Chapter 14 Joining Church and Birth
May 7, 1639 First Church Boston, Massachusetts
As John and Mary stood before the whole congregation, they had to prove that they were saved by some sort of conversation experience. They had to agree with the Puritan theology. They had to have a majority of the congregation agree to let them join.
The leaders of the church asked John to tell them about his conversion and about his wife's experience too.
John looked at the congregation and said, "I have believed in God since I was a child, but when my father died, God sent me William Hutchinson to guide me to him. William took me under his mentoring and required me to attend church. His wife, Anne, talked to me about Christ and bought me a Bible. Even though she had different views than me, she still lived a godly life. They prayed and read the word daily. When my mother passed away, I dealt with regret, abandonment and depression. Instead of turning to God, I went to drink. William caught me, corrected my behavior and prayed with me. He taught me that God is my father, and that we are adopted into his family when we accept him. I decided that I wanted to be accepted, so I asked Jesus to forgive me, and I repented. By his grace, I was saved. We do good works because we believe. After this, I loved others, served others and helped in this community not for monetary gain, but out of my love for Christ. My wife and I went through the proper channels and steps to get married. We remained pure until our wedding night. Through our courtship, we have attended this church together, read our Bible daily, and prayed daily. We still continue to this day.
My wife has experienced God throughout her life. She was an orphan and was hired by the Heaton's as a nurse. They have influenced her, and she became saved. She was getting out of church when we got reacquainted. I knew God had sent her to me as a life partner. She is with me daily. She helps me with my trade, does all her wifely duties with service to Christ. She loves others through her nurturing, care, love and service to others. She does all her duties at home even though she is 8 months pregnant without complaint. She is the true epitome of a Christian, God fearing, husband loving, wife. I am sure the Heaton's and others who know Mary can testify to that. I also have a letter from William testifying to my character as well.
I was not allowed to stare my case, but John, my beloved husband, did it for me. We agreed to join the church because we wanted our children to be members and be baptized when they were born. I was so proud of John when he gave his speech.
I stood there feeling my babe's kick in my protruding belly. It felt like he/she was agreeing with his/her father. After John was done stating the evidence of our conversions, agreements with the theology, and proof of our moral lifestyles; the Heaton's along with neighbors all testified in our favor. The congregation agreed to let us join, so we said the church statements in agreement, and we became members.
About 4 weeks later June 14, 1639
I was sewing with John when I felt a shooting, squeezing pain in my belly. At first, I thought it was only a contraction, but it repeated itself more than once. The pressure was getting harder, so I looked and John and told him I was in labor. Just as he got up to get the Heaton's and the midwife, my water broke under my skirt. The nurse John hired was there immediately and helped me up to change while John left in a hurry. I was still having strong pains when John arrived home with the Heaton's and the midwife. Elizabeth came into the room and asked for hot water, cloths and a alcoholic beverage. The beverage would help with the pain. She also made sure there was cakes to eat in case anyone got hungry, and it was a thank you for helping. She told me that John also asked the doctor to come in case there were any complications. We prayed for strength, and I continued laboring. The midwife arrived a little later and checked my progress. She said, there was a little while to go, but I was almost ready to push. She made sure the baby was in position, and it was. The pains increased and I wanted to scream and cry, but concentrated on breathing and praying to God.
I was sitting in the living room area when I heard her travailing in our room. I wanted to run in there, hug her, hold her hand, but could not. All I could do is sit and pray. Nathaniel was there being my morale support. I heard her crying, hollering and screaming. I heart sunk.
After what seemed like hours, I was finally pushing. I was tired, sweaty and wanted the pain to go away. I felt like my insides were coming out. It was horrible. I wished John could be in here, but it was not allowed. I heard the midwife say, "I see the head. I need you to push as hard as you can." I looked at Elizabeth and she said, "Let's do this for John, OK? You can do it! PUSH!" I did with a loud scream and grunt. Then, I felt massive pain and then a massive release. Everything came gushing out. The baby was wiped up and I heard a cry. The Nurse said, "It's a boy! Here is your baby, Mommy!" I was elated! I was so happy that I cried happy tears. John came barging into the room with the largest grin ever on his face. I looked up into his eyes, and said, "John, Meet your son." He beamed. He walked over and kissed me, looked at the baby and said, "He is perfect. What a little blessing! You did well, my love! How are you? I was so worried. I answered, "Very tired, sweaty, gross, but very happy. I am blessed beyond measure."
The midwife told me that I would need to rest for a week to heal, and to take it easy for a few more weeks after that to make sure my healing is done correctly. She recommended to John to keep a nurse or a friend to help me. She also told us we needed to wait to make love for at least 2 months. I would need to heal. Rest and healthy food were prescribed. Of course, it would help with milk production as well. The baby was hungry and took to my breast. When he was done feeding, we unwrapped him and counted his fingers, toes, and decided to make him a junior because he looked like John.
Four days later, John took the baby to church and had him baptized. The church recorded it as John Jr. son of John Hurde bapt. June 18, 1639.
When they arrived home, I fed Junior, and put him in his new cradle that John had ordered. John left for work, and told the nurse to help me and give me lunch. He gave me a kiss before leaving and told me to rest. I did, and thanked God for a loving, caring husband and a healthy baby.
Hope you all liked this chapter.
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