Life begins in Genesis by Steve Hanlon
There were days – many, many of ‘em – where the warmth of the sun could not break through the thick, gray clouds. Gravity’s grip would not let go of Keanna Williams. There wasn’t even enough faith to cast a mustard seed into the sea. “I was in a dark place,” Keanna said. An unhealthy relationship had Keanna far from home, and she learned she was pregnant. Adding anxiety to the drama was the fact that the young lady had lost several children to miscarriages. “There was a lot of not knowing,” said Angela Williams, Keanna’s mother.
Angela went to her spiritual family at Living Hope Church. A prayer chain began in June of 2021. Text messages of hope and Sunday morning hugs lifted the Merrillville family up. Even with distress looming, faith began to grow. Angela leaned on one of her favorite scriptures – II Corinthians 12:9. “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”. These historic words could not have come at a more perfect time.
Keanna was living in Indianapolis at the time. She rushed to the hospital due to a severe bleeding condition. The doctors told her she had a “high-risk pregnancy” and that “the chances of the baby surviving was very slim.”
Fear began beating on the heart’s door again. Louder and louder. But back home, people were praying. “I was scared,” Keanna said. “I thought I was going to lose my baby.” “I had to stop every thought in my mind,” Angela said. “We had to trust God. He’s all we had. And that’s all right.”
A few hours south of here, an ultrasound technician looked at Keanna’s data and used her expertise for an initial diagnosis. Keanna’s cervix was open, likely the cause of the previous miscarriages.
And there was no time to waste. The emergency surgery was scheduled for the next day. “We had to leave extremely early,” Angela recalled. “It was so dark out. You couldn’t see a star in the sky. It was the darkest morning I’d ever seen in my life.” Then, Angela and her husband, Noah, got to the hospital, and they were told they were not allowed to enter the hospital due to Covid restrictions. Their daughter and hopeful grandchild were alone inside while they nervously waited in a parking lot.
But as people at LHC prayed back home, Keanna began to see some light break through the clouds. Dr. Walter G. Harry walked into her room, and he prayed with Keanna. His words changed the mood in the room.
And the clouds parted some more. A stitch was inserted around the cervix, near the opening to the uterus, which closes the cervix. This would fortify the early home of the child. This procedure prevented another loss of life. “I thank God for the ultrasound tech for noticing what was going on,” Keanna said. “And I thank God for the doctor. They were awesome.” The next week she returned home to Merrillville and started attending Living Hope again.
Redemption. Salvation. Hope.
All of these great things began embracing Keanna’s life and all of those around her. Angela clung to another scripture, Ephesians 3:20. She clung to it like a dying man battles for another breath. “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,”.
Right after this past Thanksgiving, the family dealt with Covid. Illness and loss of strength kept everyone focused on other things. Just trying to get better. It seemed like their prayers had been fully answered, and all was good. A wonderful baby girl was soon to be joining the planet and finally ending up in the loving arms of her family. “But God has a sense of humor,” Angela said with a laugh.
On January 10, Keanna went into labor. Mom made her a blueberry smoothie. A sort of comfort drink. However, it didn’t settle with her stomach, and ended up on the floor. And the wall. And a few other places.
They called the doctor, who said to get her to the hospital ASAP. So as Keanna tried to walk to the car, her child let her know she was ready to join everyone immediately. Yes, at that very moment.
So she went back into the house and straight to the floor. Angela told her son, Devonte, to “Grab some pillows, towels, and blankets.” She told her husband to call 9-1-1. “I was a wreck,” Noah said. “I told them to get here quick because the baby was coming.” Quick may not be the word to use here.
“It was two screams, two pushes, and she was out,” Keanna said. “She was so peaceful.” Angela has worked much of her life as a Hospice nurse. Part of her job of caring and comforting those about to die is to write down the time a person takes their final breath. “I did it a hundred times,” Angela said. But this time, the 9-1-1 operator asked Noah to ask Angela to “Call it,” meaning marking the time that this child was born.
So she said 12:24 p.m. And it hit her that the baby – Genesis Faith Williams – was born on the same date – January 10 – as Angela’s father.
“I had written down the time for so many people when they died,” Angela said. “It was such a blessing to write down the time my granddaughter was born. It was wonderful to help bring a life into this world.”
The change in Keanna’s life is otherworldly, she said. Her faith in Jesus Christ has grown to a new, much more powerful place. Reading her Bible through this ordeal brought wonderful thoughts and images to her mind. She wanted her daughter’s middle name to be Faith. But she felt led to make Genesis the first name. “Because that’s where life begins,” she said. “And I know that God lifted that black cloud from life.”
Consequently, Keanna and her family will get a daily reminder of the Lord’s grace and mercy, and love. They will see it in a beautiful set of eyes on a wonderfully round face and a smile that never seems to go away.