It’s only natural for expectant parents to feel nervous about bringing a vulnerable new life into the world right now — it’s an unprecedented time in our modern age. Even when you try to focus on the positive, there are so many factors outside your control that might steal your peace.But even now, God and His providence are unfailing. From the moment you conceived, God knew you would give birth during a pandemic. In fact, He knew long before that. It wasn’t part of human plans, but the timing and unusual circumstances of your pregnancy and birth have been part of God’s plan from the beginning.
You haven’t laid eyes on your baby yet, but God already knows this little one intimately, and loves your baby even more than you do. God wants the best for both you and your baby. Rest in this knowledge when you feel anxiety start to creep in.
Of course, it’s easy to say that, but incredibly hard in practice to lay aside your fears and find peace when faced with such difficult decisions and uncertainty. The truth is that you don’t have the strength to endure this hardship on your own. None of us does. But we’re not supposed to endure it on our own.
At this time, more than ever, we need to ask God to give us patience and fortitude. How many times in a day do we feel that we can’t go on like this any longer? These are the moments when we can cry out to God, “I can’t do this on my own. I’m not strong enough. But where I lack, your grace is infinite. Give me the strength to push forward.” He always will.
When you find worries creeping in, if you need a reminder of God’s tender love for you and your baby, turn to Scripture in the words of Psalm 139. You may want to practice Lectio Divina with this passage, or pray it regularly throughout your pregnancy (and read this reflection on its words):
O Lord, you have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from far away.
You search out my path and my lying down,
and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
O Lord, you know it completely.
You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is so high that I cannot attain it.
Where can I go from your spirit?
Or where can I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there;
if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.
If I take the winds of the morning and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me fast.
If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light around me become night,’
even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is as bright as the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
For it was you who formed my inward parts;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works; that I know very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes beheld my unformed substance.
In your book were written
all the days that were formed for me,
when none of them as yet existed.
How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
I try to count them – they are more than the sand;
I come to the end – I am still with you.
Here God reminds us that He is always with us, and has charted the path of each human life since long ago. His plan for you involves pregnancy and birth during a pandemic. His plan for your baby includes being born during this time.
No matter how it may feel, this pandemic is not bigger than His plan for you. He has promised that nothing on this earth can separate us from His love. Holding onto this truth of our faith, we find peace.
But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:37-39)