I have not been a pleasant person to be around this past week. Just ask Scott.
Yesterday I was throwing a particularly impressive pity party, as I heaved a heavy sigh and plopped myself down on the couch.
“You know, your anxiety isn’t helping this labor thing along, Kathryn,” Scott said.
Oh my stars. He did not just say that.
But you know what? He was right. I may have stuck my tongue out at him and announced, “I think I’m going to go take a nap.” And I waddled my sorry self off to the bedroom. Two hours (yes TWO!) later I woke up and glanced at the clock. 4:35. And then I remembered.
Vespers at the Dominicans Sisters began at 5. I changed clothes, walked into the kitchen and gave Scott a hug and thanked him. I desperately needed that time alone. He just smiled, because he’s smart like that. Off I bounded to Vespers while he headed to the grocery store.
As I sat in the chapel and heard those sweet voices, listened to those prayers, recited the rosary and sat in the presence of Jesus, all those things that I had been storing in my anxious heart started to slip away. “Be not afraid,” the Sisters sang. “Be not afraid” I could hear St. John Paul II echoing from the recesses of my memory. I first heard those words at World Youth Day in Toronto and today they came back to me.
There is still anxiety there because, you know, the uncertainty of labor. But today reminded me that if God has carried me this far, He isn’t just going to drop me off at the train depot station and holler out a “good luck, girl!”
Tonight a sweet friend from college lost her baby boy. He was only four months old. Last week, Beth had to say goodbye to her precious daughter. And, I wondered. How grateful am I being? How do I want to end this pregnancy? With joy and gratitude or heavy sighing and eye rolling? I don’t want the end of this beautiful 40 weeks to go down the toilet in the final days.
Today, I’m choosing joy. Tomorrow? I’ll take some Tums and then choose joy. And the next day I might just drink a Dr Pepper and then choose joy.
All those sweet prayer requests you sent me are now prominently on my bedside nightstand and in my moments of frustration and anxiety, I choose another one to lift up in prayer. So, thank you. Thank you for lifting up a nearly 40-week grumpy pregnant woman and then setting her down on her knees.
Your move, Baby Whitaker.