Early in my pregnancy with Clive, I read and re-read and meditated on Samuel 1.
20 So in the course of time Hannah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, “Because I asked the Lord for him.”21 When her husband Elkanah went up with all his family to offer the annual sacrifice to the Lord and to fulfill his vow, 22 Hannah did not go. She said to her husband, “After the boy is weaned, I will take him and present him before the Lord, and he will live there always."23 “Do what seems best to you,” her husband Elkanah told her. “Stay here until you have weaned him; only may the Lord make good his word.” So the woman stayed at home and nursed her son until she had weaned him.24 After he was weaned, she took the boy with her, young as he was, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour and a skin of wine, and brought him to the house of the Lord at Shiloh. 25 When the bull had been sacrificed, they brought the boy to Eli, 26 and she said to him, “Pardon me, my lord. As surely as you live, I am the woman who stood here beside you praying to the Lord. 27 I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. 28 So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.” And he worshiped the Lord there.
We listen, we praise, we walk in the direction of God's voice, and we obey.
Sometimes that means we get to unbind and celebrate.
Sometimes it means we don't.
Clive's life wasn't spared in that way. He was given to the Lord in the most complete way. We got him for 39 days (plus 32 weeks in me). But his life is still a miracle and a testimony of God's goodness. He was never mine, as any future children will not be mine. Lent to me by God to nurture and care for a brief moment in the broad scope of eternity. He's fully God's. Always was, even before he was formed. "I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord."