Six years ago I waddled into church already feeling big as a house. I was barely pregnant, but my jeans already seemed snug. This baby growing inside of me felt like an invader. I couldn't believe that I was pregnant. We had just started our second year of marriage. I had a five year plan.
A girl that had gotten married right around the time that we had stopped me in the parking lot. She looked put together and cute and decidedly unpregnant. Maybe she asked how I was doing. I can't remember. What I do remember is telling her that I was pregnant. And that this was not my timing. I remember her saying to me that it probably felt bittersweet. In the moment, it felt less sweet than bitter. But as I warmed up to this baby taking residence inside my body, I clung to her words. It was bittersweet. I would surrender my idea of what my life would look like and enter into the most life changing relationship I could imagine. With this girl:
Being Claire's mother has taught me more about grace than any sermon. She IS the gift that I didn't know that I needed. Grad school, travel, skinny pants, all of it seems so small when compared to the joy of watching her unfold. She is my gift of grace.