They’ve come in droves this year—one joyful announcement after the next—the babies are coming, the babies are coming! No complaints on my part 😊 The youngest in our brood, babies in our family have been in short supply the past two decades. Blessed be God, this is no longer the case!
It’s been a supreme joy to watch all these new souls enter the world. The glowing parents—stretched by love and deliriously delighted to become moms and dads—waiting many months to meet their child. Extended family and friends gather to celebrate this Love between husband and wife overflowing into a new human being. We wonder at this profound grace: God sharing His work and allowing us ordinary people to co-create with Him, the Divine Artist.
My husband-to-be and I have the supreme honor of serving as godparents to one of these precious new babes. I’m still unwrapping this incredible gift we have received, this eternal vocation that far outlasts his beautiful Baptism day. This invitation to be a spiritual mother changes me forever; much like bearing children in the womb changes any woman forever.
Since his Baptism, I’m really pondering deep what this Sacrament is all about. What does it mean for our godson? For our family? For any of us?
Baptism of the Lord
Cue today’s Feast of the Baptism of Jesus. (And cue a whole slew of questions left unanswered to the imaginative and very 21st century minded one, like Did Jesus have godparents? A white garment? How did John the Baptist keep Jesus’ candle from getting snuffed out in the Jordan?) We have many wise teachers, preachers, scholars today to help us understand and celebrate the Sacrament of Baptism, though pieces of it look different than the Baptism of Our Lord.
What really strikes me about Jesus’ Baptism is God’s declaration over Him: This is my beloved son with whom I am well-pleased!
And isn’t this the most beautiful sentiment any parent can echo over their precious child? Though our human parents can only point us toward the divine love we were made for, our heavenly Father loves with an eternal, all-consuming love. He whispers today—yesterday—every day: You are my beloved daughter! With you I am well-pleased! This is the declaration that brings us Home—That brings us into the family. You are beloved! You are family. You are a child of God. You are chosen.
A Daughter of God
I know my own life would radically change if I could even begin to grasp what this means. My perfectionism, my grasping for control, my worries and fears—What baby girl grapples with all of this? None that I’ve met in the past several months (and there have been plenty)—Nope.
A daughter rests on the Father’s heart. She is completely dependent on Him. She trusts.
Even as an adult, Jesus modeled the same childlike faith on his Baptism day and throughout His life. Rest. Dependence. Trust. Surrender.
Time spent among all these newborns has been a wonderful field study in this School of Love.
As we learn more about the gift of a childlike heart, we realize nobody understands the heart of a daughter better than a mother. Motherhood is perhaps one of the greatest gifts God has given to restore our daughterhood. (After all, what is “[god]motherhood” if not learning all over again what it means to be a daughter?)
Dear Daughters, May we know deeply today how loved we are. May the Father reveals His merciful heart to us. And may we all be more receptive to the gift of maternity God has innately woven into our Feminine Genius:
You are called to motherhood right now. Not next week, not next month. I’m absolutely convinced that God has placed people in your path and called you to motherhood. Your task is to love those that are weak, unhappy, helpless, and unloved. Sometimes you can do this just by saying one word. At other times you’ll just have to listen. In every life there is suffering; most people keep it inside. When they feel loved, they will open up and tell you about their suffering. Then you will find that by carrying other people’s suffering your own suffering becomes lighter. -Dr. Alice von Hildebrand