Today marks the due date of my fourth niece. Depending on when this little one actually chooses to arrive, my brother and sister-in-law are either awaiting her birth in great anticipation or have already had face-to-face time with this new human person so generously gifted to them. Her arrival, and the arrival of all of those who come to our families by way of biological birth, adoption, or fostering, give us so much to ponder about our relationship to God.
Our First Reading from the Book of Genesis doesn't mince words: Adam and Eve's disobedience has lasting consequences for every human person born after them. (See Genesis 3:14-24.) Like our biblical ancestors, we will struggle in our relationship with God and with one another:
We'll think we know better than Him.
We'll feel the sting of broken relationships.
We'll wrestle with shame, inadequacy, doubt, addiction, jealousy, and pride.
My dear niece will no doubt suffer all of these in some capacity over the course of her walk this side of Heaven. No one likes to think of such things amidst the joy of a new baby's arrival, but it's true, isn't it?
I find comfort, though, that she is also just as much one of those 4,000 from Saint Mark's Gospel. (See Mark 2:3-8.) She will hunger for Him just as much as they did. His heart, moved with pity for that crowd, will be also be moved for her. And just as He did for them, He will provide for her every need.
Even though my own vocation as of yet is not for biological mothering, I carry the weight and excitement of this beautiful new life with me today. This precious girl is in the Garden with us, and I will pray for her today and every day. No matter your vocation, you have a similar calling as a spiritual mother to pray for the little ones in your life. Which child does God wish to entrust to your care today?
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Doctor Alice von Hildebrand writes on spiritual motherhood and it's stunning.
Karen Schultz hails from the Land of 10,000 lakes, where she is often found in or near one of them. As a doula, lactation educator, and FertilityCare Practitioner, she finds joy in helping women to embrace the gift of their bodies. Downtime is found in quiet adoration chapels, farmers markets and gardens, listening to bluegrass music, and embracing the diversity of Minnesota’s seasons. You can find out more about her here.