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I think the scariest thing about pregnancy, labor, and becoming a mom has been the unknown. The "what if". The _________. I hate not knowing. If I know, I can prepare, or at least adjust and learn to accept what is. But the "what might be"? You can't prepare for that, and that's scary.

If you've spent any time talking to me throughout my pregnancy, or even read between some of the more happily-phrased lines in my weekly pregnancy updates, you know that the changes I experienced that had no explanation except "well, you're pregnant" scared me. Even worse than that, I was terrified (seriously, terror and panic were the reigning emotions) whenever I had to think about, or talk about, labor and delivery. I just *knew* it was going to be the longest, most painful time of my life, followed by long, sleepless, pain-filled nights and days while I tried to recover from having my body torn apart at the seams while simultaneously caring for a screaming, insatiable, sleep-deprived infant.

Then it happened. The inevitable. I went into labor. And it was the most surprising experience of my pregnancy to date (read the post from Monday here).

I learned something that day that I feel is important to share here: The unknown was never mine to know, and by trying to claim it, I missed out on the freedom and peace that should have been mine by refusing to claim them. Let me elaborate:

God doesn't say "For you know the plans I have for you". He says "For I KNOW the plans I have for you" (Jeremiah 29:11). And in the New Testament, Paul expands on this idea even further, sharing how what we see and what we know is but a dark, incomplete reflection of the bigger reality: "For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known." (1 Cor 13:12).

We don't know fully, and it was never the plan for us to fully know this side of heaven. The only one who knows fully is God. The knowing was never meant to be ours.

What was meant to be ours - what we are called to claim - is peace that surpasses understanding (Phil 4:7). This peace is given to us by Jesus. It is His peace, and it is given in spite of trouble and fear, because what surpasses those emotions is trust in the God who knows what scares us, and resting in His goodness and knowledge (John 14:27).

I can't believe how much time I spent in fear instead of freedom during my pregnancy. I am grateful that I grew through it, and I hope that through sharing this I can encourage so many of you someday mamas to let go of the unknown and instead find peace in the God who knows and loves you (and your little one) fully.

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