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A letter to my newborn baby
This is what I want you to know and hold on to as you grow up.
To my newborn baby,
I’m writing this letter as I stare at you, sleeping peacefully in your crib. I just finished feeding you and I’m still humming the children’s song that says, “God’s kingdom is for little ones and I’m included too.” I looked up in the Bible what Jesus said about children in Mark 9:37, “Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me.” As I try to take in this verse, I cannot help but look back to our recent experience.
I remember clearly how your dad and I were counting down the weeks to when we would be welcoming you together as the midwife handed you over safely into our arms. We excitedly imagined calling both our families and friends to inform them about your arrival and them coming to visit us in the hospital with warm hugs. But that was not to be.
It was March 2020. As usual, since early in the year, the news was flooded with updates about COVID-19 – but this time, it was in Europe. The thought of having a baby in this time did not occur to me at all and the idea of COVID-19 coming close to us in Norway was far from my thoughts. But the unexpected happened.
I was rushed to the hospital, due to my water breaking early. I underwent daily tests and observations for almost two weeks. I met different nurses and midwives while in the hospital and they all had one topic in common – COVID-19. They informed me of the rules of the hospital. No visitors allowed. I was not allowed to leave the room, as it was safest for my health; we couldn’t afford getting any virus in my state. Dads were only allowed to join moms in the delivery room, but had to leave as soon as possible. And if they were in quarantine, then they would not be allowed in the hospital at all.
The experience was not all roses and butterflies, of course. There were times that I wished myself somewhere else – home with your dad eating homemade food or anywhere other than the hospital. But I could feel God’s arms around me comforting me and at the same time exhorting me to forget about what I felt and rather think about you and your health. There were times that I got very bored and didn’t know what to do. I prayed for help and God gave me ideas like sending messages to some friends to ask how they were doing, and even the idea of knitting you a blanket. It is amazing how God doesn’t just answer us by spiritual help, but with practical things too!
There were worries about not being prepared, not having all the things I would have loved you to have before you arrived. But the verse in Colossians 3:2, “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth,” helped me a lot. There is no point in having a very organized nursery for you if I’m a mom full of anxiety and worries.
Then one day the doctor came with a test result that made her suggest that it was time for you to come – five weeks earlier than expected. The process had to start on the same day. Since your dad was in quarantine, this meant one thing – I would be giving birth by myself.
Prayer requests to friends and family were sent as the midwife got me ready to meet you. Later that evening you were on my chest. Warm – as warm as the hot-water bag I was hugging earlier that day. Everything went well and the doctor was happy with the tests they did with both of us. Five days later we were ready to go home and meet your dad for the first time!
“Why me? Why this? Why now?” Throughout my stay in the hospital, these questions often came to my thoughts unbidden. Then these verses in Jeremiah 29:11-13 helped me a lot as I tried to understand it: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you” – that means He knew this would happen to me – “thoughts of peace and not of evil.” He wants me to have peace – peace in every way. He wants me to rest assured that He has it under control, that I don’t have to doubt and worry about anything! “Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.” He wants me to talk to Him about the situation and He will listen to me! Even though He knows about it, He still wants me to talk to Him, which means He is interested in how I see it and that I rely on Him in my situations. “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” By the time I was analyzing this part of the verse, I had complete rest. He said it Himself. That is the only thing He is asking of me: that I search for Him wholeheartedly. Which means, if I come to any situation – whether it’s being in the hospital or at home or at work, big things or small daily situations – if I search for Him with all my heart, I will find Him and I can talk to Him and He will give me everything I need to get through it and remain in peace and rest! No person on earth can give such assurance as this!
This has been a very different experience than I had in mind when it came to having you – my first baby. But as I look back, I can honestly say that it was better than I could ever have imagined! I could only talk to your dad over the phone, but I had all those times talking to God and getting to know Him more. I could not have visitors, but God was there every day and He looked after me – after us. I was alone in the delivery room, but I could sense that the room was filled with angels praying for us!
So, if you ask me one day about my experience of giving birth to you, I only have one thing to say – it was a very beautiful and special experience. God did not just assure me that I would be fine in the hospital, but it was a confirmation that He pays close attention in every single thing that happens, and He hears our prayers if we search for Him with all our heart. And this is what I want you to know and hold on to as you grow up.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®, unless otherwise specified. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.