What Do I Do Now?

Published 2:37 pm Saturday, May 11, 2024

By Dean Kelly

All the pain, all the troubles, all the fatigue she had felt vanishes into the air when caregivers place the baby on her chest and she envelopes the child in her weary arms. For the first time, the mother holds her baby as a tiny person who has emerged from within her to continue the life that began about nine months earlier. 

For the first time someone says, “Here you go, Momma.” 

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For all the praying, planning, and preparing, it still sings a never-before-heard melody in her heart, and the woman realizes that for the first time someone has come along who will call her Mom. 

Her mind is filled with so many thoughts: “Is she ok? Does she have all her fingers and toes? She is so tiny! Please, don’t let me break her! I can’t believe she is finally in my arms. What do I do now?”

“What do I do now?” 

She doesn’t realize how many times she will ask that question as the years go by, when that little one runs her first very high fever; when she falls and injures herself; when she falls in love and he breaks her heart and so many more times.

“What do I do now?” She is going to have to teach her child to eat, to crawl, to walk. She is going to have to show her what love is. She will need to help lead her daughter to love God and to lead her to the foot of the cross. 

She will ask “What do I do now” when she watches her baby, now almost grown, cross the stage to receive her diploma, and when she watches with tearful eyes as the young woman she walks down the aisle with “the one” to become a bride.

And then, the day comes, when she stands by her daughter’s bedside, and watches her hold a newly born baby. She will see her daughter’s eyes filled with a look of almost panic, and will hear her say, “Momma, what do I do now?”

To all those mothers who have made it through with love, perseverance and dedication, who were never sure about “what to do now”, yet they did it anyway, Happy Mother’s Day!

Dean Kelly is minister at Highland Home Church of Christ