As I sit and reflect on the last 19 years, i cannot believe time passed so quickly! As July 2nd became July 3rd, 1991, I was quickly beginning to notice I must get to the hospital – you see, I was great with child. a girl child. Following three boys, that was a pretty big deal. And I was more than ready to meet her face to face. I had seen a few pictures (ultrasound – not 3D, they didn’t do those yet, at least not that I knew of) of her, but was so eager to hold her, look into her eyes, introduce her to her daddy, and all her brothers……
She had made sure since day one, we took notice of her – high risk from the very start, we were absolutely sure that she would be special. With our other babies, we never had a problem or concern. We encountered challenge after challenge as this one grew and developed, yet I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that God would complete His good work in her. And as He did that in her, He also worked on some things in me. Like patience. and love for a daughter . and faith. in Him. I mean, deep down, rubber meets the road kind of faith. At times, I could not even think of words to pray – the situation would get so out of control it seemed. I was at a loss for words so many times – I remember specifically thinking I should be able to articulate a prayer – yet knew He was receiving my desire, my plea, even with no words. And I believed.
Each day could present a new problem or challenge. However, as we met each situation, I knew God’s peace. I knew people were praying for this little baby, and I had great security in my God being able, and willing, to answer them. One of the most precious things I received after the birth, was an index card from my church – completely covered with initials. I mean, you can barely see the card itself for all the writing, letters overlapping letters – of all the people who prayed for this baby as the pregnancy progressed. I was so grateful to each one who prayed, especially when I felt I couldn’t. It sowed faith deep into my soul, to see the answer to each of their prayers. To see the answer to mine.
The story’s too detailed to go fully in to, but let’s just say, we overcame the first trimester’s overwhelming challenges, to a month later being in a car wreck where an uninsured motorist totalled my minivan, to go into pre-term labor a month later, to having surgery, and being put on “bedrest” while having three sons to tend to ages 4-8, and keeping kindergarten children in my home for half the day they weren’t in school, often running up to the hospital when my medicine would not lower the number of my contractions per hour. whew! Then – kidney problems. Oh. My. Goodness.
But here we were, in the wee hours of July 3rd, going to the hospital, thinking we were going to deliver this baby girl soon. Well, we did deliver her, just about 18 hours later! And she was beautiful. And perfect. (well, there was that teeny tiny detail of the cord being wrapped around her neck three times, but after the Doctor so skillfully solved that problem…….) I mean, grateful does not even begin to tell you the relief, joy, thanksgiving, and exhilaration I was feeling. She was so worth every challenge along the way. Now to bond with that baby girl!
Would you believe, right after delivery, I was running a high fever, so they would not let me hold her?!!! I seriously was so undone by that point – but for the next few hours, they worked on lowering my fever, so I could have her. I had waited sooooo long, and it appeared I must wait just a little longer……
Finally, I got to hold her in my arms, and it was perfection. I knew my family was complete with this little angel. As tears slid down my cheeks, and I gazed at her tiny little fingers and toes, I stood in awe. And ever since that very first day, she has brought me joy, delight, love, and a sense of wonder at my God.
She arrived just a few short hours before the 4th of July. I missed the fireworks that year, but have forever been captivated by our “early firecracker”, as we sometimes called her. Happy Birthday, Sara Amanda Mattingly!!!! I can’t imagine my life without you! I love you so so much!!! ~your mom
“The LORD has done great things for us,
and we are filled with joy.” Psalm 126:3
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