My first year of college I had to write a Narrative essay on a major life event. Here is my essay, describing the my most life changing event. I would love to hear your comments. I hope you enjoy reading it!
In spite of the early morning hour, I answered the telephone. On the other end of the line my sister Kathy was calling to find out the results of my home pregnancy test. I stumbled out of the bed to check the results. I looked at the small round dot in the center of a larger one, an indication that another human life was forming inside my own body. I was delighted to share the positive results with my sister. While I marveled at the thought of a new life growing inside me I could never have imagined the spiritual awakening that becoming a parent would bring.
Pregnancy brought about all the normal physical changes. Fatigue and morning sickness stalked me, so I quit work. With extra time on my hands I began to contemplate what it would mean to be responsible for another life. The new life I was carrying inside caused me to ponder questions like where did life originate? Where I was going and what did I believe about God? I wasn’t sure what I believed. I wanted this child, but world events troubled me. The evening news coverage regularly reported another murder, rape, or natural disaster, and I began to doubt the wisdom of bringing a child into such a violent world. The physical changes brought about by pregnancy were obvious, but there was a not-so-obvious spiritual storm brewing inside of me.
Early one morning another storm began – labor and delivery. In spite of months of Lamaze classes, we dashed out of the apartment in a panic without the bag that had been packed for weeks. We didn’t have far to go – the hospital was just across the street. When we arrived the nurse greeted us, escorted us to a room and made us as comfortable as possible. Twelve hours later our son was born weighing ten pounds and five ounces. Due to a difficult delivery, he arrived with a black eye, but otherwise perfect and healthy. I had hoped for a son, and I was overjoyed. I longed for a little life to care for, guide and love.
When we took our beautiful son home our parenting journey began in earnest. Motherhood was both fulfilling and exhausting. I marveled that I could love another human being so much. I wanted everything to be perfect for him. It didn’t take more that a whimper to bring me dashing to his side. So when he had colic and cried for hours on end I became exhausted and depressed. I felt like a failure when I all my attempts at comforting him failed.
Feeling the need for support we decided it would be nice to visit family and also get help with the baby for a few days. We packed the truck full, one tiny baby and a truckload of supplies, and took our little fellow to see grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. My husband’s grandma gushed over the baby. “His skin is so soft it makes me want to kiss him all over. Even his little bottom is soft as satin” she said, and planted a big kiss on it! How could anyone look at a baby and not believe in God?” she asked. I nodded and feigned agreement, but I still wondered. Now that I had experienced birth and the love and bond of parenthood, I was beginning to see her point.
In the months to follow I found myself contemplating her words. I picked up a Bible and began to read, intending to read it through in my search for the truth. I did not get far. I felt as though I was reading a foreign language. I watched a few religious programs on television, and a show about Nostradamus prophecies, which only amplified my fears.
If one is physically sick, they go to a doctor. If one is emotionally sick, they go to a psychiatrist. Where does one go when the things that plague them are spiritual? When one is grasping to tackle eternal questions, it’s not as simple as getting a prescription. Something deep in my soul ached. What was the meaning of life?
My husband and I relocated just before our son turned a year old and moved into an apartment that was conveniently located just across the street from a Baptist church. Every time I ran an errand, I had to pass that church. It reminded me of my own upbringing. My parents were Christians, but I knew I did not have the same faith they had. Now I was responsible for teaching my son. I knew that eventually he would have questions about God, and I felt I should have the answers. The turmoil, like labor, was intensifying and made me less than pleasant company. Early one Sunday morning, I woke my husband up, ready for an argument. You never take me anywhere, I complained. I can still remember his bewildered and dreamy gaze as he looked up at me. Clearly an early morning argument was not on his agenda this Sunday. Where do you want me to take you, he asked? Let’s just go to church, I said. There’s a Baptist church right across the street.
When we arrived, friendly people greeted us and escorted us to a seat. A man behind us gave us a Bible that was already opened to the text being preached. It was about Jesus, the good shepherd who gave his life for his sheep. “I am the good shepherd and know my sheep.” The message continued, describing a God who truly cares about his people. In spite of my upbringing, I knew I had never accepted Christ. Later that day, I read a pamphlet that one of the ladies at church had given me after the service. It explained that faith is choosing to believe what God has revealed in his word, and depending on him to keep his promises. The explanation that believing is a choice one makes hit home for me. It was logical, not just emotional. That day I chose to believe the Bible has the facts, and that Jesus died to pay the penalty for my sins. I received his offer of salvation, made to all who believe and call upon him. I had spent my whole life in church and around Christians, but until I read that pamphlet I never understood that believing was a choice. When we finally understand something that seems foreign to us, we usually say “Oh, now I see”. What we mean is that now we understand, we comprehend. Now I could “see”. I had experienced the new birth described in the Bible. Now when I read the Bible, I actually understood it. At church we sang the same songs I had grown up with, but now they had meaning. I began to pray, and God answered in miraculous ways. Jesus became my hope, my treasure and my Savior. Not only had I given birth, I had received the new birth Jesus talks about in the Bible. I was born again.
As I look back on my experience now, I realize that becoming a mother caused me to think about spiritual matters of eternal consequence that I had scarcely contemplated before. I realize that I gained answers to the questions plaguing me because I was honestly seeking the truth. I can see how events beyond my control were providential, like moving across the street from a church. And I know that as God seeks us, we have a choice to respond by seeking him.