by Paul Walerczak
On June 11th, 2012 at 5:51pm, Lisa and I welcomed our seventh child into the world. Over the past several weeks the anticipation had been building and we were eagerly awaiting the day when Norah Beth would make here entrance into the world.
Things don't often go as planned around our house and the birth of Norah was no exception. Lisa was originally scheduled to deliver Norah on June 19th at 3:30pm. When my lovely bride went in for her regular weekly check up on the 11th her doctor said "I don't feel comfortable sending you home due to the fact you are having so many contractions". Lisa called me to inform me of the news which sent me into a flurry of activity trying to figure out what needed packed for our 6 children at home, who was I going to take them too, and just how in the world would I pull all that off, and get to the hospital in time for the birth of Norah. I am sure I sounded somewhat like a drill sergeant barking out orders and giving directions. I am so thankful that my kids really can do a lot on their own these days and they simply rolled with the punches. I am also grateful for a wonderful supportive family who always seem to step up when there is a time of need.
The first sixty seconds of Norah's life was somewhat traumatic on ol' mom and dad to say the least. Lisa's doctor pulled Norah from the womb at 5:51pm and quickly showed her to us before handing her to the nurses for them to start their clean up procedure and vital checks of our new baby. At that moment there was something noticeably missing from the operating room. We were all listening for the cry of new life in the room and it simply wasn't to be heard. As I approached the cleaning station, filming the entire event like a good dad should, I realized that baby Norah's color was blue not pink, and that she was not breathing. The nurses were calm, cool, and collected as they messaged Norah's little body, suctioned out her mouth, and eventually began giving her rescue breaths to start her breathing. There was an obvious tension growing in the room. At that moment as much as I wanted to breath for Norah I couldn't. She was in the hands of God and all I could do was pray.
After roughly sixty seconds of silence that seemed like an eternity, Norah coughed, took her first breath of life, and then began to cry. Just like that the tension was lifted. The doctors and nursing staff all began to giggle, laugh, and start the process of reassuring Lisa and I that Norah Beth was going to be just fine.
Since Monday I have had time to reflect on that tense moment of Norah's birth. As always, through events like this, God has been faithful to remind me of some of His eternal truths. As much as I wanted to take a breath for Norah in that moment I simply couldn't. With God's help she had to do that for herself. I know there will come another day in the future when Norah will have to make the most important decision of her life. It really is another life and death choice. At some point Norah will have to make the choice as to whether or not she will allow Jesus to be her Savior and Lord. As much as I may want to make that choice for her I simply cannot make her place her trust in Christ. What I can do is pray, live out the Bible, teach her God's word, counsel her when she has questions, and ultimately point her to Jesus. I am confident of this truth. When the day comes for Norah to make this life or death choice, the One who enabled her to take her first breath of life will also be there to graciously guide her in the most important decision of all.
I Corinthians 12:3B "....and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit".