Sunday, July 20, 2008

St. Mary Magdalene's Day

In many ways, I am glad that the last meme I answered was "what were you doing ten years ago," not six years ago. But I'll tell you anyway.

Six years ago minus one day (the Sunday before the Feast of Mary Magdalene), I was standing at a font, holding my baby daughter as I could hear in my husband's voice that he was restraining tears of relief and joy as he poured the water over her head and baptized her in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The way that his voice broke revealed six years of pain culminating in that little baby in our arms. Three miscarriages, three years of infertility, working toward adoption, and 42 weeks where every day it was in the back of our minds that her heartbeat could stop at any time, just like it did with Noah's. We'd already almost lost her 6 weeks into the pregnancy. And then there was the time the doctor couldn't find her heartbeat, and Jeff waited two hours not knowing what I was dealing with as I watched her kick and dance on the ultrasound.

Despite all our efforts for a vaginal birth after a c-section, we ended up with another c-section, but she was healthy and beautiful.

And then she was baptized. Then we could relax. The first birth was important. This was the most important. She was a child of God now, made one in the death and resurrection of Christ. Every moment of my pregnancy was a reminder that I was almost powerless to keep her safe, and that I still am. But she is in God's hands.

Today, the Sunday before the Feast of Mary Magdalene, my daughter Magdalena was welcomed to the Table. I was able to commune with her for the first time. I could hear her confess her faith publicly as I often have privately. I could take comfort that she is being strengthened by the Body and Blood of Christ, as she is fully capable of believing, and that she understands probably better than me. She doesn't have all the Science classes discussing the nature of matter or discussions with Baptists swimming around in her head like I do. She receives it in faith, the faith of a child that trusts that God is giving her forgiveness of sins, and knowing that she is sinful, she has talked about it and yearned for it for quite a while now.

Thank you dear Lord for Maggie being able to receive the most precious gift of your Body and Blood. For forgiveness of sins. For the comfort and strength that it brings to her faith, because it will always be weaker than it should be in this life. And for the comfort and strength that it brings to mine, being able to see her partake and be reminded that she is not only my daughter, but my Christian sister as well. (picture posted tomorrow)


Marie N. said...

What a joyous weekend you've had!

Jane said...

This probably would have made me weepy on a normal day, but today--woah.

Congratulations to Maggie and to all of you on this joyous occasion.

The Rebellious Pastor's Wife said...

absolutely. Everyone should stop and pray for the parents of Vivian Gregory, who was taken home to Heaven on July 17th.

I didn't know the parents, but I did follow the news on her and prayed for her.

We all were blessed to commune with her yesterday also, as she was partaking of the feast in Heaven.

Vivian's father is a seminarian at Concordia Theological Seminary, and I can only imagine what their hospital bills must be. I know there have been several fundraisers, but I am sure more help must be needed. Please contact Concordia Theological Seminary or Redeemer Lutheran Church ( for more information.

Rev. James Leistico said...

I actually came over to say, "GO DODGERS" (I've got tickets for the August 8 Dodger game being played at Busch Stadium - seen them here in STL every year since 2000) - but it sounds like that was just the cherry on top of your joyous weekend.

The Rebellious Pastor's Wife said...

I always welcome someone cheering the Dodgers! The way they are playing recently is definitely reason to cheer!!! Busch, eh? Well, I cringe at the record we have had against the Cardinals these past several years. I only hope that you can hear when you leave.