The maternity waiting room sang with silence.
Yet our hearts knocked noisily about in chambers of our chests as we awaited the birth of our grandchild. Quietly looking out the window to a breadth of sun stroked sky, my husband and I sat fidgeting and fussing in varied states of worry and prayer.
Anticipation filled the air like the first drop of a roller coaster ride.
Suddenly, the doors of the maternity ward swung open, and out burst our son, eyes sparkling, smile glowing, a bundle of energy as he announced, “She’s here! All went well! Come meet her!”
With heightening anticipation, if that was possible, we followed him into the delivery room to the sight of our daughter-in-law holding their beautiful baby. We held our breath as our son introduced her lovely name to us for the first time. No moment could have been finer.
I believe in the beauty of anticipation. It is like the silver shimmer of moon rise inching up over the horizon with only the heavens above able to see the glory that is to come.
The anticipation of a child coming home on college break; of a reunion with an old friend; of a return to a beloved place; of a warm embrace from the one you love.
And like that ethereal moon glow, anticipation gives rise to hope. Hope for safe travel and togetherness. Hope for a good visit. Hope for renewal of soul and spirit in that cherished spot. Hope that God gives you another day to put your arms around each other.
And perhaps, unrealistically, hope for dreams to come true the way we envisioned them.
Yet, often what we anticipate does not happen in the way we dreamed it. There are disappointments, heartbreaks, discouraging results. Plans go awry. The anticipated homecoming does not go as planned. The vacation spot was not as remembered. The friendship shifted. The warm embrace was missing.
But often something new takes their place. Something that never could have been anticipated or planned or dreamed. Something that through heaven’s gift of wisdom, patience and perspective expands and opens into a broader width and depth shifting our outlook to entirely new possibilities.
And when that happens, we set off on a new course of anticipation. And in doing so, we sail into hope which keeps us afloat on the sea of life, not only in joyous anticipation for what we know and expect but for the possibility to discover what we don’t.
Like a new beginning. Like the birth of new life.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.