In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!” Luke 1:42-45
Secrets, surprises and announcements – everything combines to heighten the suspense when a woman finally realizes she’s going to have a child. She herself has been wondering about the feeling that something was different – a new fatigue, an unfamiliar twinge – and now: Whether confirmation comes with a sense of physical changes or double blue lines, Things Are About to Change!
With confirmation come decisions: Who to tell? Who should be told first? Who should not be told, yet? But always, God tells the new mother first.
God goes to great lengths to announce births in advance: To Hagar (Gen. 16); Sarah (Gen. 18); Rebekah (Gen. 25); Hannah (I Sam. 1); Samson’s mother (Judges 13); the Shunammite woman (2 Kings 4); and Elizabeth and Mary (Luke 1). And with every birth, Things Began to Change as the universe prepares itself to shift. As Gabriel announced her impending motherhood to Mary, God announces motherhood to all women. Some women may toss off the Divine announcement as a “Bad meatball sandwich,” or in a rush of panic list all the reasons that it can’t be true. But once a new life moves in her womb, Decisions Must Be Made.
And then there are the daydreams: A boy or a girl? What color hair and eyes will the baby have? Will I be a good mother? Is this good news? Can I do this?
Some women will keep the secret for as long as possible. Others will immediately bubble over with the news. Some expectant couples will announce the approaching birth by sharing ultrasound pictures, taking photos with baby shoes added alongside Mom’s heels and Dad’s sneakers, throw elaborate “gender reveal parties,” or make videos announcing the expected sex of their child to friends and family.
But as everyone who holds the pictures or rejoices at the parties knows, they are certainly not, the first to know the exciting news.
You guided my conception and formed me in the womb. You clothed me with skin and flesh, and you knit my bones and sinews together. You gave me life and showed me your unfailing love. My life was preserved by your care. Job 10:10-12