A few weeks ago, I felt on the verge of throwing up at all times. It happened in the car a lot and also while walking and breathing at the same time. I also felt like napping in public places and being mean to my husband 100% of the time. This is not normal, you see, because I never nap in public.
After a few days of this heightened crazy, I decided to test the symptoms. I did it on a Monday morning at 5:30am, when I’m least prepared for life-altering news.
And then it happened. The symptoms came back pregnant. Clear-as-day, are-you-kidding-me pregnant.
An impossible blue line.
I walked the early-morning test over to Mike in the other room. We sat down on the bed and felt completely overwhelmed for a full 10 minutes. Both of us cried silent tears without fully knowing why, like our eyes had to water in response to a life that was changing.
We asked each other: “Are we even allowed to have a baby?” “Does God know about this?”
To answer your curious questions: No, we weren’t trying. No, we weren’t expecting it. And “ready” is not a word we typically use to describe ourselves.
But that Monday morning moved on anyways. I had to blow dry my hair and pour untouched coffee down the drain, two things I truly hate to do. We both went to work and sat at computers and wrote e-mails and answered phone calls. Mike and I kept sending each other the same text message back and forth:
Mike: “Is this for real?”
Bekah: “Is this for real?”
Mike: “Is this for real?”
… you get the point.
Life changed so loudly on that early Monday morning that I was sure others must have heard it happen. But they didn’t. No one knew. We carried the secret for awhile.
I took bathroom breaks every nine seconds and ate like a person who had never experienced a carbohydrate before.
Pregnancy is confusing because it makes you sick and tired and mostly crazy at the exact moment you must adjust to the biggest change of your life. I don’t really get that part of creation-design, but I believe God is fully aware of the irony.
It’s really easy to feel more scared than excited at that moment the magic line fades blue. And if I’m honest, the whole first week “the news” started seeping into our brains and emotions and plans, all I could think about were words spoken over us by road-weary parents:
“Good thing you are traveling now, because that all goes away when you have kids.”
“Must be nice to be spontaneous and ride a scooter. Just wait until you have kids.”
“You think you’re tired now? Just wait until you have kids.”
“Wait as long as possible to have kids. Seriously. Have fun while you can.”
At first, it’s easy to fixate on the sacrifices of parenthood without knowing exactly what benefits you get in exchange: squishy cheeks and baby toes, short nights and something called “teething,” a little person you love so much, but who asks so much of you.
Ambiguous adventure always frightens me in an important way. If it’s not a bit scary, then it’s not a real adventure. And yet I nearly talk myself out of adventure every single time, asking the same question: “Will this be worth it?”
I’ve asked that question at airports and tattoo parlors, at the base of mountains, and on a safari in the bush of Africa. I’ve asked it while thinking about time or money or emotional energy, while staring at clothing marked at full-price. I regularly ask this while waiting in line, while wearing a “good outfit” on a Saturday, and always, ALWAYS before going out on a week night.
Right now I’m asking it as a sorta-soon-to-be-parent, because even that word, parent, makes me a little sweaty in the armpits.
I’m not brave enough to be excited yet.
But maybe one of the only ways adults can grow into bravery is to be responsible for someone else, to love something fragile, to be a steward of a person with unmapped potential.
Maybe the bravest thing you can do is love a person with a will of their own, someone who could thrill you or disappoint you, someone who will never know the full weight and depth and cost of your love.
Maybe we were designed as parents to catch a glimpse of our brave God.
Maybe we were made to have kids, just to know why it’s important that God calls Himself Father.
And maybe it’s okay that bravery doesn’t come naturally, but that it’s parented into us by God himself.
Right now, Mike and I are adjusting, talking, planning. We aren’t selling the shcooter. Mike still refuses to own a smartphone and we haven’t decided if a second car is a good idea yet. I don’t have a stance on varieties of diapers or parenting techniques or strollers that can go the distance. I just heard yesterday that you’re not supposed to eat hot dogs while pregnant. Fortunately, I don’t like hot dogs.
I’m on the verge of excitement, which actually means I’m scared and nervous. But the good news is that I have the best adventure partner. He has accepted my pound-for-pound challenge, which means he is drinking a lot of protein shakes these days.
Above all, we have a really good Father, one who is never far away, one who already knows the way ahead because He orchestrated it in advance.
He always knows exactly what to do.
In fact, He knew the secret before He even shared it with us on that early Monday morning.
He is brave, my Dad.
And I want to be just like Him.