I knelt to the ground, my empty hands open heavenward. I didn’t have any words to form into prayers. My heart completely turned to God, which was more genuine, more sincere than any words could possibly be. It was natural to rely on God, but this moment was entirely trust. I had nothing to offer on my own merits, yet my hands were open in expectation. In the blur of a few seconds, I looked down and gazed at the most precious miracle humanity has ever received: new life.
The brisk morning wind whispered past as I stared at the new baby in awe and disbelief. Her tiny fingers curled and legs stretched, but she was quiet. In the dim light of the dawn, I watched her little body rise and fall with her first breath. Out of all of humanity, God had asked me to welcome this tiny baby to the world. He had chosen me to be the first hands to hold her, the first eyes to see her thick, dark hair. He chose me to be the support and encouragement during those critical moments of her arrival. The first to congratulate her mother and speak her name for her tiny ears to hear.
My inadequacy flooded over me. I had nothing to offer this precious child. I was keenly aware of how unworthy I was to hold this innocent life as I wrapped her in a jacket. This moment didn’t require special qualifications, though. It just demanded me to love with all my being. To show up without shying from the messiness or demands, to believe that God’s grace was greater than my own weaknesses, that He could use me to accomplish His will, despite my inadequacy. I handed the new bundle of life to her mother and wrapped my blanket around them both.
As we awaited the paramedics’ arrival, the momentousness of the event settled upon us and we beamed in joy and relief. My mind went back to two days prior as we sat in the prayer room together. I asked God to watch over both of them. That they may be safe and healthy through delivery. Tears filled my eyes as I realized how quickly and unexpectedly God answered that petition. The grace enveloping each of us at that time was truly divine.
That early morning has forever become a part of who I am. Not only have I formed an intimate bond with both the mother and baby, I have become a Godmother, which gives me a new identity through spiritual motherhood. Out of all of the MissionCorps over the years, I will never understand why this was my specific calling, my blessing. Though I will not encounter that experience on a daily basis, I know that God asks the same of me: to continue to respect and support the dignity of every single person. I am called to simply do what love requires at every moment. His grace and His providence will supply where my abilities lack.
“For this child I prayed; and the Lord has granted me my petition which I made to him.” 1 Samuel 1:27
Mary Sue was born on January 17, 2017 at 6:34 am weighing 6 pounds and 4 ounces. She has a full head of dark hair and is undeniably perfect.
By Rachel Niekamp, a MissionCorps