I’ve always wanted to be a mom. From the time I held my first little sibling to the years I spent babysitting three of the most wonderful girls (shout-out to Sydney, Ashley, and Riley), being a parent felt like my destiny.

In my teens, I had no illusions that this “destiny” might not be in the cards for me. Marriage was a required prerequisite, and who knew if I’d ever be granted the opportunity? Even then, countless other potential hurdles—education, income, infertility, loss—dampened my hopes and made me certain that I would have to wait a long time (or maybe forever) for motherhood.

Then, I met the man of my dreams. That first impossible hurdle—marriage—was suddenly not just possible but likely, and then a reality.

Parenthood for me then shifted from a possibility to a calling. My prayers changed from please, maybe? to how can I best prepare, Lord?

So I’ve done my best to follow God’s direction and prepare my marriage, my professional life, and my heart for this incredibly important role. And here, on January 31, 2021, as I wait for the adventure to begin with labor, I rest and pray. And it’s not easy!

Though many people see marriage and children as boxes to check to bring them closer to personal fulfillment, I see them as ways in which God has and will bring me to prayerful knees, drawing me closer to him as I seek to shine his love in the darkest, most mundane corners of my human life.

I expect incredible fulfillment along with the natural struggles in marriage as in motherhood and the rest of life. But is that fulfillment the ultimate purpose of these relationships? No.

My ultimate purpose is to image the Savior who rescued me from eternal separation and a life of aimlessness and sin. I want the strivings and blessings of my human relationships with friends and family and my entire imperfect life to reflect an outpouring of this love, and God will give me the strength (even in my overwhelming weakness) to see it through.

As I wait for our first child, the true joy of this promise lightens my soul.