I just recently got back from New Jersey where I was visiting my sister's newborn twins. It am truly overjoyed that they were brought into this world both happy and healthy. There is a special place in my heart that I have dedicated to the two of them. This sacred space is reserved for my niece and nephew because they were the catalysts that launched my new found dance with Spirit. They were the subject matter of my prayers when I first heard the calling of God. For that, I am so very blessed.
I admit, up until 8 days ago, I was horrified to have children. I hadn't changed but a handful of diapers, it hurt me physically to hear people cry, and the thought of breastfeeding and childbirth sent me straight into a panic. I recently had a conversation with my own mother where I offered up my true feelings on the subject. My heart wanted to be a mother, but my head and body just weren't ready and I wasn't sure they'd ever be.
Within minutes of getting to my sister's house she left to go pick up my 2-year-old niece from daycare. Before I could even put down my bags I was left with not one, but two newborn babies who quite honestly, scared the heck right out of me. My sister said before grabbing her keys to run out the door, "Don't worry. I'll be back within the hour. Besides, you'll be fine. They're sleeping. They're fine when they're sleeping." I immediately wondered what that meant for me if they woke up. "Would they not be fine? Would I not be fine?" And of course, ten minutes later, I found myself looking down at my totally lucid nephew who was working himself up to a full blown scream. "Pick him up." I thought. That seemed like the logical answer to a crying baby. Lucky for me at that point, my niece was somehow still sleeping through all his madness and did not seem to need the same attention. So I picked him up while paying careful attention to his head and neck like I'd been taught, and drew him close. About 30 seconds in, I abandoned my fear and became overwhelmed with a love I had never known.
In that moment, my nephew Brayden puckered out his mouth in a way that made me smile, and he looked up at me with his large curious eyes. I swooned the way all women my age seem to when they see a newborn. I knew before leaving for my sister's home that I intended to thank both Brayden and Brylee for their existence and reward them by revealing the secret of God's love. So I figured there was no better time than the present. First I said (in regards to his puckered out mouth) "Sorry buddy, there's nothin' here for ya" and then I let him in on the Good News. While lying him on his back in my hands, I told him about my experience during that heartfelt prayer. I told him how his mere existence might be my greatest pleasure. I told him about the Holy Spirit and how I even felt Its prescense during our current one sided conversation. I told him that God already loved him and it was a greater love than he'll ever know. I told him about his mother and how important it was for him to listen to her. While I was letting him in on the Good News, I couldn't help but feel like I wasn't telling him anything he didn't already know. Like somehow Brayden might have a few things to teach me about God and spirituality. His innocence alone was proof that he was a"better person" than I. I then wondered to myself if God was with us before we were in our mother's womb and then I wondered if God did indeed know us before we were born, did we know him too? Is that why these babies cry so much? Because they came into this world from a place far better than it? Is it because they were recently in God's prescense and now not? My mind raced into a million directions the way it always does. Inquiring about heaven, earth, spirit, God, children and their innocence, but one thing kept coming back for me..... One day, if it was the will of God, I was going to have a baby of my own. And that babies life would be in my hands (literally and figurately) and I wondered what that actually meant for me, my husband and for that baby.
This is the point where my mind would instinctually go to the crying, diapers, never have a life of your own until you're retired at 65 part, but instead, I thought about my responsibility to grow them up in a home that taught spiritual disciplines. A home where prayer was commonplace. A home where they saw the relationship of mom and Dad in the divine order it was intended. One where me, as the wife, completely submitted to my husband, and one where my husband Patrick loved me so much that he'd lay his life down for me. Where I was responsible for bringing them to church on Sabbath. For forgiving my husband when he made me mad and making sure my children were well cared for. This spiritual responsiblility that my husband and I would be charged with didn't scare me like it usually does. It didn't bring forth my normal reaction: "oh no! Responsibility for someone else....WHAT ABOUT ME?" instead, it moved me. I thought about how I would bring up my child in a supportive home where we would allow the Spirit of self-control, patience, joy, peace and love to overflow into everything. I thought about teaching my children about the right path and watching them grow up to make their decisions based on the wisdom they held. If we have children, my husband and I will build our house on a ROCK with a strong foundation. We would be responsible for the spiritual development of another person and they will grow to discern truth. And what pleasure that possibility brings me!
I realized while holding my nephew in my hands that this was the second time he had played some part in my awakening. I not only wanted children if it is God's will for me to do so, but if I am blessed in such a way, I am going to be a great mother. I'm going to be a great mom because I'm not only going to feed my children with nutritious foods that help them grow into strong healthy adults, but I'm going to feed them spiritual food and watch them develop into the people that God has intended them to be. And this next stage is one I'm truly looking forward to. So again, thank you Brayden, because of you, I have once again clearly received the promptings of the Holy Spirit, I heard His voice, and I will follow. What joy!