Our oldest daughter got married this past summer. Time has moved quickly since then, as it is prone to do. School days, sports seasons, homework, grocery lists, the mundane tasks of life with beautiful moments mixed in.
Time marches on. But last week, as we prepared for Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday of the year, surrounded my good food and family, no pressure beyond getting the pies made, and the turkey done, I experienced another one of those life moments that I know I will remember for as long as I live.
I sat in a cool, dimly lit room, with a beautiful young woman, I am somehow blessed enough to call my daughter, and witnessed the signs of perfect, beautiful life, right there inside of her. A tiny flutter on a screen, a perfect soul, a part of her and my son-in-law whom I love so much, a perfect life formed with purpose, and great love, by the God of the universe. My very first grandchild! I have had many moments involving the dimly lit room and the grey and white screen—both the greatest and most difficult of my life. New life has such power to bring us closer to our Creator. I have never felt anything but awe when faced with the reality of that perfect heartbeat, that fearfully and wonderfully made human person right there on a screen. But this? This was a whole new kind of joy, and awe, and gratitude.
Love hurts, and at times we feel we may break under its demands. I thought of all the nights I lay awake praying for my daughter, the nights I hurt for the pain in her I could not heal, the nights I begged the Lord to reach out to her, to show her his transformative love, and suddenly I was looking at the reality of his great love inside of her. I thought of all the times I was the one on that table, overwhelmed by the reality of another baby, simultaneously overjoyed that life lived within me, or the times I lay there devastated when life ended too soon. In this moment, all I could feel was an overwhelming gratitude for the unmerited generosity of my heavenly father, who gives so much more than we deserve. Love just keeps multiplying, and just when I think our domestic church cannot create more love, it does.
This is just the beginning for our beautiful daughter and what a joy it will be to walk this road with her. I cannot wait to be there for every precious moment, for all the joy I can only now imagine a grandchild will bring, but more than anything I can’t wait to be there for her when it feels too hard to keep going. To tell her that it is worth every sacrifice, every late night, every tear, every failure. Because in the end, we are left with a surplus of love that we never imagined possible, and by some miracle as women, he allows us to be co-creators of that love, and it is through that love that he will save the world.