I have known all my life that I was special. I have known all my life that God wanted me and had a purpose for me. I’ve been told by many people over the years that God has big plans for me.
My birthday is September 1, 1983.
My due date was December 17, 1983.
I weighed one pound and ten ounces. I fitted in the palm of my Dad’s hand.
Mum was in her 25th week of pregnancy when a kidney infection started early labor. Our little home had no telephone, so my mum went next door to the butcher and asked them to call the hospital.
“You can’t be in labor,” the butcher said.
She looked at them. “Well, I am.”
Once she arrived at the hospital in our little town, they tried to stop the labor. To no avail. The doctors called the bigger hospital an hour away to ask for advice. The reply was short.
“Babies born that early can’t be saved.”
They put me in a kidney dish and placed a towel placed over me. The nurse was instructed to take me away into another room so that my mother wouldn’t be distressed at my passing.
The nurse pulled back the towel and found my big brown eyes staring up at her. I was kicking.
An hour passes and I’m still kicking. The nurse asks the doctor if she can put me in a humidity crib. He agrees.
Another hour passes and I’m still kicking.
Finally, someone calls a hospital in Sydney and explains the situation.
They say emphatically. “We can help her.”
They wrapped me in aluminum foil and flew me to Sydney where I spent the next three months. By early December, about the time I was supposed to be born, I was home with my family.
During those three months in hospital, my parents drove the six hours to Sydney every single weekend.
Growing up, people at church would always ask “Where is the miracle baby?” People (strangers to me) would come up and pinch my cheeks, tell me they prayed for me.
I didn’t truly understand the situation until I became an adult and a mother myself.
I vividly recall a time I was visiting my Dad in hospital. At the time I was a twenty-something adult. A nurse walked into the room, looked between me and my sister, Helen, and asked, “Which one is Jessica?”
She smiled and said, “There is not a premature baby that is born in this hospital where your story isn’t mentioned.”
All my life I’ve known that God has a plan for me. A big plan. Why else would he save me so amazingly?
It’s something I’ve lived with since I can remember. I’m so grateful that God loves and saved me. I’m so grateful for the nurse who advocated for me and for the nurses and doctors who cared for me all those months in Sydney. I’m so grateful for the prayers that went around the world for me.
But there was a disquiet in me that was growing slowly as the years went by. I was saved for a purpose. So then, what is my purpose?
I’m not doing anything spectacular with my life. I lead a quiet life loving my husband, our kids, being involved in our church, hanging out with friends. Trying to exercise more, learning to be a more patient person (Mum always said I was in a hurry).
Where is the spectacular? Where is this “amazing purpose” God has for me?
Anyone who knows me knows I love reading and that I’m on a journey to becoming a published author. I love romance books and my favorite genre is contemporary Christian fiction romance.
Some people feel God speaks to them through these books. That doesn’t happen for me and I’m okay with that. I read for pure enjoyment.
Then I came along Stay with Me by Becky Wade. And for the first time, I felt God speaking to me through a Christian fiction romance novel.
The book is about Gen, who along with four others was miraculously saved as a young teen. Due to the miraculous saving, Gen felt she owed God for saving her. This drove her to live a larger-than-life Christian life.
We meet Gen when her perfect life is unraveling and it’s then she meets Sam, the hero of the story.
I was struck by the thought that Gen owed God for the way he saved her. I have never personally felt I owed God, but I have felt that because I was not doing amazing things for him, that I was somehow lacking. That I had missed my purpose.
When I read this part of the book, I realized that yes, God has a plan for me, but he has a plan for ALL of us. I also realized that God saved me because he loves me. I – me – alone was enough of a reason to save me. I don’t have to do amazing things in order to justify my miraculous birth. Jesus loves me and that was enough. I am enough.
We live in a world that tells us we have to be better, thinner, always achieving something in order to be worthy. Don’t get me wrong, God wants us to walk closer with him and that changes us when we let him in. But he doesn’t want us to owe him, or try so hard to please him that we forget why we love him: Because he first loved us.
I hope you read this and remember that you are worthy of God’s love simply because he made you and chose you.
I am enough for God.
You are enough for God.