Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Place For Us

Ah, the brewing post. I'm not exactly sure what that post was going to be about. A lot of times I will have a thought going and think, "I need to write about this..." then 2 days later it's gone. So, I'm sorry to have led you astray. I did have one brewing but you are getting another one. :)

As you know, we were so very excited to be pregnant with June. For a while before Joseph died I was longing to have another child but for various reasons it seemed wise to wait. Then after he died the longing increased. Very shortly afterwards God answered our prayers and we were blessed with a baby growing inside me. In many ways this was my hardest pregnancy. I was already tired from all we had been through, then being pregnant just seemed to suck all the rest of the little energy I had left. I think I also just felt older and less resilient and then she ended up being a very big baby so I was pretty uncomfortable towards the end. But, none of that seemed to matter compared to the reward I was promised at the end: a precious little baby that we had waited for and prayed for.

We weren't very busy during that time. Allen was waiting tables and I was taking care of Holly but had lots of help from grandparents. I had a lot of time to myself and had time to grieve my loss but also anticipate this new baby. I dreamed of what he/she would be like and couldn't wait to find out what he/she was so I could start decorating the nursery. Then when we moved to Atlanta we had (have) a small room for her---one just begging to be transformed into "all girl."

I'll be honest. I went a little nuts decorating this room. Maybe it was part of my nesting process or maybe I was excited to test out my new hobby: sewing. But this girl got more handmade things from me than Joseph and Holly combined. I sewed blankets, burp cloths, pillows, chair covers, really anything I thought I might be able to do. The thing I love about sewing is that you can have a finished product within a couple of hours in many projects. Patience is not my forte so this definitely appeals to me.

We also painted the crib, the room, put up curtains, got out the sheets and blankets and somehow everything seemed to go together even though it was mostly a hodgepodge of things we already owned. For many weeks before June was born, she had a place waiting for her. And I mean, diapers, wipes, burp cloths, sheets, clothes. Everything was ready. (Which is so not normal for me, by the way. With my other two pregnancies I was not even close to being this prepared and I don't anticipate ever being this prepared again.)

So as I sat in that room the other night with my almost 6 month old, I looked around the room and remembered when she wasn't in there with me. I would love to peek in and think with excitement that soon there would be a baby in the crib; soon there would be clothes in the laundry hamper and toys on the floor. But more than that, this room was full of June before she was even there. All those things I made or picked out or laid out were all there with her in mind. I was picturing her in that bed, her in those clothes, her in the rocking chair with me (boy, I hope she likes the colors!). She had no idea what all I had done for her before she was born. She was not aware of the stuffed animals or blankets or burp cloths that were all there for her. She was just born, and all this stuff is hers.

Which finally brings me to the thought I had (thanks for bearing with me!): God does this for us. For us, who are so often oblivious to the work He has done on our behalf, the sacrifice he has made, the joy he feels that we are His children. He carefully made each one of us, thought about what we would look like, be like, sound like. And He goes ahead of us and prepares a place for us in heaven. If I (and so many mothers), in my limited, sinful, human state can put loving thought and excitement into decorating a nursery, how much more skill and love and preparation must God put into the place He has prepared for us. I, for one, cannot wait!

This is purely my own imagination, but I started thinking that maybe this life we have on earth is just the "womb." God knits us together, teaches us, forms us to be more like Him, then death is our real birth into real life where our real room is ready for us. Not to minimize the life we have on earth. We all know how delicate and important the formation in the womb is. Our life here matters, but maybe it's just as C.S. Lewis says "the title page." The real story is yet to come.

"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going."

John 14:1-4


Jason said...

wow. thank you for writing this. I truly believe this is one of the most insightful things I have read in a super long time.

we love you guys.

inkBLOTdesignsSTUDIO said...

thanks for sharing!


Jean Joiner said...

wow...all i can

Carrie said...

Thank you for this post

Missy @ It's Almost Naptime said...

LOVE this Gillian. I had never thought of that before. WOW. Love it!!


suzannemorris said...

Wow, Gillian. This gives new meaning to having an eternal perspective and the weight of these current trials. Thanks for giving me something to ponder. With love, Suzanne

Brea said...

I think that is a beautiful parallel. It makes me think of the verse that says, "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints" (Prov 116:14-16). How neat to think that our homecoming is something that perhaps God anticipates with joy, even as we anticipate the arrival of a precious baby. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Gillian!

Ali said...

oh Gillian I absolutely loved reading this. Please continue to share more and the room is just precious! I love it. Thanks for such beautiful hope!

The Dogs said...

It was so good to hear from you. Thanks for the post. Good things to think about.

Anonymous said...

Man, Gill, what an amazing post. Jason called and read me part of it yesterday and I haven't been able to get it out of my mind since then. I love thinking about it from the perspective of this being the "title page" and thinking about when our real life will begin. If only we could see beyond our limited understanding and not only catch a glimpse of that room, but keep it in the forefront of our mind.

I sent your blog to a family at our church who just found our the dad/husband has cancer. I believe this particular post could give them great encouragement.

Love you!

Anonymous said...

you are awesome. loved this. thanks!

Anonymous said...


Thank you for being such an encouragement and pointing us to Christ and His great love and faithfulness.

God bless you all. Congratulations on your little girl. How precious she is!

The Greens

Jennifer said...

I've been thinking on this... I like the comparison of this life being like the life in the womb of what is to come... Good thoughts... Keep em' commin'!!!

Sarah-Jane said...

yeah...that's my sister. that famous blog writer, therapist..encourager..miracle.
love you

Nancy said...

Absolutely beautiful.

-S-J's friend

The Dover Family said...

I love your comment you wrote about this life just being the womb and we are just waiting to be born into real life. You'll never know how it spoke to me and blessed me! Thanks.

Christy said...

I plan to purposefully turn my mind to these thoughts when fears of death come over me. Thank you, G. What would I do without you?

Nana said...

Wow Gillo that is so beautiful.I dont think I ever thought about the reality of God preparing a place for us. It makes me feel loved just thinking about it.I have read about it but never gave it any more thought.I agree with your Sis Sarah-Jane I can add sweet daughter,kindness mercy and love personified I am so glad I gave birth to you!I love you . Your Mama

Randi said...

Brought tears to my eyes, dear. I do believe that this life on Earth is the womb..what a place God has for us, huh? Beautiful writing. Thank you for the blessing.

Melissa said...

Beautiful (as always).

Melissa (and Kayla)

Lauren (Klein) Dickstein said...

You are so smart Gillian. I'm so glad you continue to add to this blog. It's wonderful to see the strong, spiritual, and eloquent woman you have become. Your children are blessed to have you as their mother.

Brooke said...

My friend Kim shared your blog with me. I am carrying a little boy that I know will pass away soon after birth. I also choose to believe that the world that my son will go to will be so much more than I can imagine, so much better and more special than the place here on this earth. It is special to know you think the same Thanks for sharing your heart. Praying for you as those days approach. I know in the near future I will have some dates of my own, that will be hard to face each year.