My stomach tightened into a knot as we stepped off the elevator.
The walls and furniture were bright and colorful. Moana played on a television at low volume. A friendly receptionist pointed us to a cartoony touchscreen to check in.
The cartoon fish didn’t fool me. This isn’t fun. I don’t want to be here. No one does.
The fluorescent lights flickered. The smells were antiseptic. The chairs were clean but worn down by countless worried parents before me.
I blinked back tears as we sat. Our three-month-old baby slept peacefully in his car seat, completely unaware of the abnormal measurement that had brought us here.
The physical feature—his big head—that was often the focus of our lighthearted jokes might actually be a problem. It was growing too quickly. An ultrasound was needed right away.
I’ve never been so aware of a simple fact: my children do not belong to me.
My love for them is vast. It’s visceral and gut-wrenching and wild. I want to believe that I can protect them. That I can keep them from harm.
But I can’t.
No amount of control or caution can keep them from disappointment, broken hearts, or irregular test results.
I often wonder how Mary did it.
When God said, “he will come to save the world,” did she know that meant unspeakable pain and suffering? The ultimate sacrifice? Death on a cross for her precious son?
Would she have felt differently about this whole parenting gig if she knew? This child was her flesh and blood. Borne of her body and tied to her heart.
But when the angel came, Mary said, “I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled.”
Oh, what faith.
We were eating dinner in the hospital food court when our doctor called my cell phone. The radiologist had reviewed the scans and she had the results. No excess fluid in the brain, no abnormal growths. We’ll have to keep an eye on it, but for now, everything is normal.
The tears burned again, this time on an overwhelming wave of gratitude. I clutched our baby to my chest and breathed out a shaky prayer: thank you thank you thank you.
Mary knew what I struggle to accept.
Despite coming from my body and carrying my heart, these children are not my own.
They belong to their Father. As I think about that night long ago—about a young mother, a stable, a baby—it’s even more clear.
Whatever the future holds, He alone holds us.