Saturday, September 3, 2011

Grace, God, and Growth

Immediate. Bed rest. Babies. Risk. 

The words floated in the air as if held up by invisible strings. I reached for them so that I might understand, but they remained just above my head as I lay there listening to the doctor explain what he had just seen on the ultrasound screen. 

"You mean, like, now? Today? No more going into the office? But I'm a's just me. Can I still preach on Sunday?" 

Those were the words that came out of my mouth, but the concepts in my head were less coherent.  I was trying to string together what had suddenly gone so wrong, while grasping for a sense of what my new reality would be.

I could hear it in the doctor's heightened and worried tone. I could see it in the way the technician just kept moving the ultrasound around without looking me in the eye. I felt the way the already-too-small room seemed to cave in. My world would soon be limited to the familiar walls of my own bedroom and the smooth leather of the living room recliner.

How long? For as long as it takes. Maybe 14 whole weeks. Long enough for the two tiny babies growing within me to be able to survive (and not just that, but to thrive), on their own. Gummy Bear and Junior Mint, we lovingly call them. They aren't ready for the outside world yet. They need me, still. 

They need me still.

In the tears that came eventually, I processed the intensity of what this "rest" would entail.  I cried for the babies, cried for the risk, cried for my own body which quickly began to ache without daily use. I wondered how I, with my A-type and driven personality, could spiritually and emotionally withstand so many weeks without to-do lists and the meaning I ascribe to my work (both in and out of our home). The unknown was heavy. 

But with every day, the unknown becomes known. Two weeks have now passed. While the tears still come every now and again, meaning has not been lost. The grace, gift, and growth of this time has been abundantly clear with every roller-coaster day. Some days it is the meal brought by a friend. Some days it is the struggle itself that opens a new window into the meaning of suffering and perseverance. Some days it is a deep breath and the reminder that with every God-infused breath I take, my two precious babies breathe with me.

These days are full of worry and hope, growth and grace. I pray that through this journal of sorts I will be able to process and remember these stories of rest while I do all I can to nurture these two tiny babies into the fullness of life. I pray that you who read this blog will find meaning and grace in my words. 

Most of all, I pray that the stories I share will speak truth to the inevitable struggle and beauty that together sustain the growth of all life.

Thanks for joining me on the journey...


  1. This made me tear up. You are already being such a good mother to your babies even before they are born. I can tell that your honesty in this journey is going to speak to people and perhaps help others grow as much as you appear to be growing. You, Ty, and the babies are in our thoughts and prayers daily.
    Kara, Scott, Addy, and Tilly

  2. You are a wonderful writer. Please write away your anxieties and fears, leave room for all the love and well wishes that flow in to take their place. With love and harmony, Barb and Gary E.

  3. This is lovely, Melanie. Lovely as your own story, and also as a nearly word for word articulation of one that i lived myself, exactly 3 years ago.
    There is something very telling especially in that early realization--"Can't i go into the office? It's just me..." It is lonely being a solo pastor, and it is lonely being on bedrest. But remember you are NOT alone. much love. I'll be reading. And praying.


Comments and conversations are welcome! But remember, this blog is about grace: show some.