Tuesday, December 15, 2009

“No temas, yo estoy contigo”-- by Emmanuel Garcia

Isabella Rose Garcia was born on Sunday, November 29th at 6:48am. The day will stay with me; I’m sure, for the rest of my life. But, probably not for the reasons that you might guess. Yes it was absolutely incredible to experience the birth of our first child. As I sit here on my living room floor while my wife and my new little girl sleep beside me, I am filled with gratitude that only the Lord can know. However, the 28 hours of labor that I had to endure that weekend was one of the hardest things I’ve ever gone through in my life. (I realize that this statement seems wrong in so many ways.) What I mean is, it was so hard to see my wife suffer through so much pain. It was terrible! In the 28 hours leading up to Isabella’s birth, it seemed as though everything that could have possibly gone wrong...did.

I remember coming to the end of the labor and watching the nurses whisk my wife away into the operating room for the C-section. I was supposed to follow them in after a few minutes, but Isabella’s heart rate had begun to drop and the emergency surgery would not allow me to enter the room. My mind drifted to all sorts of possible outcomes; mostly bad. The verses that my sister had given my wife were left back in the labor and delivery room along with the Christian music that we had brought to encourage us. I remember ringing my hands and struggling to find verses that would bring me comfort.

Several months ago Melanie and I had “Lance Armstrong-type” bracelets made for our Hispanic Bible study members. Of course, I had the first few words of my all-time favorite bible verse imprinted on the bracelets. “No temas, yo estoy contigo,” It comes from Isaiah 41:10, “Do not fear, I am with you.”

As I tried to keep myself from breaking down in that moment outside the operating room, my eyes drifted to the bracelet. I started crying heartily (uncontrollably sounds so un-manly). It must have been a pretty bad scene, because every nurse that came by tried to encourage me with, “Don’t worry, everything will be alright!” Little did they know that the God of this universe had brought me more comfort than they ever could. Looking back at my life, moments like these have always seemed to stick with me. I remember crying in bed as a little boy as my father broke dishes against the wall in an alcoholic rage while yelling at my mother. I remember the indescribable Spirit of God comforting me as I drifted to sleep. I remember coming to the realization in college that I would not be able to complete a degree in Computer Science, and weeping over the phone with my mother. Her words were just what I needed to hear. I remember the day I got the phone call from a potential employer telling me that they would not be offering me the job. I had never been turned-down for a job before and it crushed me. My brother-in-law took me out to lunch and I could barely hold back the tears.

At every profound point of despair over my 28 years of life, the Lord has sent me the grace that I have needed to get through. It is overwhelming! What scandalous LOVE and grace He gives us!!

I have little more to say. Only that Melanie and Isabella are both completely healthy and doing well. Isabella was born 9 lbs 11 oz and 22 ½ inches!! She’s daddy’s little burrito! Maybe one day soon I’ll get to tell her about the day she was born and how God came through for me...again!

Psalm 34:1-10
I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. My soul will boast in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together. I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them. Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him. Fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing. The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.

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