Wait. What? I sit there stunned and confused weighing what I've just heard from my doctor. I can't be pregnant. I know this for a fact because 3 years ago, after my daughter was born prematurely when my uterus almost gave out, the surgeon removed any possibility of me ever having kids again. Like they literally told me I had a zero % chance of having kids again. And I'm quick to tell this to the man dressed in scrubs sitting across from me. "I can't be pregnant," I say. "It's impossible."
He gives me a sideways glance over the top of his thick black-framed glasses, a look that suggests he's somewhat annoyed I'm arguing with his diagnosis, and, a-little-too-casually for my liking, he exhales and says, "Well, it must be a miracle then."
Now this is where things get a little bit hairy. Everything went blurry and the next thing I know I'm home with Ryan, my husband, trying to convince him that we should place this baby in an adoptive home. Feeling overwhelmed and completely unequipped for a 5th child, I try to phrase my argument well. But Ryan, who was equally overwhelmed but not nearly as crazy, isn't having any of it. He is appalled that I would even suggest such a thing. Feeling temporarily overwhelmed is not a legitimate reason to put a baby up for adoption, he tells me. But I am not deterred. I am angry. Angry at this curve-ball. Angry at myself for feeling weak. Angry at Ryan for being so calm. Angry at my uterus, which apparently decided to start working again. "We know so many wonderful people who would love this baby," I whine. "We just can't do this. I can't do this. But there are so many others that could. Let's give the baby to someone who can handle this."
And that's when I woke up. Yes, it was just a dream. Although when I told Ryan about it later that morning, I definitely called it a nightmare. I wasn't upset because I'd been pregnant in the dream. I was upset because of my response to being pregnant. I couldn't believe how easily I'd been willing to put our miracle-baby up for adoption. I mean, what? Just WHAT. Honestly, I was scolding my dream-self for giving up so easily.
And then, as is usually the case with me and dreams, I forgot about it. Until that afternoon when a certain package arrived in the mail from Similac. I half-laughed, half-cried when I opened the box and saw 2 cans of infant formula with a card that said "Welcome to parenthood!" WHAT. IS.HAPPENING. I mean, seriously, what are the chances. It was almost too much. Almost.
Allow me to give you a little back-story: In January, while on an anniversary trip with my husband, I felt the Lord speak. It wasn't audible and it wasn't solicited - I wasn't in the middle of praying or reading my Bible. But once you've been walking with the Lord for a while, you begin to recognize his voice in the ordinariness of life. And so out of nowhere, and yet crystal clear, I felt the Lord tell me that this was a year for new things. The word "new" became my anthem for 2018.
When we came back from our trip, Ryan and I were ready to hit the ground running. But instead of running, it felt like we screeched to a halt. Our regular rhythms and routines were interrupted. Nothing happened, mind you. But again, after you've been walking with the Lord for some time, you begin to recognize when he's moving. Not in big, obvious ways; just simply that he's moving -- moving his hand from one thing and placing it on another. And it's been uncomfortable. I've cried the ugly cry. It's felt heavy and lonely and I've become strangely quiet. Because, honestly, I'm not sure what else to do when life feels unsettled. When we've been asked to step out of one thing without knowing where to step into. These unknowns and in-betweens. It's where we have been living these last few months.
And then in the middle of it all, a strange dream about getting pregnant. A dream I couldn't shake for weeks.
Finally, I asked the Lord about it. It's like he'd been waiting for me to ask him because I immediately sensed a clear answer from him: Elita, I told you that this was a year for new things. New beginnings. And there is always an element of pain and discomfort that comes when you are about to birth something new. You can try to resist this. You can try to give this new thing away to other people - people that you feel can handle it or are better qualified for it. Or you can trust me with the process and receive it.
Over the next several days, God confirmed every bit of that word - down to minute details - through people and through Scripture.
I don't think I would have shared this little saga except for the fact that I've talked to quite a few women lately who seem to be in a similar place in their lives. Like me, they feel that they are in this strange in-between season where they don't know what God is doing. Only that he is doing something new.
So if I could encourage anyone who finds themselves in unfamiliar territory, I'd say this: KEEP PRESSING IN and KEEP PRESSING ON. Don't do what I did in my dream - don't try to resist this new thing that God is birthing in you. Don't try to give it away, thinking you are unequipped or unable. Trust God with the process - even when it feels lonely and the road feels narrow and you are just flat worn-out. Don't retreat. Don't withdraw. Follow hard after God - into the unknowns and the uncomfortable. And then before you know it, you will have given birth to something beautiful-- something that is only earned on the other side of learning to trust God through the pain.