Growing up pains

When I was pregnant with my first baby, a long time ago now, my husband and I went off to our ante-natal classes.

With ten other couples we sat and giggled our way through all the new things we were learning - how to bath baby, how to change baby, how to feed baby. Everyone was poised on the edge of wonderful things. We were all having first babies and we were excited!

At one point in the seminar the nurse stopped and said, "You know. Statistics would say that one birth in this group will become complicated and someone here might end up having an emergency caesarean. Has anyone thought about how they might handle that?"

Immediately there was silence in the room. No matter how hard she tried, the nurse couldn't get anyone to contribute. It was like there was an embargo on the topic. No one wanted to talk about it. An emergency caesarean wasn't in anyone's plans. We were here to have babies happily, with no risks and no problems and no possibility that there could be anything wrong.

I was young then. When you're young, you can't face the possibility of tragedy, loss, brokenness, failure or death. You can't look at it with open eyes and measured emotions. You don't want to imagine that anything bad could ever happen to you, so you do anything to avoid talking about it. You hide your face, change the subject, run away.

But part of growing up is being able to look at the world for what it is, and at our experiences for what they are. It's being able to accept that the world is broken, that things aren't right and that life isn't always easy. It's experiencing pain and growing through it. It's learning thankfulness in the hard times anyway. It's seeing God's hand now, and looking for his promises for later. This is strength. This is maturity. This is growing up - facing tragedy and bad things now and getting through them.