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  • Mason Sherrill

Postpartum Thoughts, Baby #2

There’s nothing like giving birth to a precious baby girl, having her whisked away to the NICU, & waiting out a much longer than anticipated stay there, to put your life in perspective. I’m now watching the rise and fall of my baby’s belly as she breathes while napping. Just a few days ago, I watched that little belly bounce up & down twice as fast as she struggled to breathe without medical support. Since bringing her home I have wept over how hard it is to care for a newborn. Second time around with a baby apparently doesn’t magically make you a baby whisperer or instantly make your postpartum body ache less in adjusting to baby care outside the womb. Nonetheless, I’m stopped in my tracks of counting the woes of motherhood when I watch those little breaths push through her swaddle. She’s breathing. She has life. NICU or not, conceiving, carrying, & birthing a baby is nothing short of miraculous. The Lord has given & sustained this little life for me to care for. I dare not squabble it in some sort of martyrdom complex thinking merely of how hard this is for me. There are far many more gifts, blessings, & miracles I am taking for granted in this moment than the short list of momentary discomforts.

Sounds all nice and dandy. “Yes, yes. Count your blessings. I know!” I can see my own flesh’s eyes rolling at me. But the reality is, if I know this, why don’t I do it? The flesh has a funny way of grabbing the reigns of emotions & making a run for the overgrown, rocky ditch, just to the side of the road, & then pretending that the bumpy terrain is the only option for ridding. Reality is, pulling back on those reigns is actually still an option. Giving a little jerk back on the path isn’t a complex choice. But it’s just that, a choice. One that, only by God’s grace, can be made at any moment in the day. We can choose & should continue choosing it over again. How then should we make this choice, even on some of the genuinely hard days?

Colossians 3:12-17

[12] Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, [13] bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. [14] And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. [15] And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. [16] Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. [17] And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

There’s so much there. Lots of things to work on yet, this passage is so drenched in grace. The things that stick out to me most are

  • forgiveness: receiving & giving

  • peace: letting the comfort of His character cover anxiety

  • singing: yes, out loud, either a psalm or a hymn

  • giving thanks: easy concept, but requires a child like faith to literally start listing things to be thankful for

  • letting the Word dwell: gotta read the Word to let it dwell. Read it or listen to it, whatever, just get it in the system

  • doing all in the name of the Lord: actively & consciously reminding ourselves who all this is for

The grace here is that there really is a way out of the ditch & it’s by faithfully obeying simple disciplines of the faith we already know about. Nothing new, nothing crazy. In fact, they’re things we’re teaching our own children to do! Thanks be to God we can to choose to live like we have more blessings to count than curses, because we truly are bountifully blessed.

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