Exactly Where We Needed To Be (“The Ministry of Showing Up” Series)

July 17, 2023

Editor’s Note: In January, Jared M. preached a compelling message entitled “The Ministry of Showing Up.” This is the second of three article we’re posting about how people apply that in real life, and we’re sure you’ll be encouraged!

When our daughter Bailey was born in 2022, she aspirated on meconium during delivery and was put on a ventilator. Even when she was on the highest setting it could go, she still would not improve, so they decided to transport her to Nemours Children’s Hospital, where she was put on ECMO life support. The chances of her making it were insanely small, but by the power of God she was healed and started to make a 180-degree recovery a few days in. She was in the NICU for 18 days, and we spent every day at her bedside without any visitors allowed. As you can imagine, the days became very repetitive and isolating on top of all the emotional trauma. 

One day while we were there visiting Bailey, a nurse walked into her room. Anyone who has ever had an extended stay in a hospital knows how incredibly annoying it can be when another provider comes in to introduce themselves, asks the same questions you’ve already answered a hundred times, and soaks up all your energy. But this nurse was different. She peeked through the door with a calm and reserved manner and said, “Hi, I’m Hilary Daugherty from Covenant Fellowship, and I wanted to stop by and check on you guys. Felicia Corrigan told me you guys were here and that you’d love a visitor. I’ve been praying for you all, and I wanted to give you this card.” 

I didn’t hear a word she said after “Covenant Fellowship” because I immediately started crying and felt so extremely comforted. Not only was there a Christian in my room, but she went to MY church and knew MY friends! Wow. She spent time on her break listening to us talk about our experience, and she offered so much biblical truth during such a hard time. In her card was a gift card to the cafeteria. It was so incredibly thoughtful. Every time I see her sweet face at church, I’m reminded of God’s goodness to us in the NICU.

The Sunday after Bailey was born, my husband Rob suggested we go to church before going to see her that day. I really didn’t want to go because of the sorrow I was in and the attention I feared it would bring. But I can truly say, I have never felt the Lord’s presence so near as I did that day. I spent most of the sermon listening from the nursing mothers’ room while pumping for my sick baby, surrounded by women holding their babies. It was and still is such a hard and painful memory. But I knew we needed to be there to hear God’s truth and to be with our church family who loved us so well through that time. It was exactly where we needed to be. Church attendance has always been so important in our marriage, and this trial was not going to take that from us.

Community in a local church is so vital to a Christian’s walk. We are so blessed by such a rich and mature congregation who loves to serve their brothers and sisters so well, even the ones they don’t know! To those of you going through tough times and unprecedented circumstances, I would encourage you to prioritize church attendance as much as possible. God sees your effort and is delighted in your obedience. You will be blessed with so much love, truth, and community all at the same time.

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