The Size of a Green Pea

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Fiona Pea

We took a photo for the first time that Sunday afternoon, eight weeks ago. I’d always imagined I’d do a photo with the pregnancy test, like the many I’ve seen on Pinterest—the ones where nine months later that little piece of plastic is replaced with a baby. But the two tests I did were the cheap kind, flimsy little strips that are hardly photogenic.

So instead we took a photo of me holding a pea. Because my phone app told me that this week (week 6), our baby is the size of a pea.

It seemed a little silly, picking the best-looking pea out of the handful of frozen peas my husband brought up from the freezer. Sitting with it in my palm as he snapped photos of me sitting cross-legged on the bed.

But this photo-taking was an act of faith, a statement of trust in the One who created and loves this little pea inside of me.

I’d been spotting for three days. And I’d read the books, checked and double checked the websites, and I knew there could be a hundred good reasons for why I might be bleeding lightly right now. I was still sick to my stomach, still asking my ever-sweet husband to run downstairs first thing in the morning and fetch me some toast before I had to sit up. I could still nap half the day away.

All little things, but we needed the little things right then. We needed the hope.

All I could think of was that little black and white screen a year before, and the deathly silence that had filled the room when there should have been a heartbeat. All I could remember was being so naively sure everything was ok until it wasn’t.

I’m too aware this time, that life is a fragile fleeting thing. I will not, cannot trust this pregnancy until I hold a living breathing child in my arms.

And yet I do not want to live in fear. It’s been my constant prayer since that horrible day last summer: Oh God, don’t let fear take up residence in my heart. Don’t let it steal everything good. Let your perfect love drive it out—by force if necessary. I don’t want to be a slave to fear.

I chose JOY to be my one word this year, knowing we were hoping a child would be ours soon, knowing I needed to stake my claim to joy from the beginning, my desire to enjoy the trying, the waiting, the hoping, the growing.

And so I enact my hope, my joy. I enact it by picking a pea from the small handful, by brushing my hair and making sure my shoulders are not slouched. And smiling for the camera.

This is our child, just the size of a pea, his heart a mere poppy seed. Eight weeks later, my app tells me she has grown to the size of a nectarine and I’ve cried again at the doctor’s office, but this time in joy to see her wriggling and squirming on the screen, head cradled on her arm, heart pumping loud and strong.

It’s not certain yet. Life rarely is. And my mama-friends remind me that this is how it will be from now—the constant care and concern for this child, even after she has grown into a woman.

But not fear. I will not allow fear to slowly erode away at the joy. I feel it breathing down my neck each morning as I wake. But with a prayer and a deep breath, I’m learning how to close the door to it. I hear God’s words through his prophet Isaiah and I know he speaks them over us too:

“Don’t panic. I’m with you. There’s no need to fear for I’m your God. I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you. I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.”

And so I am holding on to JOY in this child growing within me, and the hope that knows that God is with me, whatever may come and that his love for this wee one is beyond my comprehension.

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Fiona Koefoed-Jespersen
Fiona lives in London with her Danish husband and her two young children. She is determinedly seeking the sacred in the ordinary, learning to see that even the most mundane moments of her day can be spiritual if she wakes up to the Divine in those places. She is in training to become a Spiritual Director, and baking is her favourite spiritual practice. You can follow her through her blog at fionalynne.com.
Fiona Koefoed-Jespersen
Fiona Koefoed-Jespersen

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Fiona Koefoed-Jespersen

Comments

  1. Megan Gahan says:

    Thank you for writing from this tremendously vulnerable place Fiona. Brave and beautiful and stirring in all the right places. THIS got me: “I will not allow fear to slowly erode away at the joy.” SUCH a powerful statement to write, to speak out loud, to claim as your own. We love you and your nectarine tremendously. Standing with you on the other side of the world.

  2. Fe I already love your beautiful pea! You and Rasmus are so brave to choose joy and hope rather than fear. Love you both and praying for a safe and healthy pregnancy. xo

    • fiona lynne says:

      Claire, Brave was my one word in 2012 and I feel it gifted me so many lasting impressions. This is what I want for my life now – to be fearless! So thankful for friends like you who spur me on… x

  3. Saskia Wishart says:

    I was laying in bed yesterday (afternoon) when I read this Fiona, and all those tears I have kept at bay over Christmas came spilling out. I have been feeling the fear circling around, telling me not to hope too much, not to love too deeply, to watch out because it could all be gone in a second. I so appreciate your honest and beautiful words here, the prayer that we will not be ruled by fear, begging God to drive it out by all possible means, and leave us able to trust and love.

    Thank you thank you thank you for writing this. It was what I needed to read. (And gefeliciteerd on the little pea).

    xoxoxo

    • fiona lynne says:

      Saskia, what you walk through for love’s sake is stunningly beautiful to me. It’s so hard some times to keep being brave. I think I try to force out fear by will alone and that seems impossible. But joy and hope and love – they’ll always be stronger. Love you x

  4. Fiona this was such a brave post. I have walked with several friends through the pain of losing a baby and their journey past the fear to be able to hold their little in their hand. I pray joy and peace will flood your heart and for the safe arrival of your pea into this big beautiful world. Blessings to you!

    • fiona lynne says:

      Than you Makeda, and than you for walking that path with your friends. We need women like you to walk us through the fear into the joy again x

  5. Sabrina Ormsby says:

    Wonderfully written. I understand that fear.

  6. “Oh God, don’t let fear take up residence in my heart.” yes Fiona, these words. Your words are all so precious and vulnerable. You are creating beautiful things out of your declaration of faith, and your current journey.
    Even in the dust, you are tracing out those three words:
    J-0-Y.
    Thank you for sharing this part of your story with us. It’s truly an honour to read.

    • fiona lynne says:

      Michaela, thank you for reading. Your story earlier this week was inspiring to me as I finished up writing this. So looking forward to getting to know you better. x

  7. Nicole Joshua says:

    My deepest prayer for you and Rasmus is that you have a healthy pregnancy, and that this time of expectancy is truly a joyful one.

  8. You’re so beautifully brave. Thank you for inviting us into this special part of your story … That nectarine-sized darling is loved all the way to here. And so are you. Big big hug. xoxo

    • fiona lynne says:

      Thank you for this space to be real and vulnerable and find this enriching community. So thankful for you. Will find a way to get our nectarine to Canada one day!

  9. Praying all continues to go well, Fiona. This should be the lead post for a ‘hope’ theme – you’ve told this so very well. Thank you.

    • fiona lynne says:

      Than you so much. The telling of the story has increased our own hope in the process, what a blessing that is!

  10. Bethany Olsen Bethany Olsen says:

    Fiona, I’m rooting and praying hard for you and your little pea. <3 Your purposeful choices to act with joy and faith even when you are feeling fearful are inspiring. Thanks for this beautiful post.

    • fiona lynne says:

      Thank you sweet lady. It’s a choice but not one I can do on my own strength. Praying the same joy and faith for you, even in the hurricane x

  11. Fiona,
    Your even writing this out is such a step towards faith. You are choosing the right thing to live fully in each moment, gathering its miracle and wrapping it round your heart. Continue to hold fast to that joy, friend. “Thanksgiving is the soil in which joy thrives.”
    Praying…always

    • fiona lynne says:

      Oh I love that, yes to thanksgiving. I live how the writing it out helps me figure it out too, it’s my clarifying process somehow, my deep breath. Thankful for your example of living this out x

  12. Simply beautiful and powerful, Fiona! “I will not let fear slowly erode away the joy”. Thank you for sharing your story with us. May our good Lord continue to bless and watch over the three of you.

  13. I am crying now, lovely.
    So thankful for the way that you have acted out joy in front of me thus far. I am so honored to be your traveling companion.
    I love you, and I love this darling, wonderful pea.
    xx

  14. Aww Fifi. I love the image of you searching for the perfect pea to take a picture of. That image gives me so much joy.

    “I feel it [fear] breathing down my neck each morning as I wake. But with a prayer and a deep breath, I’m learning how to close the door to it.” <— I needed to hear this today. Thank you for the reminder.

    I love you and Rasmus together. This picture of you both hugging on the beach in Burundi makes me so happy. You guys are going to be okay. I believe in you. (And nectarine.)

    xoxo,
    Teen

    • fiona lynne says:

      Oh Teen, you are bravery defined to me. Love that we got to be roommates this year and I got to see some of that brave in person. One day I’ll fly you over to Luxembourg to take some photos of us and our nectarine…

  15. Bev Murrill says:

    Life is such a gift, isn’t it. We will pray for you and the little one you two have given the gift of life to. Treat yourself kindly and allow yourself room to wait and believe in hope. Emmanuel.

    • fiona lynne says:

      Yes, “treat yourself kindly” – I’m still learning how to do this but yes yes. Thank you for your prayers and support!

  16. Anne-Marie says:

    Rejoicing w you that ‘hope does not disappoint us’! Admiring your courage in sharing while not yet fully realized. Walking in a spiritual birthing here for one precious to me. May never see the answer and fear is a mighty challenge, but I hold to a promise. Great words for me today Fiona!

    • fiona lynne says:

      I remember a post here long ago where someone wrote about the power of sharing those unrealised hopes, because if they are realised the joy is increased on the sharing, and if the worse happens, we have a community to carry us through the loss. That struck me so much at the time and I’ve tried to live into that place of vulnerability since then. Praying for you too in that vulnerable birthing process… x

  17. Tracey Adamson says:

    Fiona, that is a powerful message you’ve written. I cannot imagine what you went through a year ago but I know god works all things together for good. He will bless you with His love, mercy and grace – always!

    Blessings to you and your husband – and your baby.

    Tracey

    • fiona lynne says:

      I believe our God does not waste anything. That carried me through last year and gives me hope still. Thanks for your blessings Tracey x

Trackbacks

  1. […] in the One who created and loves this little pea inside of me… // I’m sharing over at SheLoves Magazine today, on fear and joy, and how taking a photo with a pea can be a huge act of faith. Join me […]

  2. […] sharing over at SheLoves Magazine today, on fear and joy, and how taking a photo with a pea can be a huge act of faith. Join me […]

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