Wednesday, September 20, 2017

But God...

By Rebecca Barnes

I went into labor with our first child on a Sunday afternoon. We had gone to church that morning, to a small place that would always take a moment during the service to pray for the children before they dismissed them to kid’s church. The minister would encourage families to put a hand on a child’s head, and then he would ask for God’s best for them. Every week several hands from friends and acquaintances sitting nearby would reach across to touch my growing belly. They all prayed for our child that day, too.

On our way home I began to feel the first pangs of labor. It was ten days early so I wasn’t sure about what was happening. Also, my labor was slow. Finally, on a Tuesday afternoon, I gave one final push and our baby arrived. I was so relieved and happy that I took a couple of breaths before I even noticed that the baby was not making a sound.

The umbilical cord had broken sometime during the pushing and the doctor was unclear how long the baby had been without oxygen. He told me later that he had never seen anything like this, except in a miscarriage.

The nurses and doctor rushed the baby over to the side of the room to suction her nose and whatever else to revive her.

I began a loud prayer begging Jesus for my baby. I don’t think I’ve ever prayed more fervently either before or since.

My husband was rushing from my side to the baby’s.

“Is it a boy or a girl?” I asked him.


After a minute of time standing still, I heard a tiny whimper from the middle of the crowd of nurses and doctors who hovered over my baby.

My daughter sucked in her first breath. And just like the first human, God breathed the breath of life into her nostrils, and she became a living being.

After a while longer a nurse finally brought her over to me and laid her little five-pound self on my chest. She was quiet, sleepy, and nothing else mattered.

Thousands of years ago, God told his people to remember what he did for them. He told them to keep souvenirs of the miracles he performed. He wanted them to keep a jar of manna to always remember that when they were hungry, he literally rained down bread from heaven. (Exodus 16:32-34.)

He wanted them to remember that when they were facing an impossible situation, he would make it possible. But I think even more than that God wanted his people to know that he was close—always.

The Israelites didn’t remember that most days. Most days they just saw their problems and complained about them. But I get that. Most days I don’t think about the moment God gave my daughter her first breath.

But when I need to remember this I do have a souvenir. We gave our girl a second middle name that means “miracle”. It reminds us that God is close enough to reach his finger down from heaven and make a tiny heart beat.

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Rebecca Barnes is married to an amazing man, who encourages her faith and listens to her typing a lot. She has three daughters and a son-in-law. She loves to cook for anyone who likes good food, and she feels competitive about weeding her flower garden. She lives in Old Town Lafayette because it’s a little eclectic, like her.

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