This is literally the most amazing experience of my entire life.
I should amend this statement. I do, in the words of my friend Caroline, tend to "speak in superlatives." Because to say that being pregnant is the most amazing experience of my life isn't exactly true. Falling in love with Don and experiencing that love reciprocated in strength and depth was almost crippling in its intensity. Going away with him after our wedding was such a paradigm shift -- it was awe inspiring. I remember standing at a train station in Stockholm, hands shoved deep into my pockets in the -40 weather, waiting to spend the day walking through that lovely old city on our honeymoon. He had walked back into the little building at the station to get a map and I watched him as he walked toward me while reading the train schedule and it occurred to me how deeply happy I was.... All of those years of traveling alone-- wonderful years, filled with the presence of the Lord and fantastic adventures with great friends, but still-- I had always quietly prayed for a husband. For someone who was better at reading train schedules than I was. Someone with a sense of direction. Someone to help carry my stuff-- luckily for Don, I had prayed for a long time so in the meantime had figured out how to pack light and how to survive in a foreign city so I wasn't too needy :).
Anyway, I had never experienced love like that-- friendship like that. Like what we had and still have and have even better today than it was then. That's truly amazing. To be loved the way Christ loves the church....
But this is different. And I know that I don't know the half of it because right now, this little one is hidden away and I only have the sensation of his flips and bumps a few times a day (thank God for godly women who assure me that they, too, worried that their baby wasn't kicking enough...he's still little and sleeps 12-14 hrs a day. I need to CHILL). But where I was amazed at the way I was and am LOVED by Don and the depth of feeling that I had and have for him, this time...well, with this love it's completely just focused on this little person whether he loves me back or not and I remember that oh my goodness...he is my child. And I love him. And I've never even seen him. My son. My own. Ours, but right now... mine alone to feel...
Yesterday I spent the better part of the day with one of my best friends from high school who has remained like family to me and has added his wife to that mix. We sat in his parents' kitchen and talked about... well, everything, all day long, and at the end of the day I asked them to pray for the baby and me and Don. We stood outside as they prepared to go minister in North Carolina and they laid hands on me and prayed and all I could think as they were praying was, "Oh God, I forgot how much you love me! I forgot that you have words for me, that you have dreams for me-- that in the same way that I deeply hope that my son will be whole and healthy and happy and that he will follow You and listen for your voice and will feel how deeply he is loved and wanted by his parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles, both by birth and friendship, You want the same things for me!"
Suddenly, the idea of the Holy Spirit manifesting in groans and utterances makes even more sense to me... many times during this pregnancy I have been reduced to tears while praying, just silently feeling what I wanted to say to the Lord. Sometimes there just aren't words for the depth of desire I feel for good things for him.
And I've never even held him.
It's amazing, but here's this, too: what a great life, filled with so many amazing things that we have to categorize them :)