Sunday, April 09, 2006

my deliverer is coming

Yesterday at an Easter Egg Hunt, an acquaintance said to me "Well, I always hated being asked this question, but I'm going to ask it anyway." You can guess what was coming. I wanted to say "if you hated it so much, maybe you shouldn't ask it of someone else." But I didn't. She said, "So when are you planning to have kids? Are they in your future?"

I wish I could have told her what I was thinking, "Well, it's not for lack of trying or hoping or praying, if you must know. As a matter of fact, I'd love to be able to tell you that our 'plan' is working. I'd love to say that kids are in our future. But for now, I'm stuck in the lovely desert of infertility, so I can't really answer that question. Aren't you glad you asked?"

Instead, being the passive-aggressive I am, I said "We'd love to have kids someday, when the timing is right." She then made some comments about my good planning and putting my career first and being responsible and yada, yada, yada. The rest of the morning was great. I love being around kids. I love being around my friends and their kids. I just don't like people asking questions that made them uncomfortable once, you know?

SO...After some unusual symptoms the past few days, I took a pregnancy test this morning, day 28.


Of course.

I didn't take it very bad at first, as I'm pretty used to the "not pregnant" outcome. I usually have a Pollyanna, "there's always next month!" type of response. And this morning I just tossed the stick in the trash and casually informed Ben that we won't be having a baby in January 2007.

I got ready for church, drove to town, plopped in my seat next to Ben, and closed my eyes to listen to the prelude. The choir had barely started to sing and the tears started flowing.

I managed to keep myself pretty composed (read: silent, controllable tears) until the children came in, waving their palms, singing, "My deliver is coming, My deliverer is standing by. My deliverer is coming, My deliverer is standing by."

I couldn't bear the sounds of their angelic voices, singing those words of promise, as their Hebrew ancestors must have sung in preparation for Christ's coming. The promise of a deliverer, of a hope and a future. The tears were streaming by this point, and I found myself wet and sloppy, without any tissues, in the front row of the church.

The poor kids probably wondered why this crazy weeping lady continued to sing the words, her hands lifted in the air in submission.

All I have to cling to these days is a promise. Not that Christ himself has ever promised me a child, not that I have any assurance that this is what he has for me. But I cling to the promise of Jeremiah, for a hope and a future, and the words of that song, for my deliverer to come and relieve me of my sorrow.

After the service Ben did baptisms for two of our friends and a neighbor. All babies, all beautiful and intrigued and amazed and precious. No crying, no fussing, just staring with wonderment at the font as the water streamed from Ben's hand. And the congregation of family and friends drew in a collective "aahh" as we witnessed the promises of God poured out on the lives of these babies.

For infant baptism is really about promises. A promise the family makes; a promise to raise their child in a home that fears God and believes in Christ the Savior. It is the promise of the congregation to shelter and care for these children, to raise them up in the knowledge of their belovedness and value in the eyes of the Lord.

For once, I didn't cry at an infant baptism. I smiled. I laughed. I cooed at little Wyatt in front of us before he went up for his big moment. I rested in the promises of the morning. And I left with the song still fresh upon my lips "my deliverer is coming. my deliverer is standing by," prayers lifted to the source of hope and promise.

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