I found out I was pregnant on Christmas.
Well, sort of.
The second pink line indicating a positive was ever so faint, I didn’t believe it. I swayed between hope and doubt so much so that I put the test in a bag early Christmas morning and stuck it under the tree only to have paralyzing doubt overtake, stuffing the bag deep behind the tree at the last minute until I could dispose of it without Hawk seeing. I’d already had months of hope being deferred and couldn’t allow myself to sit in the excitement without first being sure.
Two days later I bought one of the digital tests – where I couldn’t overanalyze the clear YES presented. I put that once discarded bag back under the tree, this time with more goodies enclosed, and told Hawk that he actually had one more gift to open that was delayed.
The month before was a very dark place in my life. I thought for certain that it would be the month of the YES. I started to talk about it with Hawk more, researching prenatal vitamins and really explored the dreams and hopes. I even took a test on Thanksgiving on a whim and just prayed for the positive to appear. It did not. And yet, I still held onto hope. It was early, perhaps the test just couldn’t read the increased hormones yet. A couple days passed and I was late and I was never that late. More excitement began to build. Days later I started spotting and my wrestlings with God reached the front line.
Why now? I wrote in my journal. Why now? Why did you let me get my hopes up only to get disappointed again? Why, Lord? Aren’t we faithful? Haven’t I prayed? How long must my heart take this wounding? Why does it all seem like a cruel trick?
A paragraph later I realized that these were all lies from Satan in an attempt to harden my heart against the only one who had the healing salve for my bruised heart. Yet for most of December, the pages were empty. To write was to wrestle and I just didn’t have the energy for the spiritually divine intersection I knew would come. I wanted to sit in my anger and bitterness…and I did.
One day, I just couldn’t take it anymore. I sat on the couch and watched a sermon we had missed from our Thanksgiving travels. It was on hope. Hope – the expectation that God has something for me to experience that no one else but Jesus could offer me. At the end of the sermon he prayed for those who were waiting to have a baby.
And I sobbed.
Mid-December, I wrote again. My heart was still bruised but God was softening it once again. I wrote: How like you it would be for you to redeem November’s disappointment with December’s hope. Create life in me, even right now as I write this. The date was December 13, 2016.
It was only after the entry on December 27th where I wrote with joy “I prayed and you answered!” chronicling the Christmas morning and two-day after wait-and-see and then saw-and-rejoiced moments that I flipped back pages and noticed the dates. As I was writing the November redemption words, I realized in hindsight that it was around the exact time I was ovulating. As I wrote, create life in me – he literally was.
I would have completely missed this supernatural revelation and reflection if I hadn’t written it all down. That journal is now one of my most prized possessions. It pains me to think I could’ve remained in my bitterness and might have missed this treasure map of his faithfulness – only God could’ve reached in and touched my heart in that way.
As this new Christmas year approaches, I now have a boisterous 15 month old running around the tree, removing ornaments and opening presents despite the “no-no’s” and I can’t help but think of the day where Hawk opened that bag and pulled me into his arms and I laughed, full of heart. I ponder these moments, and I also can’t help but think of Mary and all the treasures she laid up in her heart.
We don’t know what God spoke to Mary’s soul in those intimate moments after our Savior’s birth. All we know is that she pondered and kept them in her heart. They were private moments between her and her God. The God who appeared to her and promised her Redeemer’s birth and the same God that came from her womb and now laid in her arms. She kept them close, preserving them as to not forget them, keeping them within her soul and thoughts.
Commentator Matthew Henry puts it this way:
She laid the evidences together and kept them in reserve to be compared with the discoveries that should afterwards be made known to her. The truths of Christ are worth keeping and the way to keep them safe is to ponder them.
This is why I am so passionate about journaling. It is my way of keeping all the evidences of his faithfulness and grace together so when I run low and start the spiral of November-doubt, I can later discover his December-faithfulness. It is my way of pondering them and keeping them safe where I can go back and read where I’ve declared in my own hand the greatness of my God when the enemy comes like a thief.
Psalms 45:1 says: “ My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.” Other translations use the phrase “a ready scribe.” I was curious about the role of a scribe in the Bible. After 70 years of exile, God raises Ezra up among the Israelites – a scribe of expert knowledge and skilled in the law of Moses. Scribes also wrote on behalf of a king – they were a friend of the king whose office it was to write his letters.
All of these discoveries fully came alive and connected when I looked into the actual definition of scribe in the original language. It is translated as an active participle which means it is unbroken in continuity. It means to take account of, recount, count, tally, scratch, scrape.
When we scratch our pens across the pages of our journals and we take account of God’s faithfulness to us, we are scribes of heaven. As we continually count and recount the tales of his goodness we engrave it on our hearts. We put into words the truth – we are his scribes – a friend to the King, and like Ezra interpreted the law of Moses to the Israelites, his Holy Spirit makes his mysteries known to us.
The same word used in Psalms for scribe is actually the exact word used when God establishes his covenant with Abraham. As he directs Abraham outside, he tells him to look at all the stars lighting up the night sky and to try to number them – for that will be the number of his offspring. Number is the same word as scribe.
I try to image what Abraham must have felt as he looked up in the sky – seeing the same stars that God spoke into creation at the beginning of time…a very specific sign of his covenant and faithfulness. I try to imagine what the shepherds felt as they looked at those same stars when the angels appeared to them – directing them to their Messiah in a manger. Those same shepherds left full of God-glory, sharing news of all they had seen. Interestingly enough, the Greek gives the idea of publishing letters abroad.
Being a scribe is important work. It’s a position at the king’s service. It’s having the honor of hearing from the king and writing it down – reflecting on it, pondering it, recounting it over and over in your mind, remembering it. While John tells us if we were to write down all the things Jesus has done, the whole world would not have room for all the books – I think God wants us to try. I think he wants us to fill our hearts with his glory and fill our shelves with our journals. Journals that number the stars of his faithfulness to us. Journals that number the stars of the knowledge that he’s revealed to us. Journals that number the stars of the miracles he has done for us.
Like the bright star that led the Magi to Jesus, the world needs to know what stars lead you to Christ.
Pick up your pen, mighty scribe of God.
Do not let your hand grow weary. Count and recount. Write and keep writing. Number and keep numbering. Share and keep sharing – for it’s the treasured work of the King’s friend.