As a young child I longed to know that there was someone in control. My little heart cried out for comfort, security and protection.
When I got a little older I heard mention of God. Surely He would set right a world that didn’t make sense? Small hands asked for big things. That didn’t happen.
With the certainty and independence of adolescence I had decided that God must not exist after all. Convinced my circumstances proved me right, I stopped praying, crying, or hoping for change. I was on my own and it would be up to me to obtain what I so longed for.
It would be years before I cried again. Still longer for me to hope in someone other than myself. And a marriage, a toddler, and another pregnancy before I would pray again.
Twelve weeks into the pregnancy of our daughter I finally waded out of nausea and exhaustion to lunch with a friend. Pale, weary, and chasing a toddler, I was excited for some adult conversation and food that would stay, hopefully, down. Timidly finishing my lunch I scrambled to get our toddler son to the bathroom in time. After our third round of hand drying with the very entertaining blow dryer, I stood up and knew something was wrong. A quick check confirmed my fear. I was bleeding. Too much.
Heart sinking, hands shaking, I ushered our oldest back to the table and tried to bravely tell my friend I needed to get to the doctor. Thankfully, she took charge. All calm, reassuring and full of reason she told me to go right there, she’d meet me. Call Hubby and she’d watch the oldest until he got there. On auto pilot, I followed directions and shortly thereafter found myself in an exam room hearing the doctor echo my thoughts. Too much blood.
Sent to the hospital for an ultrasound I waited barely breathing to see the life still breathing inside of me. There it was! The tiny flutter of a bravely beating heart. Exhaling, my own started to beat again. Tears streaming down my face, I watched her bounce around oblivious to the turmoil she was causing outside. The technician did a thorough check and I was told “the pregnancy is still viable”. What she meant to say was, my baby was still alive. I needed to go home and rest and return the next day to check again. To call if anything changed.
As I laid in bed I prayed.
God, please don’t take her from me! I already love her!
For I knew she was a girl from the first.
Then I begged.
God, I don’t care if there’s something wrong, I don’t care if I need to spend the next six months in bed. Please let me hold her in my arms!
Finally, I bargained.
God, I know I’ve complained of the discomforts of early pregnancy but I will never do it again! She is worth every lost meal and I will be so much more grateful for the gift of her! Truly, every little flutter and bump of her exploring has been pure joy! Even when I’m laying on the bathroom floor. Please don’t take her away….
The next several weeks I rejoiced as the bleeding stopped, blood work came back fine and every ultrasound showed her contentedly growing, nestled in my womb. I thanked God, praising Him for His kindness and mercy.
Then, when given the gift of holding her in my arms, my heart overflowed with gratitude. This perfect tiny girl with the delicately arched eyebrows, pouty lips, and beautiful blue searching eyes was my miracle. My answer to prayer.
Several years later, I was still praying. Growing in my relationship with Christ when I found out that little miracle wasn’t perfect after all. How could He give me a healthy child, let me believe all these years that He answered my desperate prayers, and then just pull the rug out from under me? Betrayed and heartbroken, instead of turning away again I would fire off these questions, waiting for His answer.
And it came. Gentle like a whisper at the hairs on my forehead.
This IS the child for which you prayed.
Soft as a caress on the side of my damp cheek.
I formed her in your womb.
Slowly, so that I’d understand.
I know every hair on her precious head.
This child is still my answer to prayer. The same one He placed in my womb, the one I prayed to hold, the one He gave me.
Through this child He’s answered so many prayers I thought had gone unanswered. For through her, He called me to Him. And through my journey with her, has taught me comfort, safety and security can only be found in Him.
So, for this child, my perfect answer to prayer, I will continue to pray.