I pulled into the visitor parking space.
It was an unseasonably warm winter day; temps were hovering near sixty degrees. It was the first time that year the sun would splash across my face, actually warming it.
Gently reminding me.
Reminding me that spring was coming. A reminder this summer baby was thankful for and relished silently to herself as she brushed the bangs from her eyes.
I traipsed across the hospital parking lot as an array of thoughts flooded my mind.
My friend had just delivered a baby. Her first. A girl. A daughter. A winter babe.
And as it does for most moms, the experience was a catalyst that ignited my own thoughts and sent them swirling. Memories. Of first touching my own babies.
Of looking at them and gathering them to me, treasuring those first moments with them. Them just being here. Holding their tiny hands while pondering these things in my heart. Imprinting their smell into my mind, the feel of them into myself on a molecular level. Wanting to always remember them as they were.
Like riding a bike.
There wasn’t time for fear in those first frantic yet surreal hours after they arrived. When they were birthed it stemmed the fear that I carried with me while I was delivering them, and washed it away. As fast as they were here, I forgot.
But when the day came to go home, a new kind of fear reared its ugly head.
The, “oh…they do actually trust me to do this parenting thing,” thoughts. “But I can’t even spin a hula hoop on my hips and I can count the number of nursery rhymes I remember on only one hand.”
My apprehension to the entire operation was crippling.
It wasn’t until my first year of parenting that I truly realized the extent of my brokenness. Suffocated by fear, plagued by selfishness, I wondered how I would ever succeed at being a parent.
How could I ever be trusted to parent a child? Was there ever a person less cut out to be a mother?
I walked through the hospital doors.
I leaned over the front desk and signed myself in on the visitor’s sheet. I was directed to the elevator. I pressed my floor number and waited for the doors to close. The elevator hummed, the beeps indicating each floor that was notched on my steady ascent.
The doors opened.
I forget that God is a creator. A maker of all things. There is nothing new under the sun. He knows the ropes. He knows His stuff.
“He makes beautiful things. He makes beautiful things out of the dust….”
He makes beautiful things out of our fear, our dismay. Out of our brokenness, He makes a new way.
Out of the curls and pains and terror of labor, He makes the release and sweetness of delivery. A crushing, excruciating process is wrought and finally finished with joy and deliverance. Pain lines the very heart of hope that beats fast, even underneath of agony and despair.
It beats true.
We just have to find it, sometimes.
Out of the people who are hurt and broken, He makes them love. And they love until the hurt goes away. I know, I’ve seen it.
And now my friend will have everything feel new for her, like the first time for all of it. Her dreams have new windows with light streaming in. Light filled with visions of the future. Of baking cookies at Christmas, tiny pink socks, becoming the best of confidants and picking out a prom dress.
A new world open. It is both simultaneous and sudden while yet tedious and crafted.
The parents who parent well are the ones who let go and let their fear turn into something better. Something greater. Who hope in tomorrow while passionate about today. Who let the fear turn into something beautiful.
A fear of time running away turns into a greater need to cling to our babies and savor those moments that tick by.
A fear of hurting them somehow leads to loving them until the hurt is blotted out within our own hearts. It leads to an appreciation for mercy and grace and forgiveness.
A fear of not getting it right leads to a profound desire to try again on the days that you weep into your hands, exhausted. It leads to letting new mercies wash over us each morning.
Fear turns into something beautiful. Something new.
I scooped up that new baby into my arms and saw it. The delight on my friend’s ethereal, shining face as the sun streamed in to welcome the afternoon. Her husband beaming. And I thought that our hearts just might burst at the thought of so much hope.
Hope is really the thing that breaks you.
Once you grasp the fear, you find your way through to hope, praying to be held together. Pain lines the very heart of hope that beats fast even underneath of agony and pain. It beats true. It holds you together, yes.
But you find that hope is actually a thing that splits you. It breaks off into a thousand shards and scatters, taking root into the old and the broken and the rugged.
It takes shape and it grows.
Into something new.
“He makes beautiful things out of us…”
Dedicated to sweet, perfect Cecilia Ann.
Welcome to the world, little dear.
May you always have hope. You are ours.