When my husband and I found out we were pregnant this past July, we were over the moon excited.
After a few years of marriage that had stretched us, grown us, and deepened our love for each other, we were so excited to grow our family to include a sweet, very small new member (aside from our sweet labrador puppy, of course).
But when I saw that second line on the pregnancy test, the next thing that came to my mind was fear. We’d had several friends and people we love lose babies at various points in their pregnancies and their deep grief was still so fresh to us. I was terrified that this new life inside of me wouldn’t make it through the first trimester and spent the first six weeks of my pregnancy overwhelmed by fear.
I scoured Scripture looking for promises that God would answer the many prayers I whispered with my hands on my belly, hoping to find some sort of promise that if I prayed frequently and fervently enough, He would protect the little life growing inside me.
Instead, God pointed me over and over to a series of verses I’ve read a million times: Psalm 139. And my fearful heart that was rapidly expanding to hold this baby inside me read these words over and over:
“For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them”
That little baby inside me, the one whose quickly beating heart and soul I was already growing to love? That baby is deeply loved and safely held in the hands of its Creator. With love and gentleness, He is knitting together the parts of my baby, from its organs and limbs to its heart and personality. And whether that little life lasts eight weeks or 80 years, it is fearfully and wonderfully made by a Father who planned and saw each of those days.
But as I continued to read this Psalm, to pray the words over and over as I sat on our couch, walked our dog, and cooked dinner each night, a new meaning started to unfold. Not only was God knitting together this little one in my womb, He had knit me together a few decades before. He had imagined every part of me, from my fearful heart that longs for control to every hair on the head of my body that was now starting the mysterious and life-giving work of growing a tiny human. God created my body to do this holy work, to partner with Him in the beautiful process of creating life and bringing it into the world He is continually redeeming.
As much as I wanted (and want) to control this process, to get God’s promise that every part of it will go exactly like I would dream, He is using Psalm 139 to remind me over and over that I am as far from control as I’ll ever be. He is reminding me that I am loved and held, and that in order for new life to grow, the part of me that longs for control has to die. And in those little deaths to self, the surrendering of my own desire to control, I open myself up to see more of His love and His glory.
There’s no way for me to know what will happen to the baby in my womb and I pray a million prayers that he or she will grow healthy and strong over these next few months. But in the midst of the fear and the uncertainty, I’m learning to trust the Father who is slowly teaching me one of motherhood’s biggest lessons: the only way to hold life is with open hands, trusting that whatever happens, I too am held in the hands of my own Creator.