February 27, 2015

Emmaus Walk / Debra Tomaselli

Expectations and putting everything in God’s hands

Debra TomaselliLate one afternoon, my daughter Sara, pregnant and due momentarily, phoned.

“Mom,” she said. “My water broke this morning.”

I jumped from my chair.

“Oooooh!” I said. “We’re going to have a baby this weekend!” I started mentally planning the out-of-town trip.

Despite the distance, I could sense Sara’s fear. She grew serious.

“We’re on a timeline though,” she said. “I have to go into labor within 12 hours, or the midwife will have to admit me into the hospital.”

I cringed. Sara was terrified of hospitals.

That’s why when they knew they were expecting their first child, Sara and her husband Tommy planned a home birth. They’d gathered information, chosen a midwife, attended birth classes. They were ready, but not for a trip to the hospital.

Even as a child, Sara dreaded hospitals. I remember once, in elementary school, Sara had pneumonia. When we arrived at the hospital for a lung X-ray, she refused to exit our minivan. I tried convincing her that the X-ray wouldn’t hurt, that it would be quick, and that I’d accompany her the whole time, but she trembled fearfully.

Another time, she broke her arm on the school playground. The teacher asked if she was OK, and Sara said yes. She spent that night at a friend’s house. The mom, noticing that Sara was holding her arm funny, called me. “I think maybe she doesn’t want to tell me something’s wrong. Will you talk to her?” Sara insisted her arm was fine.

They went roller skating and ate McDonalds, but when Sara returned home, my husband and I brought her straight to the emergency room. Sure enough, she had a fractured elbow.

I don’t know why, but Sara dreads hospital.

So I understood her alarm when the home birth threatened to become a hospital stay. And I knew she needed help juggling that fear.

Immediately, right over the phone, I prayed with Sara.

And when I pray, I don’t tell God what to do. I just ask for strength and courage. I am convinced God knows best, even when things don’t go as we planned. Maybe especially when things don’t go as we expected. I believe all things will glorify God, no matter what happens.

So I prayed that Sara and Tommy would have peace, comfort, strength and courage wherever the labor took them. Before we hung up, I spoke.

“Whatever happens is in God’s hands,” I reminded her. “Trust God.”

Indeed, in the wee hours of the morning, Sara was transferred to the hospital. We were notified by text, including a statement that she was “terrified.” But the only person she wanted there was Tommy, so all we could do was wait … and pray.

“Lord, Sara is in your hands. You love her even more than I do. Even more than a mother, so great is your love for her.

“Right now, we’re waiting.

“Right now and always, Lord, we trust in you.”

P.S.: Little Ellie was born in the hospital, a long and desolate day later. Joyously, Mom and baby are now home and doing well.

(Debra Tomaselli writes from Altamonte Springs, Florida. She can be reached at dtomaselli@cfl.rr.com.)

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