There was a time, early in my marriage, when I remember first recognizing that I hadn't realized just how stubborn I was until I married my husband. He has always "claimed" or "acknowledged" his stubbornness, but I think--at the time--I was living in denial, claiming instead that I was ever-patient and every-understanding. Looking back, I was pretty darn stubborn those first couple of years, insisting that things be done my way.
Three losses in those first three year broke me down, hard. Experiencing God come to life in me, once again, built me back up, piece by piece. Maintaining a pregnancy and becoming a mother to Ella changed my life in such amazing ways.
And somewhere along the way, I think that my stubbornness--my inexplicable desire to cling to and force my way for the purpose of winning--gave way to determination--an indescribable force that encourages me to put every ounce of effort that I can into doing the "right" thing.
It started with changing my diet and giving up all those sweet vices when we were trying to get pregnant--and stay pregnant--with Ella back in 2009-2010. I was determined to be more careful with what I put in my body, for fear of throwing off my hormone levels. It continued when she was born, with my determination to nurse, despite a fairly low supply, with leaving work nearly every day during my lunch hour to drive to her daycare and spend that time with her...and waking up each night, even when she slept through the night, to pump and keep up both my internal and external supplies. And it's happening now, as I push myself to wake up early each morning to get in a quick run before Ella wakes up, hoping now to get to 200 miles before the baby comes--both as a personal accomplishment, and in the hopes of being more physically prepared for delivery.
Some--perhaps even those closest to me, like my husband, my parents, and my child--may think that I'm still stubborn. And I admit and recognize that I probably do indeed have my moments. But I'm feeling the urge to "fight" to get my way less and less. Instead, I'm filled with a sense that I can continue to try to persevere, and that is sufficient. By no means does this mean that I'm "giving up"--it's quite the opposite. If anything, I'm simply surprised at the changes that God has made in my personal life that are now allowing me to sustain my efforts--whatever they may be--more gracefully.
I was blessed earlier this week with an answer to prayer in one of those "laugh out loud" sort of ways. My very-dear friend (a doctor) has a friend (also a doctor) who is pregnant. At her anatomy scan, the baby looked great, but her doctor was concerned about her short cervix. As we near the end of our pregnancy, I've been praying that God lengthen and strengthen her cervix, while he shorten and soften mine. I shared this prayer with my very-dear friend on Sunday. On Monday, she forwarded me a text that she got from her friend, saying "My cervix keeps getting longer every time they measure it...they're not sure how it's possible". Is that not a "laugh out loud" response to prayer, or what?! I, on the other hand, don't quite know what's going on with my own cervix at this point--we're at 36 weeks for now, so we're hoping to keep her in for a couple more weeks. But the timing is right for things to "start" moving in that direction.