(Names and details herein have been changed to protect identities.)
A Visit to Friends
My eight-month-old boy was sliding down my hip. I shifted him higher, then hopped up three deck stairs to get to our friends’ front door. My husband followed close behind, lugging the bulging diaper bag and playpen that I had packed for our short visit; we were first-time parents, and now our friends Bob and Amber were, too.
I rang the doorbell. Bob answered.
In the living room, I set down my boy so he could crawl around. Then, Amber passed her newborn into my eager arms. I cradled her son, wondering at his handsome features. His fragility filled me with awe.
“You are a beautiful little miracle,” I said, stroking his sleepy face and smelling the black downy fuzz that covered his head. “Yes, you are,” I cooed. “A perfect little miracle.”
“He’s Not a Miracle”
Glancing up, I saw Bob smirking. “He’s not a miracle,” Bob said from across the room.
My eyebrows shot up. “What? Don’t you know how many things have to go just right, just perfectly, for conception to even happen? It’s a miracle anyone ever gets pregnant!”
“It’s not a miracle.” Bob shook his head. “It’s just nature.”
We soon found a new topic of conversation and enjoyed the rest of the evening together as friends.
A Growing Family
Years passed. Because life got busy, we didn’t see Bob and Amber as often but we remained friends.
In the meantime, my husband and I had second little boy, and then two years after that, I was pregnant again. I was ecstatic about our growing family.
Near the end of my second trimester, however, I was beginning to feel quite grouchy. This third pregnancy was much more challenging than the first two had been. I was more tired, more emotional, and those pesky pregnancy pounds were climbing steadily. I began to resent the sacrifices my body was making to grow this baby.
Until one afternoon, when everything changed.
The boys and I had plans to go out for lunch, but I was having trouble getting us ready on time. I sat down on my bed, worn out from my morning of washing floors, and leaned over to pull on a pair of plush socks. From this second-story bedroom, I could hear the boys below, cackling and running circles around the dining table. I was so tired, and they were so hyper. Would we make it?
I checked the clock: we were late.
Snatching a necklace off my nightstand, I hurried out of the room and skipped down freshly washed stairs – all while yelling for the boys to get their shoes on and fiddling with the necklace clasp at the back of my neck.
My fuzzy socks slipped. My feet flew up, my butt landed on the edge of a stair, and I proceeded to bump down the steps like a broken slinky.
“Oh, no… Lord, not my baby. Save my baby!” I whimpered.
Landing in a heap at the bottom of the stairs, I Instantly gripped my belly with both hands and clamped my legs shut – as if that would prevent me from miscarrying. Tears streamed down my face. My back felt bruised from scraping along the edges of the stairs. My left hip and entire rear-end screamed after the rough ride. But all I could focus on was the baby.
A Shift in Perspective
In one harrowing moment, I realized how selfish my attitude had been of late, and I knew that I would do anything to keep this baby. I would willingly gain every pound required. I would weather the mood swings and exhaustion. I would give up lofty dreams of keeping the house clean. My baby was worth every sacrifice.
Once I felt brave enough to get up off the floor, I called my husband at work to inform him that we needed to go to the hospital. Then, I called my mom.
“Please pray,” I cried. “I’m so scared I’ll lose the baby.”
After several uncertain hours, we arrived back home. According to the emergency doctor, my baby seemed well; but I was instructed to rest for 72 hours and report any bleeding or cramping. My good husband took care of me and our boys all weekend. After the danger zone had passed, I thanked God for my miracle baby who was still growing safely in my womb.
A few weeks later, our friend Bob happened to stop by our house. We hadn’t seen him or his wife Amber in quite some time, and it felt good to catch up.
Several minutes into our conversation, however, Bob shared with us that he and Amber were struggling to conceive a second child.
“Doctors say it was a miracle she got pregnant the first time,” Bob said.
Shivers crawled up my arms. I put a hand on my belly, feeling a little self-conscious about the ball of baby filling my t-shirt.
Bob went home.
After Winter, Comes Spring
Winter passed, and in spring, I gave birth to a healthy baby girl.
Then, later that summer, my husband and I invited Bob and Amber to our house for a barbeque. When they arrived, I picked up my chubby baby girl and scurried outside to greet our friends. Bob came up the walk first, smiling. Their five-year-old son ran past him, heading straight for the backyard play structure. Amber came last. She was wearing a long blue sundress that hugged a growing baby-belly. It appeared their second child was due in just a few months.
There are differing beliefs on what constitutes a miracle. This is why I realize that not everyone would agree with mine, and that’s okay. I still believe, however, that every child is a miraculous gift from God – from conception to birth. I see miracles every day, in every person I meet.
Do You Believe in Miracles?
Think of a moment, a season, or an event in your life when you felt certain that you had just received a miracle from God. Then, thank him for his gift.
Sara Jane Kehler