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The Blessing Of A Child

alec vanderboom

Yesterday was my daughter's 12th Birthday. It was also the Feast of the Annunciation. I had a kind of "double vision" throughout the day. I went through the normal events of the day. At certain moments, I could see things with "God vision". It felt stunning and overwhelming.

My daughter was conceived at a time when I was preparing for my first trial as an attorney. Trials are the high point of training to be a litigator. Trials are also exceedingly rare. Almost all cases settle well before trial. I had waited 2 years after law school to get a chance to be "first chair" at a trial. Most of my friends outside of public interest law had to wait 5 years to handle their first trial.

What I remember most about preparing for trial is looking at the clock in my office. At soon as the clock hit 7 PM, I would make myself leave my desk. It felt like a physical struggle. There were piles and piles of evidence on my desk that I felt all needed to be neatly organized and labeled for my trial notebook. No matter what felt like it was still "undone", I obeyed the clock.

"I need to have dinner with Jon tonight!" I told myself. "We're trying to have a baby!" For two weeks, I worked really hard at prepping for my first trial. But I always came home for dinner. I ate my husband's excellent stir fry and then we had fun making out as newlyweds.

I looked at my daughter in the kitchen the other day and the memory of watching the clock in my old attorney's office came back to me. I heard a quiet thought in my heart say "Good thing you put first things first!"

I felt stunned. It would have been so easy for me to have missed the conception of this child. I was in the middle of my first trial. I had worked through 3 years of law school and 2 years of firm life for that moment. Nothing in my family of origin had prepared me to put my vocation as a wife ahead of my career dreams. I couldn't even explain in words why I was drawn to having my first child at age 27. The whole thing was a mystery. The only thing I can point to is that six weeks beforehand I became a member of the Roman Catholic Church.

Good thing you put first things first!

I could have missed out on my daughter. What is a spunky, funny, beautiful, unique human soul compared to a few days of showing off my lawyer skills inside a courthouse? There is no comparison.

I don't know what other things I'm missing out on in my current daily life by trading the less than perfect "God's will" things for the more important "God's will things". I'm sure its a lot.

Good thing you put first things first.

God, I want to do more of that! Please help me better follow you this Easter Season!