Sara, my wife, is pregnant and due June 4. The month of May will move us into the “any day now” zone. And that means uncertainty–for my family and for All Saints too!
Here’s what we do not know:
- When the baby will come.
- Whether the baby is male or female.
- Whether mom and dad will settle on a boy-name before baby comes or after.
Here’s what we do know:
- Sara and baby are healthy. This is already a squirmy kid. And we expect a normal delivery at Genesis East.
- Council has granted and I will take two weeks of paternity leave, to start when the baby comes. I’m right now confirming pastors who will be prepared to preach and preside the two Sundays I am gone.
- We’ve done this before: Sara and I and also All Saints.
- When my leave ends and I return to All Saints, Sara, Susannah, and baby will come too. The whole family will worship at All Saints, until Sara’s 10ish weeks of leave ends, anyway.
Change is tough. People don’t resist change. People resist loss. Something is lost even when it’s “joyful” change.
In the immortal words of the 90s band, Semisonic, “Every new beginning is some other beginning’s end.” Even joyful beginnings–like a birth–mark the end of something else–like a decent night’s sleep, or, for Susannah, her parents’ (mostly) undivided attention.
Perhaps surprisingly, endings and new beginnings are never two-step processes. It’s always three steps.
- new beginning
Or in biblical terms,
- leaving Egypt
- journeying through the wilderness
- making a new home in the promised land
Endings means grief. Transitions mean chaos, newness, stress. All of this is true, even when the new beginning is joyful.
I’m saying this to remind myself. I wonder, What will come to an end for me? I don’t know yet. But I intend to be gracious with myself and everyone around me.
I also share this for your sake. The bible is full of stories of change. Change is neutral. Some changes are initiated by God, some by humans, some by circumstance. But the constant–the truth we know through faith that surpasses any information we know (or don’t know) by other means–is…
God is with us.
God speaks to us through change. God heals us through change. God makes us new through change. That is what God always does. But do not be afraid: God also does it when life as we know it comes to an end.
Thanks and peace, PC