When you're nine months pregnant, you wake quite a few times in the night. It must be to help prepare the body for the upcoming years of waking with and caring for a young one. I usually wake at least 3 times each night, but last night it must have been more than 5. Each time I awoke, the same country song was in my head. Normally songs only get stuck in my head when I'm awake, but this time, my sleepy brain was playing a broken record of the same Kenny Chesney song.
Just like that you're six years old and you take a nap and you
Wake up and you're twenty-five and your high school sweetheart becomes your wife
You just might miss your babies growing like mine did."
At first, I was mainly frustrated with myself for having a song in my head that kept waking me up, depriving me of sleep. I woke up a little groggy this morning and shuffled through the morning routine. It was slightly disappointing that the contractions I had yesterday had gone away. Pregnancy was making me uncomfortable, and I was ready to be done with it. Then at lunchtime, I had the song come into my mind again, and I decided maybe I should think a little more about it. I think God can speak through country songs. Although they're sometimes sappy and usually blatantly obvious on the meaning they carry, sometimes that's what I need to hear. The message of this was was clear: I needed to pay attention to life, to savor each moment that would be gone before I knew it. Our lives are just a vapor, but they are a vapor packed with amazing substance.
My mind carried me back ten years. My teenage, carefree years ended abruptly when I found I was pregnant with my beautiful daughter, Eva, and then made the journey into marriage with Brandon. In my last teen year, I grew up more than I had in the previous six. Suddenly, I was the one in charge of another life, plus I needed to learn to submit to a husband's will, when I wasn't even sure yet what mine was. God's will wasn't even in my radar, coming from a secular University and high school. The teen years had been full of questioning God, forgetting about Him, and trying to deny Him. The last teen year, He made himself real to me. Those long six years had brought me to a place where He could be My God, and I could decide for myself that I did need him, and he cared for me. He provided for our little family that year in countless ways, and I grew as my daughter did. Just like that, all that growing and learning I had done came to fruition in my transition into motherhood and marriage. Remembering the tough teen years I had walked through made my transition into adulthood very sweet.
Today, I looked at myself at 29 and knew I was coming to the next big change. Those ten years were filled with nursing, diapers, schooling, timeouts, band-aids, tears, and lots of macaroni and cheese. They were also sweetened by the many occasions God continued to provide miraculously for our family, whether we asked for it or not. We never were without a vehicle, a home, food, friends, or a great church family. All of these were brought to us, sometimes literally to our doorstep. It has been a time of hard growth through my own selfishness and wistfulness for life without so much responsibility. Mostly though, when I look at life 4 children later, expecting the fifth and last, I know God has worked His will in me. I need to be ready to move on, and it's so tough, but mostly, I need to remember all the things this stage of life has meant to me as a child of God.
I am pregnant with the future that this little baby will bring with her. I am also pregnant with the past our family has walked through. In the impending delivery, the two will meet briefly, then part ways. We'll leave our birth room as a maturing family with our newborn, and I will be sure not to blink.