Friday, June 5, 2015

Recovery in the Bible (RIB)


Unplanned parenthood was my burning bush. Finding myself pregnant at age 43 after 20 years being married without children -- that was my burning bush! I didn’t have a stutter of my speech, but I sure did stammer when it came to pregnancy, always had. My fear of pregnancy was huge. Monumental, And lifelong. For me, pregnancy was synonymous with obesity, and obesity was synonymous with the demise of a marriage. I got those ideas first-hand, watching what happened to my parents. My mother, reportedly, gained weight when she was pregnant with me, still more with each of my brothers. Early in my childhood, I knew something was wrong, because everyone laughed at my mother.  But it wasn’t until high school that I realized something was REALLY wrong, because my parents, unlike any of my friends’ parents, slept in separate bedrooms.

Somehow I synthesized all that into a tremendous fear of pregnancy and parenthood. I could barely say the word “pregnancy” out loud. So when I found myself pregnant, I was more than reluctant to accept God’s call. I remember writing about my feelings -- it was actually a lot like writing about my personal version of a stutter. Writing this helped me decide what I was meant to do:

I Reminded Me of Moses. Writing all this down reminded me of Moses. “Oh God, You are kidding -- please!” I felt like saying, “I have zero interest and/or aptitude for this, but You want me -- You want us -- to be parents? You’ve got to be kidding!”

But God was not kidding. And, thankfully, I knew it. It was like the burning bush. It was like Jonah and Elizabeth and the Virgin Mary (except I was not a virgin) -- all those people in the Bible being asked to do what they considered impossible. And through their doing, showing me that, with God, all things are possible. After my husband took me for a sonogram, I went home to sing to the little lima bean I had just seen growing inside me. I had a persistent urge to sing one particular hymn to that little person, and I could not shake the urge to sing it. But I didn’t know where it was in my old hymnal. So, when I finally found it and dusted it off, I opened it to the very song I had I mind (this is a fact that never ceases to amaze me). Here is the verse for which I was looking, which I sang over and over again to our little burning bush:

Breathe through the heats of our desires,
Thy coolness and Thy balm.
Let sense be dumb, let flesh retire,
Breathe Through the earthquake, wind, and fire
O still, small voice of calm.

In all the turmoil of the moment, I knew that God was telling me to stop and simply listen. What I heard was the silence of eternity -- and the still, small voice of God. I felt touched and chosen, intimately, by God. To this day, I treasure these things and ponder them in my heart.

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