I confess that I am extremely humbled by how God has answered so many prayers surrounding Elizabeth’s pregnancy, birth, and postpartum period. I am not very good at asking God for specific things, preferring to pray more vaguely: “Please let things be different this time.” But I began to pray very specifically after a time. I prayed that labor would be short, fast, and easy, at home. I prayed that Chris would be home from work when labor started. I prayed for a relaxed baby, one who slept well, who ate well, who didn’t have any food sensitivities.
The thing is, I did not really expect God to answer my prayers positively.
What does that say about my view of God?
I know now why God put PPD in my life after my other girls were born. He used these experiences to stretch and grow me in ways that only suffering can do. He brought me to some of the dearest friends a girl could ever ask for during that time. He taught me so much about who I am in Him. The worthlessness I felt, He made it disappear.
But I realize I was buckling down to experience it all over again this time. I was not at all prepared for God to answer each and every prayer positively. I know in my head that God loves to give His children good gifts, but I had begun to believe that those gifts came wrapped in suffering for me. I came to a place of flinching every time I came into God’s presence, poised to receive another blow. After all, God let His very own Son suffer so tremendously.
But the gospel doesn’t end on the cross. And my story doesn’t end in the darkness.
Baby Lizzy is the most amazing eater and sleeper, the easiest, smiliest baby I have ever met. And I feel as giddy as a little kid with a fist full of dandelions when I come before God.
“Hey Father, do you see this gift? This is a good gift! I like this gift. And I am enjoying this gift tremendously. I won’t forget Who gave me this gift. Nope, I won’t take a single moment for granted. Thank you for this good, good gift.”
Some presents are wrapped in suffering. Some are not. All the presents are good. All are given out of Infinite Love. But the joy-filled presents would never be so precious if I hadn’t first received those wrapped in suffering.