Thursday, October 4, 2012

Belated Reflections of a Godmother and Aunt

August 3rd, 2012: Garrett Matthew Heinekamp entered our world!  He was a beautiful, healthy baby with solid pair of lungs and a sweetness you couldn't get enough of!

I was so happy to be able to babysit him at two weeks old one Saturday afternoon where it was just him and I.  He never wanted to be put down, so we just chilled and watched chick flicks (sorry, buddy) while he slept on my chest all afternoon.  It. Was. Awesome.

There's something about a baby and his dependence on you that makes life so simple and beautiful.  I even was reflecting on Jesus and how He came in that little baby form--God totally helpless but eventual Savior of the World and Master of My Heart.

September 30, 2012: Garrett Matthew entered the world AGAIN, in a totally new way--wiped clean of original sin and forever chosen by God by the Sacrament of Baptism.  The Catholic Church has Sacraments as a tangible sign of an invisible grace (or at least that's what the 4th grade religion textbook says) I got a taste of that this past Sunday at Garrett's Baptism, while standing with his parents and Godfather as the Godmother.

The Rite of Baptism that was used at this ceremony was particularly beautiful, explaining the reasons for my brother and sister-in-law to choose to have Garrett baptized at such a young age and also the meaning of Godparents--as a support to the child and his parents throughout his Christian walk.

Will, Garrett, and I: Proud Godparents of a Precious Baby Boy!
At one point, the words of the prayer went something like this: "Parents and Godparents, you have agreed to raise your child in the light of Faith..."

Wait.  Back up. YOUR child?  This kid is Matt and Allison's...I just give him back when he's screaming bloody murder.  But, it very intentionally was written as "YOUR child" addressing both parents and godparents.  With God's grace and help, I saw kind of the immensity of what I was standing up and proclaiming.  First, that I myself believed in the Holy Catholic Church, my renunciation of sin, and my own personal commitment to live by God's commandments.  Moreover, I was agreeing in a solemn promise to promote the same for Garrett..whether physically or spiritually.

So naturally, I started crying...which is a little embarrassing when you're in front of everyone...

Why? I've always given God a lot of crap for not giving me a husband or a family in the time that I've wanted it.  And suddenly, I realized this was it.  My golden opportunity.  A child of my own, in a sense.  No, I'm DEFINITELY not getting up for 3 am feedings and I don't bear any responsibility for Garrett's physical needs, but something that Garrett really needs also is someone praying for him.  And in this small way, praying for Garrett blesses me abundantly in return and deepens my relationship with God.

Garrett's life and his Baptism have already taught me chapters about God's love for me.  He's inviting me to take praying for Garrett (and others in my life) seriously, because it's REAL and forms a relationship with Him. In a very minute way, God is acknowledging my heart's longing to be a mom.  Moreover, I learned that being a Godmother isn't just for the day of the Baptism--it's a lifelong commitment and one that I never want to forget!

I'm first praying prayers of Thanksgiving that Garrett has two wonderful parents who seek the best for their lives and their kids' lives.  I'm thankful for his extended family and how close most of us live by him.  I pray for Garrett's little heart, that it will always be open to God's beauty.  That God will give him lots of friends to help him along the path.  That he'll find an occupation he loves and find meaning in.  And mostly, that he will always know he's infinitely loved by God--much better than we could ever love him.

At only two months old, Garrett Matthew has truly blessed and enriched my life.  If nothing else, this is the dignity and meaning of human life.  No matter how small or how seemingly insignificant, God uses all of us as signs of something more.  I've also seen the power of Sacraments to really change you to the core.  Sure, we can see these things as simply formalities, but then, we're missing the best part!  Sacraments reveal hidden mysteries through "boring" rites, if we're paying attention.

Garrett, I'm sorry it took me two months to blog about you, my little Godson, but you were SUCH a blessing, it took me awhile to process!  Know that I've taken a daily commitment to praying for you and your  walk with God!  I love you always and will be as much a part of your life as you'll let me! :)

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