All The Days Ordained For Her...

Psalm 139:13-16
"For you created her inmost being; 
You knit Ava together in my womb.
We praise you because she is fearfully and wonderfully made; 
Your works are wonderful, 
We know that full well.
Ava's frame was not hidden from you
When she was made in the secret place.
When she was woven together in the depths of the earth, 
Your eyes saw her unformed body.
All the days ordained for Ava
were written in your book
before one of them came to be."

As you can imagine, I have been up this morning, tossing and turning, wrestling with my thoughts, and trying to wrap my mind around today and tomorrow and the next 20+ years of my life!  Until now, I have managed to hold much of my emotion at bay, not letting my heart get ahead of my mind and forcing myself to wait as patiently as I can.  This morning, I'm not sure I can hang on much longer!  I simply want to know if I am spending the night in the hospital tonight or if we will have to wait a little longer.  It's torture for this weary soul :)

Physically, I feel good.  I've gotten lots of rest as of late and I've enjoyed being out and about, getting a little exercise.  Yes, I'm ready to be done.  I long to have "myself" back again, shopping has confirmed what I already knew- I want to stop looking at maternity racks and get back in real clothes again!!  My back needs some relief, my feet are begging to carry a lighter load and my bladder just needs a break :) Yes, it feels like I'm definitely overdue and yet I'm not in terrible shape either.  No, my battle is not with my physical body at this point, it's all between my ears.  I'm more of a mental case today than I've ever been.  

I just want to meet her.  I just want to hold her.  I just want to smell her.  I just want to feel her soft skin.  I want Travis to know her.  I want my family to see her.  I want to bring her home.  

I want, I want, I want and I want!  Oh and I want it all NOW :) How does that sound?  

I'm starting to see that I'm not nearly as patient as I thought I was.  I know, don't gasp all at once.  I'm sure that is quite evident at this point.  Clearly the Lord is working my character flaws out, even in this.  I feel like an antsy 3 year old who is hung up on getting something and who can't rest until they have it!  And that bugs me about myself.  In my pride, I wanted to think I was more mature than that :) Again, hold your laughter.  Instead of being patiently wise and exhibiting grace under pressure, I feel like I'm a dam that's holding back a rush of water with a measly piece of gum.  How's that for a picture?  I'm hanging by a thread, waiting for the line to break, and expecting myself to fall into a puddle of tears and emotion.  Wow, Travis has a lot to look forward to, huh?  Really, in my own strength, I'm just flat out anxious.  

BUT,  fortunately I know myself better than that.  I've been here before.  Not necessarily 4 days overdue, but I've been in this place still.  Walking through that last semester of college; Wondering if I'd ever get married; Questioning how we'd ever pay all the bills; Praying for an answer that never seemed to come; Or longing for a healing that wasn't meant to be...

Yes, I can do "anxious" with the best of them.  I'm practically a pro at it.  And yet, I also know how far it gets me.  Nowhere.  As in, right back where I started.  Being anxious is not helpful at all. It offers no hope, it solves nothing and it only makes things worse.  So why, if I know that, do I find myself here again and again?  I guess because I'm human.  And in my humanity, I'll never have all my i's dotted and my t's crossed.  My to-do-list will never quite be done.  My thoughts will not always be taken captive.  And so, rather than throw my hands up in the air with a giant headache (been there, done that too) I have learned the hard way to RUN and not walk to the one source of rest and peace....and no, it's not the mall.  

I've learned to press myself into God's word.  To hold it in my hands, pouring over the words and the promises, seeking truth.  I've learned to ask for a peace that I cannot understand or receive, apart from Him.  And not only ask for it, but believe that He can and will give it.  If I could tell you all the ways that lesson has been taught to me, this post would never end!   Always, as I open His word and go back to those familiar places, His words unfold before me.  My heart is corrected, I see the error of my anxious and often disobedient ways, and I experience His gentle Hand, drawing me back to truth and wiping the lies I've believed away.  

He isn't harsh with me, but His truth does convict.  I don't spend time in His word and leave feeling condemned.  It doesn't work that way.  I go to His word, bound by the chains and ties that my anxiety has produced, and I leave feeling free, undone, released.  Condemnation brings guilt and shame, but conviction brings understanding and change.  

Paul reminds us in Romans 8:1-3, 

"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.  For what the law was powerless to do...God did by sending his own be a sin offering."

His word is not a nice reminder, a pretty prose, or just a pleasant thought.  It's the living, active Word of the Lord and it cuts straight to the marrow and bone with it's power (Hebrews 4:12).  It can be trusted because it is straight from the mouth of the Lord.  It is His love letter to us, His guide for living a life that pleases Him and sets us free.  And I am living proof of its' power.  I am telling you that there is no wisdom in me that I have not learned apart from God's word.  Nothing that is of value has not been demonstrated or confirmed by Him and by His word.  Nothing.  I say all of this, not because I'm married to a Pastor or because it's something I grew up hearing, but because I have tested it, I have lived it and I have experienced it's power.  It is life to me and in times like this, it is the only thing I can hang on to that is trustworthy and secure.  

I don't know how Ava's story will unfold.  I don't know if I'll be in the hospital tonight or induced tomorrow.  I don't know what kind of labor I'll have or how long it will last.  I don't know what she'll look like, I don't know if she'll be healthy, and I frankly don't even know for sure that she's still a girl!!  Stranger things have happened...but Lord help me if she's not :) That's a lot of pink I'd have to un-do!  

But I do know that she is fearfully and wonderfully made.  I know that she was woven together, part by part, organ by organ and feature by feature, with the very hands that created this world.  I know that her unformed body has been seen and known by Him and I know that her days are ordained for her, even now.  For everything I DON'T know, He knows infinitely more.  And for this anxious mind, that has to be enough.  

That's the state of my mind this morning.  It's rough, it's real and it's a little messy too.  But it's honest and I'm choosing to place my hope in Him while I wait.  Our appointment is at 2:15 today and I would love your prayers as we hear the latest progress report and plan....don't think I haven't prepared myself to hear all kinds of things!  I don't know when I'll be able to update the blog again, unless of course I'm right back home, but you can watch my twitter feed for some details :) I'll try not to leave you hanging!  I'll leave you with two passages that I am carrying with me all day today and through the weekend...They are my source of truth and hope!!  I can't wait to introduce you to Ava, hopefully soon and very soon now :)

Psalm 31:14-15

"But I trust in you, O Lord; 
I say, "You are my God."
My times are in your hands..."

Psalm 33:20-22

"We wait in hope for the Lord; 
He is our help and our shield.
In Him our hearts rejoice, 
For we trust in His holy name.
May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, 
Even as we put our hope in you."


Tales of a Peanut said...

What a beautiful post! I'll be praying that Ava's birthday will be very very soon!

Rebecca Jo said...

You couldnt have put it any better!!!

So anxious for you!!!

Michelle Simpson Photos said...

Can't wait!!

amy said...

what a sweet post!!! praying for you guys!

The France Family said...

I'm so excited for you and your family!

I will be praying for you and baby Ava!

Anonymous said...

Bless you, Stephanie and Travis. You will soon see your daughter and realize this is the EASY part, just ask mom and dad. Peggy & Ron, can't remember my password, now who's excited?

Anonymous said...

Yay! Just saw your Twitter, going in tonight! We'll be praying. Love you. Jenny

Amanda Hoyt said...

Love the post and can't wait to "meet" sweet Ava.
Hugs and prayers,

Andrea said...

It's my first visit to your blog...but after that post I can HARDLY wait to meet that precious baby too! :) I hope she decides to arrive verrrry soon!

Miz Jean said...

Hang in there, Steph! This is going to be such a wonderful day for you, even if there are some trying moments.

Aimee said...

Great post Stephanie! Praying for you, Travis, Ava, the doctors & nurses! Hope this day is wonderfully blessed for all of you!!!