Normally, I’m not a very patient person. Dan likes to sing the “Have Patience” song to me when I get particularly restless (and he gets an eyeroll from me every time). So when you add pregnancy to the mix, I’m downright jittery with anticipation.
I’m over 9 weeks along, and eagerly looking forward to the 12th week, that special time when I begin the second trimester and am supposed to start feeling better. Thankfully, I seem to be making small improvements each week, so it’s not going to be the magical moment I cross the threshold into the second trimester and suddenly feel better. I’m getting a little relief as I go. But my struggle is with patience, which I’m learning is the number one lesson in pregnancy.
A pregnant woman gets really good at waiting. We’ve got 9 months (well, over that if you really do the math, but let’s not dwell on that too much) to watch our bellies grow, go through weekly, sometimes daily changes, both good and bad, that eventually lead to the great reward, months of sleepless nights! No, of course I mean a baby, but these days, I’m wondering how in the world I’m going to make it.
So I’m depending a lot on God’s grace, in helping me be patient, to be content in the moment. And let me tell you, when you’re puking several times a day and pretty much stuck to the couch for most of the day (Dan jokes that my job right now is the keep the couch from flying away), it’s hard to be very content with life and patient for the next stage. It’s also hard not to be a self-centered whiner.
I find it appropriate that Paul uses childbirth as an example of the suffering that we Christians endure while awaiting Jesus’ return:
“For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies” (Romans 8:22-23).
Perhaps by keeping my eyes on that prize, the ultimate one that awaits all believers, this time too will be endurable: “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Romans 8:18).
And the answer might just be hope, which is another gift of the Spirit: “But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience” (Romans 8:25).