I spent a week in Colorado with my sister, waiting for a baby to come. She wasn't due until September 25, but the 9th through the 16th fit perfectly into both of our schedules. It seemed like a great tender mercy on so many counts. She always (ok, 3 times) delivers early--never past 36 weeks. I found the perfect flight with less than a week's advance notice. It was in between class and I worked out work very easily. She needed me there and I needed to be needed. She wanted me to be in the room when he was born. I needed that connection between heaven and earth. I jumped at the chance and prayed that he wouldn't be born before I got there.
Once I arrived, I prayed and prayed that he would come. I prayed that I would have the amazing spiritual experience greeting a new baby into the world. And of course faith without works is dead, so I worked hard to serve Lisa--cleaned the house, cooked, played like crazy with Grant and Sierra and Savannah. We did everything we could think of to get that baby out--we went running and I actually made Lisa push the stroller up long hills. We painted the nursery a lovely shade of blue. We went shopping and we ate spicy foods. We laughed our heads off at the movies in between contractions that did NOT dilate. We shared heartaches and cried together. We danced and did yoga. We had Aunt Claudia zone Lisa's feet in the magical pre-labor manner. We begged the doctor to induce, citing problems with ripping and scar tissue. Nothing.
And then I remembered Elder Maxwell's talk on patience. He says it is not indifference--it is caring very much but being willing to submit to the process of time. He says it's tied to faith in the Lord and in his timetable, accepting the Lord's omniscience over our own limited views. He defines self-control as true possession of our souls, and patience as a friend to agency.
- "Patience makes possible a personal spiritual symmetry which arises only, brothers and sisters, from prolonged obedience within free agency."
- "Patience is a willingness, in a sense, to watch the unfolding purposes of God with a sense of wonder and awe, rather than pacing up and down within the cell of our circumstance."
- "Patience helps us to use, rather than to protest, these seeming flat periods of life, becoming filled with quiet wonder over the past and with anticipation for that which may lie ahead, instead of demeaning the particular flatness through which we may be passing at the time."
- "In our approach to life, patience also helps us to realize that while we may be ready to move on, having had enough of a particular learning experience, our continued presence is often needed as a part of the learning environment of others."
- "Patience permits us to cling to our faith in the Lord when we are tossed about by suffering as if by surf."
affectionately known as "Dady Wuke" by his older sister, Toot Toot
And so I welcome into the world, my newest nephew, born the day after I returned to Virginia. He comes on the Lord's timetable and he comes with perfectness, with a brightness of hope and reeassurance, with news of his cousins waiting to be born (I cannot WAIT to ask him all about them!), with light and love and just plain perfectness.Luke Stuart Swensen
Until then, I'm learning patience. I'm learning that babies come on their own time--the right time--and that hearts mend on their own time (I'm so ready for this one to mend--but I'm learning to care for it and let it happen on its own accord). I'm learning to embrace that moment of waiting and make it into a constant act of submission. After all, it's all I can do.