My wife and I have been wanting to get pregnant since late last summer. It was frustrating month after month without the results for which we yearned. One morning in February my wife woke me up with the exclamation that she was pregnant. I was glad, but it didn’t seem real. The only indication was a stick with a symbol on it. I waited for it to ‘feel real,’ but the feeling didn’t come, at least right away. I went with my wife to see our OB doctor a few weeks later but wasn’t expecting too much. I had seen many people post those black and white sonogram pictures on Facebook and I have never been able to make out anything that resembles a life-form. My lack of excitement had been a let-down and I expected to be equally underwhelmed by that visit.
My experience at the doctor’s office was very different from what I expected. As the baby became visible on the screen, I was mesmerized. I could actually see the little heart beating! My heart leapt. The doctor put the heartbeat on speaker while she measured it. I could hear and see the incredibly fast thumping of that little heart. My eyes were glued to that screen and when the doctor told us that our baby looked very healthy, so far, and that its heartbeat was very strong, I felt pride and joy all at once: It flooded over me in a totally unexpected way.
New life comes to us in very unexpected ways and seldom on our terms. When we open ourselves to the Holy Spirit we can experience a newness of life: we can experience God in all new ways. But it can be frustrating when it doesn’t happen right away: there have been times that I prayed…fervently…yet I didn’t feel God in the way I expected. But, experiencing God requires us to learn about ourselves and practice faith. Much like those months of trying to become pregnant, It can take some time to experience God more closely way, but, once we are open enough to God it will just happen. And when it happens, you will feel it.
For me, I didn’t experience the joy of new life when I expected to: at that first moment of finding out about the pregnancy. No, I experienced overwhelming joy much later in front of an ultrasound machine. Yes, the joy of new life often catches us unaware. Week after week and month after month I pray that you will go to scripture, join together with other people of faith, worship God, and be in prayer. When we become committed to these practices we will eventually and unexpectedly experience a new life for ourselves and grow in faith and with God.