I FOUND OUT I WAS PREGNANT IN MID-SUMMER. My husband and I weren't exactly planning to have a baby. Like most couples, we'd discussed the possibility and we decided we'd be okay with it if it happened. But there's a big difference between talking about a hypothetical baby and preparing for a real one.
I knew by that point, too, that there was a distinct possibility this magazine, and my job of eight years, would be coming to an end in the not-too-distant future. Even knowing it could be coming, and knowing as fall approached that it was likely, when the decisions were finally made and it all became real it still came as a shock. Among ourselves we talked about the news story announcing the end of the magazine as "the Record obituary" because it felt like that.
I know the news caught a lot of people by surprise. We so often assume the things we're accustomed to in the church will endure forever, despite what we might know intellectually about declines in income or attendance. We don't like to face the facts without veiling them with optimism, or downplaying the relative importance of dollars in the Kingdom of God. But in the church as in life, many of the things we take for granted will one day be gone.
Sometimes it's not a matter of whether something will come to an end one day, but how we choose to let it go. As hard as it is to say goodbye to this magazine, I'm glad it's still something we can be proud of. I know we've done our best. I know I'll miss it.
And so I find myself preparing both for a death, in a way, of something that I have nursed with my mind and my energy and with the companionship of my amazing colleagues, and for the birth of a new life that is growing inside me. I'll nourish him or her with my body, and my husband and I hope with our minds and our energy--although I understand both of those things feel like they're in short supply once a newborn is on the scene.
Because of the way the timing has worked out, I've found myself having to give people both pieces of news at once--we're having a baby, and the magazine is coming to an end. It leaves a bittersweet note.
I say "I'm expecting," and everyone knows exactly what I mean. The idea of expectation alone is synonymous with news of a new life.
So I'm expecting. I'm watching my belly grow, and I'm thinking about how I will make space in my apartment and my life for this new baby. I imagine God's hands knitting a child together in the shelter...