I’m perched in the armchair beside her crib. Adorned with a pink bunny and blanket and flowery muslin fitted sheet, the anticipation of her company is almost tangible in this room. It’s a space of the already, but not yet, the believable and the unbelievable. I also have a green bag filled with miniature diapers and a purple polka dotted onesie that make it even more surreal. My carry-on suitcase lies open in my closet ready for my body to give the sign, the go-ahead, that it’s time to move.
The course of labor stretches out before me like a runner at the starting line of a marathon. I envision the long and strenuous race every day now even though it hasn’t begun. My mind is already practicing and strengthening itself for the mental stamina it will take to meet our baby girl at the finish line.
I wait, I grow, I linger in the tension these days.
It’s our nature to want to prepare for the arrival of an unseen baby. We can’t help ourselves. A guest in our home even triggers the same kind of responses- stocked shelves, cleaned counters, fresh linens on the beds, candles burning. At the very least, we try to create a welcoming atmosphere for people coming to stay with us. We ready ourselves and our surroundings for their presence.
It’s obvious, don’t you think, we were made to dwell in and make rooms where hopeful, life-giving expectancy lingers.
Almost instinctively, I find myself drawn to this corner of our house, guestroom turned nursery, to work and create and write in these days leading up to her birth.
It’s like my heart, even with all the unknowns and what-ifs and questions about the future, knows where to find peace and how to settle in it. Go plant yourself in the middle of the chaos, right smack in the in-between, it says.
Sitting in my soon-to-be nursing mama’s armchair I feel enveloped in childlike faith. My eyes have not beheld her perfect face, but as I look around and within me the proof is everywhere…she must be on her way.
However, when it comes to the mysterious movements of God and His everyday arrivals into my world I get all anxious and jittery with what He is or isn’t doing. I find it difficult to rest, work, or be creative with these feelings. It seems that I’m not very hospitable towards the unknown.
As I prop my feet up on the bed in front of my armchair and start to write, I realize God desires for me to also get comfortable with His surprises and never fear the stirrings or the evolutions happening within me, but instead to linger there.
We are called to be people who live with an awareness that He is alive and active even when all is quiet or dark. More importantly, we can make a nest for others to come and perch in His palpable presence with sacred expectation when their life feels all mixed up and weird.
The gifts He is bringing to our doorstep are good, and we can take intentional steps to celebrate them already. We can prepare beautiful rooms where both mystery and truth, answers and questions, unknown and certainty, invisible and visible, the believable and unbelievable are all embraced.
Perhaps, we might find ourselves drawn into such places for the rich, substantive faith it inspires within us and for how it fuels some of the best creativity, work, parenting, relationships, and living we’ve ever known.
Come sit with me here.