Almost But Not Yet

It is hard to believe, but a week ago my husband Dan and I walked into the hospital where we are planning on delivering our first child for a six hour birthing class. Now I pride myself on my nerves of steel, but there were moments when I blanched and turned away (God bless all of you who have had c-sections). Coming into this world is not a pretty or dignified process, no matter how it happens. Birthing is painful and messy – it is filled with danger and risk – but it is also filled with wonder and joy. While I believe this to be true, honestly all of you who have given birth know this reality much better than I do because I am not there yet. Almost but not yet.

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Today our scripture reading is from John 1, it leads us up to the incarnation, but it ends before that familiar verse “and the word became flesh and lived among us.” Almost but not yet.
I have to confess, I hate the “almost and not yet” time. I often try to jam pack these moments with trips to places, visits with friends, things to see and do, and projects to take on.
I am so excited to bring this little one into the world. I am so excited that I filled almost every weekend until this baby is to come into the world with activities- with us visiting friends or them coming to see us. In this time there were to be baby showers and weddings! But with the changes in our world we have now entered a new “almost and not yet” time. And I hate it.

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I had a wonderful spiritual director who encouraged me to see that my discomfort is probably the best teacher of all. Oh what a teacher this time is.
Here in the scripture for today- in this liminal space of Jesus’ not yetness in the world- we are given something I need and maybe you do too- hope.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

John 1:5

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I have been thinking a lot these days about one of my favorite Christian mystic women- Julian of Norwich. Julian was a nun who lived through the time of the Black Plague when a quarter of the population died. I cannot imagine the rampant fear, the uncertainty, and yet in the liminal space in which she found herself Julian wrote these words. I pray that they give you hope as they give me hope too. Dan and I will go to the hospital in June and bring a little life into this word in all its’ messy broken complicated not yetness- and we dare to hope and believe that “all will be well…”

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4 thoughts on “Almost But Not Yet

  1. Oh, Kendra, I love your writing! Hate it? Yes! I remember really being so anxious during pregnancy, not knowing what or when. It is a lesson in patience!!! And your reminder of Julian of Norwich. Such eternal wisdom!!!! Thank you for the GOOD reminders!!!! I thank God for your insight, especially now.

  2. Dear Kendra, I am holding you so close in my heart right now. Your blog post OF ‘almost but not quite’ took me back 29 years ago to when I was 5 months pregnant with Alexander and was suddenly and unexpectedly placed on complete bed rest with the goal of keeping him from arriving too early. It was not unlike the feeling of being confined due to Covid19 lock down. Knowing it is for the best, trying to prevent an uncertainty from occurring, but praying for a good outcome on the other end. Alexander ended up arriving only a month early (at 8 lbs 12 oz and some ungodly length!). As he stretched his little infant legs out straight and long, his Aunt Sylvia would often remark, “Alexander is practicing to be tall” (which is a good thing because he is now over 6 ft 6 in tall). It was true. All was/is well (as I type this, I can hear Polly FaceTiming from her quarantine in the basement with Alex on shelter in place in his apartment in San Francisco). As Julian of Norwich said ‘All WILL be Well, and All will BE Well, and ALL manner of things shall be WELL.
    Sending you so much love during this time my dear friend and pastor. And much love to Pastor Dan too!

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