Yesterday we had our 18 week ultrasound and saw for sure and certain that our little kicky baby is a boy! I prayed that baby would be less than modest for us, and indeed the very first thing we saw on the screen we all sort of stopped and stared at... The sonographer said, "See that? Girls don't have that!" I started crying and was in disbelief, as I had convinced myself I was having a girl, although I have always wanted boys. My husband looked pretty emotional too. When we got home, he announced, "Okay. I think I'm officially excited!"
But the past few days and weeks have not been all joyous. Along with the growing love for our baby, we are experiencing a deeper and deeper love for our church family, as well. But as soon as people hit the earth outside the womb, love gets a lot messier, and at times much more painful. I've heard people say, "Ministry is difficult and you must count the cost." I had no idea what that really meant until I actually began investing my whole life into ministry.
We have moved across oceans and continents at the call of God, given up jobs we love, friendships we cherished, comfy houses and routines. Like many of my other brothers and sisters in Christ, we have put our hand to the plow and not looked back. (Luke 9:62) We have left mother and father and sisters and brothers for the sake of the gospel, and in doing so gained a whole new family in Christ.
But as always with family, or sinful humans rather, there is pain. There is heartbreak and rejection and misunderstanding and offense. It hurts. It is messy. It is painful to have dedicated your past, present and future to something, and to feel as if people don't care at all.
However, I am re-learning in Gods grace that my past, present and future isn't dedicated to an idea, and it isn't for people to approve or disapprove of for its validity. It is dedicated to the cause of Christ and His Kingdom, and it is done only out of love for Him in hopes of being lovingly approved by Him. My true, sacrificial love for people can only stem from my love from and connectedness to God, or I am laboring in vain.
Like the child kicking around in my belly, I continue to grow and be formed by my Maker, loved unconditionally, and it is eagerly anticipated that I be fully formed and mature by the time this life is over. But I've got lots more living and learning to do before that happens, hopefully. So I submit to sanctification, no matter how it hurts.
And believe me, it does.