Nine months ago today, my beloved left with the angels to join Jesus. Nine months. The time it takes to fully develop a human baby. Made me wonder where I am after nine months of unwelcome change. In less than a week to ten days, an embryo can implant itself in the mother’s uterus, ready to grow. For over a week I mostly cried, unwilling to accept the perfect atmosphere God had already provided to nurture my venture into this new season.

          At eight weeks, the fetus’ heart it is pumping. Mine pumped but guarded, hiding broken pieces from most people. The fetus’ brain structure is also in place. Mine couldn’t seem to remember what day it was. The baby had grown to just over an inch, I shrank at the new responsibilities thrust upon me.

          At twelve weeks or so, the baby’s fingers and toes develop, what looked like a tail disappears, it’s heartbeat can be heard, and the organs are present. I struggled to face our 67th wedding anniversary, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Ken’s birthday and the entrance of a new year, all in less than four months.

          Around fourteen weeks an ultrasound reveals the little one’s sex, and at eighteen weeks the baby can hear and even suck its thumb. Through God’s unfailing word, I too began to “hear” that He was with me, and it was ok to pour out my pain, latch onto to His presence and draw comfort from His endless grace.

          Sometime around twenty weeks, a mother feels a fluttering that progresses to strong kicks, movement that can even be seen. Closing in on six months, my self-pity and reticence to accept what was, faded. I no longer kicked against the pricks—mostly.

          Life’s force tells the baby it’s time to leave this safe, warm place, and an inner energy guides it into the birth canal. My pathway appeared gradually, one day at a time but undeniable.

          Nine months pass, the baby leaves the womb. The new sphere is cold. It gasps its first breath and cries. Warmed, it is laid on its mother’s chest. Loving caresses and soft words flow from the one who carried him close to her heart. He sleeps, assured he is safe and cared for.

          The calendar dates nine months, seems like yesterday and years ago. At times I still face a cold blast of loneliness and loss, but I’ve learned to take a fresh breath of all that is good in my life, my faithful Shepherd, family, friends. I wrap myself in the love of the one who carries me on His heart, and rest in His tender promise to meet all my needs. He listens patiently when I cry out and sends the Holy Spirit to comfort when growth is painful. I too won’t face life alone.

“They shall still bear fruit in old age—be fresh and flourishing…” Psalm 92:14 NKJV