By Joy Wong
I find that I don’t have much to talk about these days. When people ask me how I’m doing, I report a typical “fine” without elaborating much, and when I rack my brain on how I can elaborate (mainly to alleviate awkwardness in conversation), I come up with very little.
It’s not that there’s nothing going on. I’m taking an online class on American Presbyterian History (required for ordination), I’m in an introductory program on spiritual direction, and I’ve had some emotional ups and downs and little flashes of learning and revelation here and there, as usual.
But it seems that no matter what’s going on, whether the daily stresses, deadlines, or anxieties, it’s somehow all eclipsed by the main event in my life right now: PREGNANCY
All the things that used to consume my life before — thoughts about my vocation and spiritual formation — seem trumped by the thoughts, emotions, and preparation having to do with this coming baby. Although I have every intention of continuing in the ordination process, I half-worry that being consumed about all things “baby” will render me an eventual ordination dropout. After all, my natural default is to put family first before all things, even myself, and while my husband and I can keep a fairly good equilibrium, I wonder what will happen once a totally-dependent, high-maintenance little person is thrown into the mix. Will all that was once important fade into the distance? Will I become completely unrecognizable to myself? Will I be able to maintain any sense of selfhood, or will all things become consumed by the role of “mother?”
Whatever the result, there’s not much to be done. If there’s anything I feel these days, it’s the sense that the life that is growing inside me is completely out of my control. Sure, I can make sure I’m getting enough nutrition and exercise to increase the chances for a healthier baby and a better delivery and post-partum experience. But the reality is, this pregnancy is way out of my hands. It’s the biggest event in my life right now, and all I can do is wait and watch it happen.
It’s a good lesson for me — to release and let happen, instead of trying to control how things turn out and deluding myself into thinking that all things rest on my own efforts. I’ve been realizing lately that not only is God the Author of life, but also God is the God of order, not chaos. I may not know how things will be ordered in my life, but I can choose to release and let go to the One who does.
Joy Wong is a contributing author to Mirrored Reflections: Reframing Biblical Characters, published in September 2010. She has an MDiv from Fuller Theological Seminary, a BA in English from Princeton University, as well as four years’ experience in industrial distribution management. Joy and her husband Will attend Northland Village Church.