God works in silence
God works in silence. No man has ever heard him speak or make any sound. To hear his voice, we must wait for him in silence. – Sundar Singh
It was late at night, and I was wide awake and restless. Teresa, beside me, was sleeping peacefully, and so our normal roles were completely reversed. At 6 months pregnant, she was just coming into some problems with the baby pressing into her in uncomfortable ways. Selfishly, I was normally able to sleep right through her tossing and turning, unaware that anything was amiss. That night was different. Teresa had found her peace for once, and I had found anxiety over the future.
The $23,000 I was making at CompuServe as a phone jockey wouldn’t support 3 and give us a good home. No 2 acre lot, no picket fence. No golden retriever. I already felt tension between her and I that I feared would drive us apart. I wanted to be with her and no other, and the two of us, flawed and crazy, would grow into fantastic people. Our love for each other would overcome the obstacles fate had thrown us. At that point, though, I was wondering if we would ever get married. I was feeling sad, to be sure, but hopeful, too. Having held my cousin’s new baby a few years earlier, I felt the first tinges of joy at being around kids. Holding a sleeping infant in your arms will melt the ice of the coldest of hearts, I think. I really wanted a baby of my own, and I wanted to be the best father I could, showering my kid with love and support.
So there I was, full of doubt and hope, anxious and restless, and looking at Teresa resting beside me. I put my head on her stomach and listened to the baby move as I tried to rest. Moments later, I heard a little girl’s voice. “Daddy,” she said. The fear and anxiety left me, and all was right with the world. Teresa would have a girl. She would love me and I would love her. God worked in silence, and in my silence I heard.
I never had a doubt from that point that we were having a girl. I also never had a doubt that everything would work out the way it was supposed to. 3 months later, it came as no shock to either of us that baby Stacey was a Stacey and not a Robert. I had some time in the interim to express to Teresa how sure I was. She was born on a Sunday afternoon at a time inexplicably convenient for both of us. I witnessed her birth, and I touched her for the first time a few minutes after she was born. I wouldn’t have had it any other way. We took her home a couple days later, and after a couple nervous days, we got used to each other.
I held her while she slept for the first time when she was 4 days old:
There was no peace like that before in my life. I felt like all I had faced in life before had prepared me for being her father. To quote pop music, as is the custom of geeks worldwide, she was the doorway to a thousand churches. She was the resolution to all my fruitless searches. I knew I could never leave her. Nothing would be perfect, of course. Life would still throw problems at us, but we would always have each other.
All because I took a few minutes, despite my anxiety and fear, to listen. A few quiet moments with my ear to a womb, and God was alive to me again. As alive to me as he was dead to me after the death of my grandfather. She was my rebirth. My ressurection. My Anastasia.