Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Unimaginable Gift

This isn’t even my story.  I was just privileged to be a small part of it.  But, what an honor it was to be a witness to so much joy and to such a miracle! 
            It was 2:00 in the morning; the hospital room was dim, except for the contraction and heart monitors blinking off and on.  The doctor came in and said quietly, “Nicole, it’s time to push.”  Chris, the baby’s daddy, and I sat beside her on the bed.  “You can do this, Nicole!” Chris said.  As we grabbed hands, Nicole began praying and praising God. “Lord, thank you for giving me the desire of my heart.  You know, Lord, that as a child, I never even let myself imagine that you would give me a family to love—a normal life. But here I am now, giving birth to my sweet baby girl.  Lord, I’m so scared, please help me!” 
            As a school counselor for 28 years, some kids just grabbed my heart and never let go. It was 1998 when a little girl with a huge smile walked into my life and stole my heart.  She was tiny, feisty, and as smart as a whip.  Her name was Nicole, and she had cerebral palsy.  Nicole walked with a walker, but ruled the halls of our elementary school. I designed a “driver’s license” for Nicole to encourage her to slow down as she walked (or ran) through the halls. Even though she walked with a walker, God compensated for that by giving her a brilliant vocabulary and an engaging personality.  Nicole loved to talk.
            Nicole had multiple surgeries up until she was in middle school.  She was always in pain, but never really complained until the depression grabbed hold of her off and on.  She was an “old soul” at 13.   She would come to my office, or I would visit her at her home, and we would talk….and talk…and talk.  She wrote beautiful prose, songs, and poetry to express the hurt and joy within her.
            As Nicole moved into high school, we never lost touch.  She would call periodically, and we would talk.  This was a troubling time in Nicole’s life, but God had His hand on her steadying and directing even when she began to lose hope.  There were times when she just wanted the pain to go away and tried to end it all, but God protected her. 
            After high school, life began to take a different turn for Nicole.  She attended college and moved out on her own.  She started going to church, devouring the Bible and teaching His Word; falling in love with God. About this time, she reconnected with a sweet childhood friend, and they fell in love. 
                       And now, Nicole was giving birth to their baby girl.        She had a right to be scared.  The special medical team who followed her pregnancy was concerned about her safety and the ability to push this baby out.  But, God had other plans.  At 3:20 in the morning, this tiny and brave young woman pushed her little girl, red faced and squalling, into the world.  She was beautiful.  They both were.   All of a sudden the room was filled with doctors, nurses, and (I’m sure) her heavenly guardian angel cheering and witnessing a miracle!

Never in my life had I seen such love as when they placed this baby girl into Nicole’s arms.  Tears streaming down her face, she thanked the Lord for giving her a gift that she could never have (in her wildest dreams) imagined.  I could just picture Jesus standing right there beside her, filling the room with His shekinah glory and smiling His huge smile.

Now thanks be to God for His Gift, [precious] beyond telling. II Corinthians 9:15