The Promise Tucked Inside My Miracle
By: Noelle Kirchner
“Your eyes beheld my unformed substance. In your book were written all the days that were formed for me, when none of them as yet existed” - Psalm 139:16
When the doctor placed him on my stomach, all I could do was cry.
As I had approached his delivery day, I was resolved to fully experience this moment. I wanted to relish my first look at him, a child whom I knew so well and yet not at all. I could at last see the little hands that I had felt tapping against my belly. I could take in his face in real time instead of through the grainy ultrasound pictures. I could finally feel his warmth against my skin as I held him close.
My tears were the response of joyful praise—praise that had known such yearning for this moment. This praise bubbled out of a deep well that housed the tears of waiting, had known disappointment and had believed in the darkness that God would fulfill his promise. The light of the delivery room illuminated that perfect, healthy miracle who now rested in my arms.
He was the work of the Creator. “For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb” (Psalm 139:13, NIV).
As a mother of three, I can attest to how these early moments carry with them hints of my children’s future character. My oldest child made me what I had never been before—a mother. His delivery was the hardest as he paved the way for his future siblings, but he ushered in a chapter of my life that will never end and has changed everything. He continues to inspire me as I see traces of my very spirit radiate out from his tender heart.
My second son’s delivery was the most empowering. I delivered naturally in an environment that was charged emotionally and physically. His boldness, charisma, and fiery nature reflect exactly how he came into the world.
As I held my third son, I sensed his determination. The yearning I had to have him was reflected in a confidence and determination of his own. I noticed it as he moved, nursed, and assertively claimed his space in the world. I had an uncanny sense that God had meant for us to be together.
The Psalmist proclaims the providence of birth, “Your eyes beheld my unformed substance. In your book were written all the days that were formed for me, when none of them as yet existed” (Psalm 139:16).
It’s wonderful having a baby again. I breathe in his newborn smell from his soft, downy hair. I smile at his soft grunts and coos. I examine his tiny fingernails and marvel at the intricacies of his body. I allow myself to cuddle him just a little longer. Amidst the flurry of activity around me with his two older brothers, I offer a prayer of gratitude.
I am in love. My love was swift and is burning. It’s undeterred by the mess of my house as I scramble to simply get through the chaos of my days. It’s replenished despite the sleepless nights and physical demands of childrearing. It’s motivating as my family tests its balance for a new normal.
The Psalmist attests to this same wonder, “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; that I know very well” (Psalm 139:14).
As the days unfold, I love to see my family bond with the baby. My husband holds him every night after our older sons go to bed. My son studies his face, listens to his deep voice, and is comforted by my husband’s heartbeat as he sprawls across his chest. It’s rewarding to see my older sons want to hold and interact with their new brother. I take a step back and watch three people whom I brought into the world experience the joy of one another.
My experience as a parent prompts me to consider the Creator’s joy for each of us. We are his children. I cannot fathom the depth of his unconditional, abiding love for us, his creations. Can you imagine the contours of his face as he watches you? Do you know how much he longed and still longs for you?
The Psalmist professes, “You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is so high that I cannot attain it” (Psalm 139:5-6).
While there is an element of mystery to our knowledge of God this side of heaven, a child unveils a glimpse of God’s own heart—that too is its miracle.
Rev. Noelle Kirchner, MDiv., believes we don’t have to live with full schedules and thin souls. A busy mom of three boys, she is passionate about making faith fresh and relevant. Noelle is a graduate of Princeton Seminary and an ordained Presbyterian minister who has served in churches for over ten years. She has written for places like the TODAY Show Parenting Team, Huff Post Parents, The Laundry Moms, and (in)courage. Her faith and family cable television show, Chaos to Calm, features parenting hot topics and has hosted two New York Times bestselling authors. Watch her episodes or sermons, connect with her on social media, and follow her blog by visiting her website, or receive her free devotional e-book here.
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