At the tail end of each of my three pregnancies, many thoughts paraded through my head. If I recall correctly, the three most common ones (besides from wondering where I last had placed my car keys) toggled back and forth between "I'm ready to be finished with this" and "I'm not ready for what comes next" and "Bring it on."
I'm feeling extraordinarily pregnant today. Not in terms of cramping legs, baby kicks, or the rumbling of early contractions, but in terms of being on the cusp of something new.
Then I Became a Mother will be released tomorrow. Years ago, the idea was conceived. (Gestation periods for books, at least if I'm the author, are significantly longer than gestation periods for babies.) Since its conception, I've watched the idea grow. At times, I've been sick over it, a tense and nauseous mess who'd rather curl back up in bed and eat Saltines than forge ahead. Along the way, I've often wondered what the idea would look like when fully-formed. Would its likeness reflect my eyes? My humor?
So, today I pace, knowing that tomorrow marks the day when the book comes to life and is laid bare to the world.
Each one of us faces moments like this -- these interims of pregnant expectations -- when we put ourselves and our efforts on the line. We bare our hearts, we speak our minds, we press publish, and we're unable to control how others will react. It's hospital-gown-wearing vulnerable.
Now, especially now, I ground myself for the intermingled joy and pain that is to come. Others will love the book, I believe, yet I can't let their praises inflate me. Some will not, I presume, yet I can't let their critiques unravel me. In Christ alone -- I breathe these words in and out rhythmically -- is where I ground my worth.
And I nervously chew on ice chips, but that's beside the point.
Months from now (once the sleep-deprivation lifts), I'll look deeply into the face of my book and gently advance through its pages. As my gaze lingers over the words that were lovingly chosen and painstakingly arranged, I'll realize afresh that its completion confirms a part of God's calling on my life. If only because of that, the book will be beautiful in my eyes. I'll forget the pain of bringing it into the world.
That's probably when I'll want to write another. But that's beside the point, too.
And here is the cover! One look reveals why the recent discovery and gift of a dandelion was so significant to me!