On the day you were born, Lillian Adelaide, my noble lily, the Lord changed everything. You see, little girl, as wonderful and miraculous as you are, labor with you may have been the most challenging for me physically thus far. You were posterior and, in my opinion, not at all ready to leave your cozy little nest to face the world, even though God said otherwise.
I started having contractions on Monday, the day before your due date, not intense but they never went away. Then, on Thursday around noon, the contractions changed. This was the real thing but far apart and long: 10 minutes apart and 2 minutes long. Until the very end, that never changed. It was hard waiting, wondering how long this labor would be since typical signs of progress were missing. At one point I sat on the ball and leaned into Daddy’s lap to take a nap and cry because I felt discouraged and beaten down. I wanted to hold you. I missed your brothers. It was their first night ever away from home and my heart was breaking. And then…
Well, then I saw the verse I had written in red marker on the mirror to encourage me during labor: Psalm 13:5, 6, “I have trusted in Your mercy; my heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the Lord because He has dealt bountifully with me.” When I wrote the verse, I was taken with how bountifully the Lord had- and continues to- dealt bountifully with me, offering mercy and grace; salvation beyond my understanding that makes my heart break and the tears run endlessly; that He has taken me- a sinner, filth in rags, unfit for anything good and holy- and cleansed me, sanctified me with the Blood of the Lamb and then made me the vessel He has chosen to bring you into this world- precious, beloved before birth. But, in that moment, I saw the part about singing, trusting, rejoicing. Could I rejoice? In pain, in exhaustion, in fear, in confusion, in seemingly endless waves, could I rejoice, trust, sing? How could I not when He hung on a tree for me and faced the weight of my sins? So I sang, silently, in the depths of my soul with more conviction than ever before: “Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee, how great Thou art, how great Thou art!” And He changed everything.
You see, God had already made me a promise that He would break the gates of bronze and the bars of iron to give me the treasures of darkness and the hidden riches of the secret place. He would do this in order to show that He is the Lord and there is no other (Is. 45:3, 5). He was just waiting for me to sing praise to Him, to trust Him and to rejoice in Him. And that, my darling girl, is the point of the curse: to teach us in the dark wilderness of pain and doubt to trust, to rejoice and to sing.
Within thirty minutes, you were born. Because after 28 hours of self-reliance, I remembered Who controls everything and then I gave all my burdens to Him. And then, I was reminded of how bountifully He has dealt with me, because, my joy and my crown, you were in here, in my arms, screaming louder than any newborn I’ve ever heard. And He changed everything again because you were perfect.