The sheer look of panic in your toddler's eyes at midnight can send you into a tailspin. As she struggles to catch her breath, it dawns on your slumbering brain that she is pulling for air like a game of tug-o-war. And the more she pulls, the less she gets.
We pile in the tiny master bathroom, a tangled mess of arms and legs and emotions. The sounds of a barking seal fill the air as the shower heats up and steam pours out from behind the curtain. The rocking and humming of a scared mama attempt to mask a heart that pounds fiercely in her chest. And then, in the blink of an eye, she starts to lift her prayers up to Heaven, as if the carried on the whisps of the steam. She speaks these words out loud, into the night. She claims Truth over her daughter. And herself.
She soothes her baby girl, while wiping the sweat from her brow. Always wiping the sweat from her brow.
Because this mothering. This calling. It is laboring.
No class or book or advice could prepare an expectant mama's heart for the emotions that would wash over her spirit while settling into a steamy bathroom for the night. Nor could you tell a soon-to-be mama that she would soon hear the cries of her child before they ever dropped from the lips. And you certainly can't tell a woman that when her baby struggles to breath, so will she. So will she.
This connection of hearts and souls. Between mother and child.
Through the dark of the night her breathing becomes steady and she drifts off to sleep. Safe in the arms of a woman who sings over her and speaks Life into her.
And it is in that moment that this mama hears the words from Zephaniah quiet her own quaking soul.
'The Lord your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.'