The Ship and the Stowaway

What words can be used to describe something as beautiful as an everlasting soul?

When I flew home to spend two last weeks with my family before I am married and begin my own family, I did not anticipate that I would be privileged to watch my sister labor to bring forth new life. I thank God that her child decided that late was better than never, for I’ve rarely been as moved as I was the day Clara was born.

My sister was a beautiful bride, but perhaps a more beautiful mother. I watched quietly from the edge, in awe at how she embraced the swelling of the sea that accompanied the storm of childbirth. Was it terrifying to watch the ship careening on the waves? A little—until I understood that a mother must not go down, she must not drown, until every ounce of strength has been spent to liberate the stowaway. She must fight for what is her own, and this is not terrifying but inspiring, for it reflects the fierce love that God Himself has for us. I have always looked up to my sister for her courage, her strength, but now more than ever.

When the dark, crimped hair of a baby’s crown appeared, and then a creamy forehead followed by a face, my heart danced in my chest. And when a pale lavender-hued body slipped out with a hot gush, I cried with my sister. Even from the shoreline, it is a victory to watch the ship bear through the storm—the stowaway at last stumbling onto deck to greet sweet light. With big, blinking eyes, Clara looked into her mother’s face. The ship did not go down.

I pray the world would open its eyes as this impossibly perfect little girl has, to see that every storm, if embraced, leads to the victory of everlasting beauty.

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  1. I am so moved, so full of joy, as I read this . . . So happy, sister—that our Tianna’s perogy finally has a soul! I can’t wait to be a proud aunty with you.

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