I left work yesterday for my 9.5 week ultrasound feeling much more cautious than optimistic. With it being a lunch appointment, I knew I would be coming back afterwards unless something went wrong. I grabbed my laptop just in case. I hopped in my car and noticed my gas tank almost on E. I could make it to the appointment, but would need gas right afterwards. I filled up. A few months ago, my boss had transitioned to a new role and I have a new boss now. I had yet to program his number into my cell phone. I did that on the way. Three small gestures that most people wouldn’t think twice about, but I had done them very purposefully. I knew that if something were to go wrong at the appointment (baby measuring smaller than expected, no heartbeat, etc) that I would want to go straight home…and that my husband would need the number to call my boss. I chided myself and my lack of faith, but then a familiar question came across my mind: what is it that I should have faith in regarding this process? If faith is being sure of what I hope for and certain of what I cannot see, then how could I possibly have faith that this pregnancy will result in a living, breathing, screaming, precious baby? There is NO way I can be CERTAIN of that. I am hopeful, but I am not certain that those hopes will come to fruition. Am I wrong? Should I be certain? It’s a question I’ve been asking myself, God, and even a few trusted Christian friends. What exactly are we called to have FAITH in? I’m realizing the only thing, or rather the only person, I can have true faith in is God Himself, not in anything He may or may not do in this life.
As I thought about the impact of my statement, I began to realize that having ‘faith’ in God doing a particular thing that we want Him to do really isn’t ‘faith’ at all. There is no way we can be certain that God will give us all of our heart’s desires. In fact, I am certain that there are desires (even really good healthy desires) that we will never see here on this earth. When I was talking to my husband about this the other day he reminded me that this is how we recognize our longing for heaven. As a Christian I had never really understood a ‘longing’ for Heaven. I prayed that God would allow me to remain on earth long enough to graduate, get married, have sex, have children, see my children grow up, be at my children’s weddings, be at my grandchildren’s weddings, etc. It wasn’t until we lost our first child that I truly understood a longing for Heaven. I will admit that in the early stages of grief that this was more of a depressed version than a healthy version of a longing for Heaven, but a longing nonetheless. Then a few months ago I was listening to CS Lewis’ audio version of Mere Christianity when he put those thoughts into words and said that most Christians don’t recognize their longing for Heaven even if they have it…that a longing for Heaven is that hole in your heart whenever life isn’t exactly all you had hoped it would be. Our hearts are designed for a perfect life with God and our lives on earth will never live up to that expectation. Since God is not in the business of giving us desires that He has no intention of fulfilling, we must realize that certain desires of ours were not meant to be fulfilled during our life on earth but rather in Heaven. Perfect love. Perfect peace. Perfect understanding. The things we experience on earth are simply imperfect copies of what awaits us in Heaven. Recognizing that gap is what shows us our true desire, which is a perfect relationship with God only to be fulfilled in Heaven. It is that perfect relationship in which we can have faith: Faith that He will never leave or forsake us, faith that one day we will see Him face to face and live eternally with Him. Of those things, I have no doubt. I realized that while I may feel completely unfaithful at times, the fact that I remain faithful in those things is all that matters.
The ultrasound began and our 9 week old baby was right where s/he should be, moving around, heart beating away. Perfect size. Perfect heart rate. I am so thankful for this gift.