The moment everything changed

Published 9:44 pm Saturday, August 6, 2016

Sometimes when you think back on your life you can begin to pinpoint the moments, events or nights where your life changed courses. In 2006, I realized that hanging out with people who liked me and I felt comfortable with was much more important than hanging with the “cool kids.” In 2012, I participated in a study abroad trip to Quebec where I learned that making friends isn’t all that hard if you stop worrying about what people think about your quirks. In 2013, my now-husband and I reconnected when he came to visit his brother in Starkville, and we began a journey that taught us about forgiveness, patience and trust.

Julia Miller

Julia Miller

Without each of these and hundreds more moments like them, I wouldn’t be who I am today, but I had no idea about their importance at the time. It’s rare that you recognize the importance of a moment and feel an immediate change as it’s happening, but for Reilly and I that moment happened on June 17 at 3:23 p.m. when we first saw, heard and held our beautiful baby girl.

When we first found out we would be parents, it took Reilly all of an hour to cycle through a myriad of emotions and settle on excitement. On the other hand, I was filled with trepidation. So I did what I do best, I pushed it aside. Being pregnant wasn’t so bad, so I just focused on it. I tried not to think about the terrifying fact that I would have a child at the end of it.

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But when that moment finally came, I wasn’t scared. Sure, she was entirely reliant on us. Yes, I want her to have a happy and fulfilling life. But suddenly, I had peace about it. Instead of imagining worst case scenarios, I was curious about what her passions would be. Would she get as lost in the magic of Harry Potter as I did growing up? Or would she be begging to go fishing with her daddy? Would she be the ballerina or the tennis star or something entirely her own? From the first day, it didn’t matter whether we shared something; I just want her to find her passion, that thing that lights up her face and makes her count the days to the recital, book release, tournament.

More importantly, there hasn’t been a single other day that has strengthened my faith. If I ever needed proof that God answers prayers, it’s been granted over and over again during the past seven weeks. I am not a naturally patient person, and I have never handled lack of sleep well. Needless to say, but that generally doesn’t mix well with a newborn. And yet, I could count on one hand the number of times that I felt truly overwhelmed. I don’t say that to brag because I know it’s not by the power of my strength that that has been true. God has heard my desperate prayers and answered them a thousand-fold.

I know I will not be a perfect parent, and I know she will not be a perfect child. I can’t help but tear up as I think about the first time we have a fight. I know the road ahead of us will be hard at times. I know we won’t see eye to eye all the time, but my hope, my dream, my desperate prayer is that someday she understands how much we’ve loved her from the second she was born.


Julia Miller is the lifestyles editor at The Daily Leader.