I am learning that to bring a new life into the world is an act of surrender.
Beginning with the moment of conception, you must surrender to a vulnerability that is unmatched by anything else you’ve known. You accept that such intimacy sews the seeds of baptism–that with conception comes the death of your old life and the birth of a new.
You must surrender control of your known body and inhabit a changing self with curves and aches and bulges where there once were none.You must bend to foreign appetites and desires and emotions as they roll through your days.
You must surrender to discomfort and pain from those first moments of tilting sea sickness to the tidal wave of labor to the exhaustive crash of care taking. You learn that to sit with pain is the secret to soothing it.
You must surrender control of expectations about who this baby will be. He will come into this world with his own imprint and mission, and you must know that you are his lighthouse, not his architect. You must know to guide him, not fashion him in your image.
You must surrender to time and make friends with patience, recognizing that in those quiet hours of contemplation when you wonder how you will survive this, God speaks to you about how you
to survive this.
This life within me–this tiny fig of a boy–he is my tutor in the art of surrender.