I opened my YouVersion Bible app this morning, as I normally do to read our devotional before we go our separate ways. I saw the verse of the day and of course, like so many others, it’s one of my favorites. “You created every part of me; you put me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because you are to be feared; all you do is strange and wonderful. I know it with all my heart.” Psalms 139:13-14 GNB (If you were unsure, GNB means Good News Bible.)
You see, my mother didn’t expect to have another child at the time that she learned she was pregnant with me, her third. She had an IUD (intrauterine device) which was in place to prevent pregnancy. So while she was gaining a little weight and my father was encouraging her to workout with military exercise, she didn’t think it was due to pregnancy.
When my mother finally had a checkup, and the doctor shared news, he added something more that she didn’t expect. Because of how the device was implanted, the doctor mentioned that it would be dangerous for my mother to carry through with the pregnancy. She would be high risk and could possibly lose the child, or her own life. He said she would have to terminate the pregnancy. So the excitement of a new life was shattered before it even sank in. What was she to do? She didn’t believe in abortion. But she had two children who needed their mother. Would it be worth the risk? Maybe she and my father would be able to plan a child later on in life without the risk? A decision had to be made.
Reluctantly my mother went to her follow through appointment. It was a different Doctor that saw her this time. He checked vitals, belly, etc. Then he asked if she was sure this is what she wanted to do. She looked up at him, confused. “What do you mean am I sure I want to do this? I don’t really have a choice. If I continue with this pregnancy I either lose my child or leave my children without a mother, or both.”
The doctor was just as stunned as she was and even infuriated. “What doctor told you this?! Better yet, don’t even tell me because I’d have his license revoked so quick… You and your child will be just fine. Enjoy your pregnancy and take care of yourself.”
I guess this is the point when the excitement of a new life could sink in. She shared the news with family immediately. Throughout the pregnancy my mother was thinking of names. She already had a unique taste in identity with my sister, Betsy, and my brother, Benny. No they’re not nicknames or shortened versions of Elizabeth and Benjamin. It’s a Philly pride thing I guess…Betsy (Ross) Ben (Franklin). Get it? 😉
Anyway, her third child hadn’t arrived yet but already had a story to tell. Maybe Josephine after my dad (Jose)? Or Faith because of the faith in God that everyone and everything would be alright? Or Joy because she was so joyful she could carry through with her pregnancy?
My mother chose “Grace”. Unmerited divine favor. Unmerited means undeserving. Divine means from God. Favor means gift. You see, even though she was excited and happy, most of all she felt humbled. Why did God bless her with another child? Why was she deserving of that chance to walk away from the doctor’s office with no harm done to her baby or herself?
I, on the other hand, marveled at my name growing up. “Mami why couldn’t I have a Spanish name, like Carmen or Maria.” “My name doesn’t show I’m Puerto Rican.” “No one else has my name.” “My name is an old lady name.” Mind you, I was born in the 80s. I had every question and objection as to why I should have been named differently.
But God had a way of opening my eyes. I graduated high school in June 2000. I received a daily devotional for graduates and the verse right inside the cover read: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV There I was, 17 years old, and it made sense that God had His plans for me since I was in my mother’s womb.
I’ll go on another time to tell more, and if you’ve read some of my past posts you see that I share how my life is full of grace. I mean that is the title of my blog after all. I just think it’s amazing how God reminds us of who He is and who we are in Him.
For the past few months my fellow entrepreneurs have been joining in on morning motivation calls and this morning’s theme was about being enough. Our affirmations were:
- I am enough.
- I was built for this.
- I am equipped for where I am and where I am going.
- I am supposed to be here.
I know all this to be true because God tells me so. 🙂 He formed me in my mother’s womb. I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
No matter what you’re going through in life, remind yourself today, you are supposed to be here.