you've been held in God's womb, and as you hold and care for your vulnerable little one, Jesus' words about only being able to enter the Kingdom as a very small child or infant, will have a newer and richer meaning. As you hold him, I pray your knowledge and experience of being held also grows!"

-From Brother Dan, a friend on Beliefnet.com, in response to "Having a Baby Changes Everything"

"As you hold him in your womb, perhaps you are realizing how you've been held in God's womb..."

Those words have stayed with me in the last few days since I first read them. As I've considered the events of the last few months, and looked over the many things that have happened that have far exceeded my hopes, I can say that I have known the warmth, shelter, and protection of being in "God's womb". I can say truly that, as with the child growing in my womb, nothing has come into my life that is not directly from God. Nothing that was devised to harm me or my son in any way has come to fruition, and my son and I have been abundantly blessed.

As I look back at the last few months, I can see that it has indeed been as much a time of growth for me as it has been for Jaden. Like Jaden, my faith was definitely in existence, but in a somewhat embryonic stage when I first left my husband and faced the horizon of the unknown. With time, nurturing, and experience, my faith has grown stronger and more viable, just as my son has.

I remember making a "vision board" a month or so after I left my husband. On this board, I glued a couple of prayers that meant something to me, as well as images that symbolized the life I wanted for my son and me. There were two things that were important to me at the time, and I put them on the board and trusted that if they were meant to be, then they would be.

One, I wanted Jaden and I to have a place of our own. I knew we had a haven with my family, but it was important to me that we have a place that is ours, where we could start our own life together. Part of that was pride...I did not want, at the age of 33, to be living with my parents again. Part of that, though, was also the simple fact that it was important to me. That alone was enough.

I became connected with a few resources in the area, and through them, I learned about the apartment I am now living in. It's a nice apartment, very cozy, perfect for the two of us. It is one I can afford even on my limited budget, and it is one that came to me in the most wonderful of ways. When the security deposit and rent were presenting an initial hurdle, my landlord told me that she believed I "needed to be here", though she couldn't say why. She was more than willing to work with me on the financial issues, and knowing that I had left an abusive marriage and now had a restraining order on my husband did not scare her off. We made arrangements, I signed the lease...and money came through that allowed me to pay both the first month's rent and the security deposit in one fell swoop.

As my pregnancy progressed, it became more and more important to me that my son and I were safe from my now estranged husband. I had heard, and witnessed, many horror stories about abusers who just do not go away, and they live to make the lives of their exes, and the children, difficult. The abuse continues long after the relationship is over. I feared this. I dreaded it. I feared for my safety. I feared for my son's safety, and for the future he would have if his father were part of his life. Day in and day out, I prayed...pleaded...for God's continual protection and intervention on our behalf, and that the day would come when we would not have to deal with my ex at all.

I am happy to say, we have once again been well insulated against the hardship that could have so easily been ours. All threats made against me by my ex came to nothing. He is not part of our lives in any capacity, and I am saying in faith that he never will be. My son has a Father in heaven, and He has been our advocate and defender throughout everything that has happened. Things have transpired in the last six months that I never would have imagined, because I had been told they were next to impossible. Yet, I have seen these things happen...things that not only kept danger at arm's length, but removed it entirely...and I can attest to God's sustaining and miraculous grace.

I can tell you, we have lacked for nothing in these months. Certainly, there have been some obstacles, but none that have been insurmountable. I have been given everything I need to nurture the life growing inside of me, spiritually and physically. From the beginning, my son has thrived, despite my health issues of the last year, and the stress that existed early in my pregnancy. I have had the joy of being immersed in a wonderful community of believers and friends. I have learned to pray for my son, preparing the way for his entry into this world and laying the foundation for his spiritual health.

Another item on my vision board was a car. When I put the picture up there, I had no idea just how badly I would come to need it. A couple of weeks ago, upon taking my car into the shop for an inspection to explain a "weird grinding noise", I learned that my car was essentially a death trap waiting to be sprung. The cost of repairs far exceeded what I could afford, so the car was parked, and I've been driving my mom's car. I needed a vehicle of my own, though. I shared this need with some friends at my home fellowship group, and just waited to see what would happen.

Once again, God came through in ways I would not have foreseen. My friend and pastor, Tim, called me today and told me he had found a car for me. A car was being provided for me, and the only cost I needed to be concerned with was the cost of plates and insurance. Amazing! I spent the better part of the afternoon in awe of how God had once again provided for my son and me, humbled by His grace.

As I consider the idea of being kept safe and secure in God's womb, I can say with certainty that I do feel a sense of being insulated, nourished, protected, and sheltered, all the while given everything I need to grow stronger and become the woman He made me to be. I will be giving birth to my son very soon, and I believe God is birthing something in me as well. These last few months, difficult as they have been, have also been months of exquisite joy as I've been bathed in God's grace and love. I wouldn't trade these times for anything. I needed to grow and prepare for my son, as much as he needed to grow and be prepared for this world. We are both all the better for the time spent in the womb.

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