Victorious

Victorious an adjective meaning:

having achieved a victory; conquering; triumphant: our victorious army.

May 15, 2013

I get the text I've been waiting for. My client is in labor and it is time to go! On my way to drop the kids off at the sitter I begin to feel the stress of the drive, all this traffic because it is a rainy May morning in Texas. I begin to pray.

"Thank you Lord. Your timing is perfect. You hand picked this family for me, you allowed me peace when I was in Guatemala that this birth would wait till I was back. If that wasn't enough you positioned the availability of the back up photographer who was THE one other photographer my client almost hired before she got my name place on her heart. Now Lord, in this moment I need a calm heart. I want to bring your thick unmistakable presence into that home as I enter into the last leg of this birth journey. I pray that this birth goes smoothly, safely and that it is all you have designed it to be. Place your angels guard around that home, my car and our families. Thank you for this gift!"

A text comes through, "baby is coming faster than we thought how far away are you?"

I respond, "Less than 3 minutes away."

I have my camera ready as I park and rush out of my van. I race to the door. Then I stop. The Holy Spirit is reminding me that I need to take a moment to breathe and let the Lord prepare my heart for the next few hours. I close my eyes, take a deep breath, exhale and feel the light misty rain on my skin. I am filled with peace and excitement. I feel fully alive, I am thankful because I haven't felt that feeling in a few weeks. The Lord is here with me, with this family and His presence is unmistakable. I lightly knock on the door, it opens and I enter the home where new life is about to be born.

I assess the situation. Mom is doing well and Dad is hanging in there. There is a silent calm in the room as Mom starts focusing through another contraction. There are a couple of Mom's friends there for support and to help with the other 4 children in the family. Then there was the birthing team, midwife and assistants. It was a beautiful thing to see. Everyone working in harmony to achieve 1 goal. Help Mom deliver a healthy baby into a safe and loving environment.

This would be my first home birth to attend and if I am honest the first natural birth. I was in the zone. Lost behind the lens, framing shots and freezing time to capture the story. This Mom was birthing her 5th child. This was not her first home birth and she was relaxed and excited about having a birth photographer for the first time.

As time progressed and labor intensified, it became clear to all of us that this was going to be a longer and harder journey than expected. I could see that this was not what Mom expected. Baby was doing great every time we listened to his heart rate and Dad was a supportive in every way he could think of. The older siblings were getting excited about meeting the new addition and ready for Mom in the other room to be out of pain. The youngest of them kept busy watching tv and playing games.

Soon it was time to meet the little one. I later told this mom, "Watching my friend Laura walk her journey out I always told her along the way she was my hero. The way she handled hard and painful circumstances and gave God the glory for every good thing. Yes she was my hero. Then I watched you, push through a very challenging birth, call out to Jesus for help, and I got to see the change in your being when you were strengthened and did what you had to do to meet your baby boy."  She simply said, "Over the years in my life I have found God in the hard places. I don't like the hard places, I don't want to go to the hard places, yet I can press into them because He is always faithful to meet me there. It is where I find him."  I jokingly told her I wasn't sure Jesus was who/what I would have called out for in a moment like she did. She reassured me, "When you were standing beside your friend at the end of her life, you didn't think of anything or anyone else to call out, you called on His name!"

Jesus, help me. In a moment of desperation, when pain clouds your vision and there is nothing else to do, simply the words, Jesus help me, and the pain may not leave and the circumstances may not change but He strengthens us deep within. In the places we didn't know we needed strengthening. He walks us through to the place we never would dare go alone. All the way to VICTORY!

This mom had some days after this birth that she questioned why she had a photographer at this time around. Why not at one of her easier births? A birth she felt was so challenging and somewhat traumatic. When she reached out to express these feelings to me, I was in the middle of editing her slideshow. Perspective is an interesting thing. She had such a physical journey that day but a huge part of the struggle was internal for her. From the outside I thought she handled herself with beauty and grace. I thought she was brave and strong. I was a little surprised by her thoughts and feelings on the day. However,  I wasn't the one who had experienced all she had that day. I didn't have the bank of memories from the birth of 4 other children to compare the day with. After she finished sharing I simply said, " I understand that you feel disappointed that the day was so challenging and not what you had expected. But honestly, as I set here staring at your images on my screen right now, I don't see trauma, I see victory! I see that you overcame every single challenge you were dealt that day and you did it! You had your baby at home, you are both healthy. Really the only thing I see is victory."

She later sent me a text,

"Did you know his name means victory?"

I had no idea!

She gave me the meaning out of a book of names she had been given and I decided in that moment I would add it to the end of her slideshow. It was perfect.

Meet Baby Collin

"A bruised reed he will not break,

             and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out,

                         till he has brought justice through to victory.

                                                  In his name the nations will put their hope.”

Matt. 12:20-21

Here he is kicked back in his herbal bath. Sweet little guy.

 

 

I am so blessed to have witnessed the beauty of this life. Less than a month apart, I experienced one of the greatest sorrows and then one of the greatest joys life in this world has to offer. In less than a months time I went from holding my best friend's hand as she took her last breath to capturing baby Collin taking in his very first breath of life. The contrast painted is an amazingly beautiful work of art. I am forever grateful for the honor of being part of both. It was indeed a moment of Victory.

The birth of Collin gave me new life. I think I maybe the first of many. I pray that Collin continues to point others to Jesus  his entire life. I pray that he would help bring justice through victory to those who are clinging to their last bit of hope. That through his days on this earth, Collin would walk with Jesus and fulfill the calling the Lord has for him. That he would be able to help others see the overcoming power that we are offered through a Lord who gave it all for us. Baby Collin, enjoy your sweet loving family and know the Lord has mighty plans for you. I can't wait to watch you grow! Happy Birthday!