“Hello?” I answered my phone hushed like I were trying to hide from the other end of the phone. I was petrified. I had been awaiting her phone call for what seemed like ages though she were only due a few days ago.

There wasn’t an answer. Or if there were, only God could hear it.

“Sister?” I asked, even more afraid. Did she just pocket call me? She must have. Had my time come? I wasn’t prepared… how selfish I could be. Worried about my own preparedness when she’s the one with child. But my big sister; she blessed me on my soul. She wiped a streak of golden paint and wrapped joy across my heart. I could be with her. When my future nephew or niece made its lovely and pain-filled announcement that he or she were on their way, I could be there and she wanted me there. But how would I know if she couldn’t even answer? I worried there were an issue. I worried and then my heart silently screamed when I heard a whimper on the other end. Oh, sister. Oh sister, I thought. Whatever it is, we’ll be okay. Note I said we, because I was there. Because I am here and we have the creator on our side.

“What if they do it again. What if they make me go through that again?” She’d just walked out of the doctor’s office with the possibility of yet another induced labor. With her first son, Isaiah, she was seven months when he met the world face to face and lived in an incubator while his long skinny body grew. It was a horrendously fear-filled experience. She writhed in pain as the nurses whistled and walked passed her room as though no one was in there. It was the onset of her Lupus and the pain was killing her hope. Her joy and her understanding. Why? Why? she would beg us for an answer and we could do nothing. Through the contractions nothing was happening and everyone who worked there seemed lost. We could do nothing while my mother barreled her way around the hospital like a freight train in search of a nurse who seemed to care for life. And my sister was afraid today this would come again.

I didn’t speak up. I couldn’t. I couldn’t fathom the fear she smelled. I could not fathom the visions she recalled. I couldn’t imagine what it could feel like to have to go through that kind of pain, yet alone go through it once again. I couldn’t feel her, though yes, I could. I remembered fear in my life. I remembered fear and its’ entirely illegal ways of seeping in and killing life.

And slowly I spoke to her of the promises of her Father God who had made her for this very experience. He had made her, and come birthing hell or induced water breaks, she was His. I couldn’t promise a twenty-minute, hand holding session singing lullabies in the hospital until the beauty of a child embraced us so closely. I couldn’t promise the natural birthing experience. I couldn’t promise painful or  less painful. But I could remind her the promises and truths of something far superior to humanness and our souls’ enemy. The beauty of God’s integral passion for his daughter. The ever closeness of His voice, of His ears. He’d heard her whimper far before I could on the phone today. God would and had never left or forsaken her.

I could promise her one more thing. The enemy will take whatever we’ll give him. In his conniving way, he took an incredible truth in my sisters life. He took an experience, one experience albeit a painful experience, and wrapped it gently and just beautifully enough around slipping lies to produce an overdue and hysterically fearful woman. I could promise her if she chose to listen, the enemy would take from this. And this isn’t and won’t ever be something for him to get dibs on.

Let me say it again; life is never something the enemy gets dibs on. It isn’t his to just take, so don’t let him. And my sister and I hung up after proclaiming truth and abandoning lies for the enemy to clean up alone. She wanted to jump on the trampoline and drink raspberry tea, which is apparently supposed to help. She’d remembered truth, she’d let go of the lies. And at the end of whatever glorious and crazy day my sister will wrap that golden painted joy with a blanket, and our souls will be blessed with life. Though there is pain, we won’t give way to fear. We are confident in the one who gives life; even in the pain we endure for the result brings us life.