After teaching high school French for ten years while my husband pursued his career in law, I was both thrilled and frightened to death to learn I was pregnant. It was God=s greatest gift to me, a woman=s ultimate glory, yet the timing couldn=t have been worseB or better. My marriage was in grave jeopardyB was this God=s way of saving it? It didn=t seem so through most of the pregnancy, yet now I know it was His way of saving me, at least.
Through nine months of sickness, my salvation was in the planning for the blessed arrival. Through the caring of various female friends and family, and the assurance that this child was a gift from God, I received solace from the pain of a marriage in shambles. As soon as the baby began to grow in me, I dedicated him to God, knowing this was His child more than anyone=s. Christian became my life, my opus magnus.
When he was born, complications separated us somewhatB perhaps God=s way of bonding him to his father, because in order to grow into the man he is, he needed us both. Due to a rare and unforeseen condition, I suffered a great loss of blood after delivery and had to undergo surgery to stop the bleeding. I remember vividly waking up in the recovery room, when someone laid him on my breast briefly, one smile for a photo, and then I blacked out. Once I was in Intensive Care, my baby had to visit me in a clear plastic Abubble@ to protect him from picking up harmful germs in the ICU. I could touch him with my fingers through a small opening in the side of his capsule, but others (nurses, his father, his grandparents) were privileged to give him the caresses I longed to bestow. It is no wonder, then, the closeness he feels to this day to his grandparents. As I slowly recuperated at home over months and months, I also gradually took over his nurturing from the nurses, family and friends who cared for us both.
It is an oft-retold part of our family history, this strange time in our lives. The day Christian was born his Dad's mother flew to California to care for another grandchild who had been critically injured in an automobile accident. I clearly remember her visiting us in the hospital, having a first look at her new grandson, dressed up to catch her flight to Los Angeles. Ten days later, the day Christian and I came home from the hospital, my father underwent open-heart surgery (scheduled months before) in a hospital across town. My mother moved into my mother-in-law=s cottage in our backyard, and from there she drove across town to visit my father during the day, then back to help with Christian and me at night! Once Daddy was out of the hospital, he took up residence in the cottage with my mother, where his new grandson spent hours balanced on a pillow on his grandfather=s knees. It is safe to say that of all the people in his family, both physically and spiritually Christian resembles my father more than any. NO ONE can convince me that God=s hand was not guiding every step of this bittersweet ballet taking place across 3000 miles and many months!
For the next six years Christian became my life=s work. I cared for him day and night, experiencing a love I could never have imagined, a love which only another mother can understand. He was the light in my life, the one common bond between his father and me. Though the marriage continued on shaky ground, holidays and family gatherings became more special with the focus of a child. My world shifted to shopping for baby food and diapers and communing with other mothers about the joys and trials of motherhood.
“For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (Psalm 139:13-14)
READ: 1 Samuel 1:1- 2:2
PONDER THIS: What has been the greatest blessing of your life thus far? Did it come at a price?