The other day a wise friend offered me this nugget of wisdom: “Pregnancy is eight months and one year long.” And that sounds exactly right. The last eight months have absolutely sped by, but now, as I struggle to tie my shoes and navigate three-point turns when I roll over, and as I long to see our baby face-to-face, it seems like the calendar is stuck.
Last Sunday I headed to church on one of those sweltering Midwest days when the humidity is already at 90 percent by 10 a.m. I was on my third pair of shoes (after trying on two others that no longer fit), and the short walk from the car to the front of the church felt like a 5K. My whole body felt heavy, and I wished I could take off this load for a while.
When I waddled up to the door, I was greeted by a white-haired grandmotherly woman I’d never met. As she shook my hand, her entire face lit up in a smile. “Oh, my dear!” she exclaimed, taking both my hands in hers. “You are carrying a blessing!”
In an instant, my perspective changed. I wasn’t just carrying a weight. I wasn’t just hauling around the equivalent of four bags of flour in my belly. I was carrying a blessing.
It struck me that when we ask God for blessings, we’re typically envisioning something warm and fuzzy . . . something that makes our lives easier. We assume blessings come to us light and fluffy, like rainbows and fairy dust. In reality, though, the real blessings are the ones that have some weight to them.
What nobody tells you is that blessings usually require some heavy lifting.
The job you’ve been asking God for? It will mean hard work, day after day. The dream you’ve been hoping will come true? It will force you to roll up your sleeves. The relationship you’ve been longing for? It will require regular maintenance. These are blessings, all right, but they’re blessings we carry.
I’ve been thinking a lot about Mary lately, who was considered “blessed above all women.” But if you think about it, her blessing was no cakewalk. She carried the weight of the unborn Messiah all the way to Bethlehem. She carried the weight of knowing a sword would pierce her very soul. And perhaps most of all, she carried the burden of watching her beloved son die.
Loneliness, sorrow, loss—this isn’t what we imagine when we ask God to bless us.
But the truth is, the weight is a gift. It reminds us to pray, to give this blessing the credit it’s due. It reminds us not to take treat this blessing lightly.
So that weight you’re carrying today? As heavy as it is, it’s worth it. The greater the burden, the greater the blessing.
Just as you cannot understand the path of the wind or the mystery of a tiny baby growing in its mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the activity of God, who does all things.
Kristen Joy Wilks says
So beautiful! Yes, my greatest blessings have also been weights. My wonderful husband whom I love like no one else is also my fiercest adversary on occasions. The one who always has my back and who always stands up to me. We are these things to each other and it is so good, but tough too. My three amazing sons can make any normal living space look like a post-tornado crisis area in a matter of moments. They are such amazing boys. That big furry Newfoundland dog that I had wanted for so long, requires a whole lot of brushing. Yes, these gifts have weight. You’ve described it well.
Great examples, Kristen! So true.
Love this. One of my favorites ever.
Aww, thanks! You are a great example to me of carrying your blessings well.
Rachel Q says
Oh I love this Stephanie! Such truth spoken here. What a great word picture that we think of blessings as light, fluffy and full of fairy dust!!! What a great perspective change thinking of the weight of blessing! So good! Thank you!
Thanks for stopping by, Rachel! So grateful for you.
Linda Sladkey says
Linda M says
So wise and lovely, Stephanie. Can’t wait to hear about your special arrival!
Thank you, Linda!
Thanks, Aunt Linda! (With apologies to C. S. Lewis…)
Maggie R says
Oh the weight of blessing….and anticipation…we are with you every step of the way, dear friend!
Thank you for waiting and anticipating with us, Maggie!
So beautiful and timely. God knew that’s just what I needed to hear today. Praying for you. So thankful it’s cooler!
Praying a blessing on your day, JL!
Susie Crosby says
Stephanie, you always say it perfectly. Thank you for sharing how you are doing in this last little stretch of your pregnancy. You are on my mind and heart every day-especially now that the calendar has turned to August. I am praying for you and Daniel and little Spark. God is holding all of you in His strong and gentle hands.
Take extra-special care of yourself okay?
Thanks for your love and support across the miles, Susie!
Kate Gulino says
Thank you so much for your beautiful words; this was a message I needed to be reminded of… it is so easy to forget that what weighs on my heart is truly a blessing in so many ways.
You and your family are in my prayers.
Thank you so much, Kate! You are an amazing woman…I miss seeing you! Blessings to you and your family.