37 weeks and the end is drawing near. I am feeling its urgency pressing into my days. I am finding myself drawing inwards and yet I am so needed, so many needs, when I just want to be somewhere alone. I am tired, so tired. I am even afraid. Afraid of pain. Afraid of being responsible for more needs. Afraid of my own frailty.
But grace is saving me.
I am saved by the grace of children who forgive me when I blow up at them again. They are so young and so loud and so good but oh so very loud. And there are oh so very many apologies from me, and still they forgive, seventy times seven and beyond.
I am saved by the grace of a soul-filling visit from a friend. I haven't done this enough, I can tell by the relief when she arrives, the lingering peace when she leaves. I might crave solitude right now but it is the love of others that is truly sustaining me.
I am saved by the grace of another mother's baby, with sparkling eyes and round cheeks and an easy smile. I remember - oh yes, that's why - and the hard times don't feel so heavy anymore. Soon, soon, I will hold my own tiny treasure in my arms.
I am saved by the grace of small things. A song. A list. An iron pill. A nap. A square of dark chocolate. A walk to the mailbox. A kiss from my toddler, help from my growing boy, a touch from my husband. So many small things that are steadying my world right now.
I am saved by the grace of a God who is Good. I release worries and failings and breathe in His peace. Grace, grace, grace.
I am saved by grace, yes, but also by its twin, hope. Hope that tomorrow might be better. I receive encouragement from one who has been here and come out on the other side, moved beyond the challenges of pregnancy and young childhood and reached back to reassure, cherish it, but also know that it is only a short season. I open my eyes and cherish it, all of it, but quietly hold close the hope of sleep-filled nights and easier days, too.
Life is good and it is hard and it is messy, but always those two are at hand, grace and hope, wrapped up in the most precious of love.
And they are saving me, moment by moment, right now.
Linking up with Sarah, in which we are saved.