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If I had to pick just one overarching theme from pregnancy that I wasn't prepared for, it would be pain.

I knew birth would be painful. I have too many girl friends and have watched too much TV not to realize that I have hours of the most intense pain there is coming my way at the end of 10 months. But I had no idea that a moderate to intense level of pain was day-to-day, par for the course, just a natural part of the ten months leading up to the climax.

I hurt. All day. Every day. And it's exhausting. First trimester was the pain of my body not knowing what to do besides vomit, and vomit, and vomit, and sleep, and loose sensation in half my body, and vomit some more. Being passed out, throwing up, or in the hospital made those 14 weeks pass in a foggy, seemingly never ending blur. Then came the "honeymoon" second trimester, and the aches. I had to start wearing a pelvic girdle to hold things together, otherwise I literally couldn't walk. Everything ached, all the time. And now third trimester. Worse aches. A bruised belly button. A cramped baby girl who hits some of my nerve bundles *just right*, causing me to literally pass out for 1-3 second intervals. Pain. Constant, changing, but ever-present pain.

So why am I sharing this downer post, Reader? Because I spent 6 months just "getting through it", but inside depressed and devastated that I had to endure so much pain for someone I haven't even met. "It's worth it" everyone said. But for me? It wasn't. I would've done anything else before this if it would still get G and I a family. It wasn't worth it. It was just necessary, and something that had to be endured.

But a few weeks ago, our Pastor was talking about the importance of Vision, and said something that took root in my soul and has drastically changed my outlook on this pregnancy:

Vision gives Pain a Purpose

Let that sink in.

Vision is the key. It gives pain a purpose. Pain without vision is simply something to be endured. Pain with Vision? It has a goal, a purpose, a reason why.

I had been so focused on the pain I was feeling, that I hadn't spent time thinking about the little girl who was causing the pain and focusing on her.

You see, while I haven't met Evie yet, God has. He knows her, Intimately, fully, completely. He crafted her with a purpose. Everything about who she is, He created with a vision for who she is called to be, and what she can become. My little girl is intimately known, hand-crafted, and loved by Jesus. He has a plan for her life, and for how she will impact the world for Him. This pain has a purpose: walking through this is what allows Evelyn the chance to live out God's vision for her life.

I don't know what my baby girl will do, but I do know that God has plans for her. He has a purpose for her. He has a vision for her life. So now, when my leg stops working or I'm up for the 30th hour straight because she has kicked me into pain past sleeping through, I pray. I ask God to give me a vision for my little girl's life, and to help me be the woman He called me to be... the mommy she needs... to help her find and know and love Him.

Thanks to this vision, my pain, while it isn't physically any less, doesn't depress me. It reminds me that I am part of bringing someone with a purpose into this world. And that, dear Reader, is empowering.

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