As we enter our final stretch of this pregnancy, I would like to take some time to remember and honor the journey this bump has taken me and our family through. This pregnancy was marked by constant struggle, frustration, helplessness, brokenness, and spiritual refinement.

 

Hidden Sins and Big Burdens

 

Perhaps several factors played into why it was such a difficult pregnancy; such as going through it as a stay-at-home mom where child-raising has been a 100% physical job around the clock, or that it was my first geriatric pregnancy and aging really slowed down my body, or because of the busier home life of having 2 kids at home as opposed to one or none.

 

This bump led to strained relationships with my daughters and my husband. It magnified hidden sins of pride, anger, irritability, selfishness, and unbelief. It made me an impatient mother, a demanding wife, and ultimately exposed my discontent heart.  It became a huge burden on our family because I was unable to find my contentment in the Lord under the circumstances of these past months.

 

Learning Christlike Characteristics

 

This bump taught me to let go of my values of efficiency, cleanliness, control, and productivity, all which I pursued because it made me feel like a good mom. This bump turned my daughters’ unwanted interruptions to concerns I should tend to. This bump was God’s constant reminder to me to serve my children with joy, and to pursue Christ-like characteristics of humility and love, which I knew I lacked in.

 

I could not have imagined that God would end my journey with this bump with the unexpected reality of Darren’s back injury, which has forced him to be on his back for a few weeks, losing his help and physical support, and possibly his absence during birth. This is hopefully the last thing I need to learn from this bump; which is to serve my husband joyfully rather than having the expectation for him to serve me in my final stretch of pregnancy.  Even in the discomfort, the limitations, and burdens from this bump, God is using it to make Philippians 2: 3-8 more of a reality in my life, especially in my role as wife and mother.

 

3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

 

Spiritual Lessons Learned

 

So over the next few weeks, I will continue to embrace the physical hardships that accompany this bump, but I hope the spiritual lessons learned, the heart change and inner character refinement will last a lifetime.  I am grateful to God for using our circumstances to point us to Christ, rather than the physical concerns as we transition to welcome our third child into our family.

 

In a few weeks this bump will be replaced with a baby; and while I will not miss this bump, I will never forget the journey this bump has taken me and my family through.

Leslie and Darren serve in the English mentorship ministry. They are expecting their third child in September.