It’s absolutely amazing how God has revealed himself to us these last few months. Sometimes it’s in quiet whispers as I look out the window or soak in the smell of a giggling ponytail bouncing on my lap. Other times, I swear He has been right there in the room, very loudly telling us, “I am here.”
Even in the weeks leading up to our first ultrasound, I feel God was whispering in an effort to prepare my heart, even though I had no idea what was to come. I vividly remember sitting on the couch with Jeff a few days before the ultrasound, telling him that sometimes I had a small feeling we might have a child with special needs simply because I thought Emma would be so awesome with him or her. Jeff quickly dismissed the idea—and so did I—assuming it was nothing more than “third-child paranoia" and nerves.
As I’ve mentioned before, we also decided to find out the sex of our baby this time—Jeff’s idea—and I admit I was pretending to be more excited about it than I was. It honestly didn’t matter to me. I also have never been a huge fan of saying, “As long as it’s healthy” simply because what if the baby wasn’t healthy? What if she had 9 fingers instead of 10? Did it matter? Would you not love the baby the same? I can honestly say that those words never sat right with me…especially now.
On the day of our ultrasound, Jeff and I were on the phone (he was meeting me there), and I asked him if he was excited. He said he was, and I teased him about the baby being difficult so that we wouldn’t be able to find out the sex. But then in all seriousness, I said, “We do need to remember what this ultrasound is really about. It’s not about girl or boy—although that is bonus information—it is about our baby and his or her health.” He agreed, and we hung up as I arrived at the ultrasound facility.
Now don’t get me wrong, the information we received in that ultrasound room took both of us completely by surprise. I plan to write about that experience in the future, but I can tell you I will never forget Jeff’s reaction. Watching a heart breaking before your very eyes is an image you can’t escape. The red cheeks, the confused eyes, the nervous hands…it’s like it happened yesterday. I will never forget that night -- ever -- even though I was in total shock. Even today, the reality of it all surprises me and catches me off guard as we go about our daily routine. Sometimes I think that is a sign of pure acceptance, while other times I wonder if it’s God giving my heart a break.
So it’s not like I had this “I already knew” moment, but as I look back, I can hear the whispers. The small preparations He made. The way He opened my heart to His possibilities, His plan—a plan that was so far removed from mine.
And while I have lots of “yelling” moments to tell you about as well (stay tuned!), I have learned to listen closely for His whispers.
Sometimes they provide what I feel might be very real information, but most of the time, they just provide a whole lot of comfort when I need it the most. Sometimes they come from a little girl who stops mid-eating to quietly pray for her sister’s “sick legs,” and other times they come from another little girl who stops mid-play to announce in her proudest (and loudest!) voice that she is going to be a big sister.
No matter the volume of His voice, I am trying to listen hard these days…and that usually means ignoring the world a little bit.
In my hallway, a framed image reads:
“Make time for the quiet moments as God whispers and the world is loud.”
I am still learning to listen, to drown out the other voices, and I am far from perfect. Before this experience, I admit that I would pick and choose when I followed God’s lead. I'm sure He has tried to tell me a lot these last few years, but life is busy, and well, it’s easy to get caught up in the meaningless jibber-jabber that is all around us. I can only imagine what I've missed, the murmurs of Truth I've ignored.
But now, it is different. Everything is different. I am different.
I am listening.
"Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know."
Jeremiah 33:3 NIV
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
“You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.”
Psalm 73:24 NIV