The first painful contraction came around 2pm. Instead of sitting down, I began to clean like a mad woman, called for my husband to come home and grab Chick-fila for dinner on his way. By 9:30, we knew you were coming with surprise, two weeks earlier than expected. After all, we had just finished your baby room just a few nights before in our rental home. We didn’t paint walls and nothing was permanent because in our hopes and our dreams, we would be moving soon into a home of our own.
I arrived at the hospital at 6cm and the rest of the night was full of worship, my first experience with beautiful, unrelenting pain and a surprise baby girl. We thought for sure, SHE was a boy and when it came time to name this sweet baby, we came up short with no middle name.
We had chosen your first name before you were born, but the middle name wasn’t given to us until the second night. It meant “God’s Daughter” and we knew that was what God was speaking over you.
That was 6 years ago.
Today, you celebrated your Golden Birthday. Born on the 6th and turning six, made this your special golden day. You knew it too. But this morning before you awoke, I read over your birth story. You all like to hear your birth stories on your birthday and since there are four of you, sometimes a refresher doesn’t hurt :).
As I turned the pages of your bright red journal, I read much more than the times and recollection of the day you came into the world. I read dreams we had prayed, goals we had and some pretty strong promises that we had made. You were just two weeks old when I wrote that we were out looking for land to build a house. I promised you that you would have a childhood home to grow up in. One that would provide consistency and stability. One that would grow old with you.
Oh sweet girl. What we didn’t know.
We had no idea that your dad would lose his job just a month after you were born. We had no idea that there would be 4 job changes within that next year. We would have never known that you would stay a Medicaid baby for quite sometime after you were born or that food stamps would once again return to our table. We had no idea that most of our provision would come from The Church during some really hard months of questioning God’s goodness.
After all, it was prophesied over your life that life was going to get better with the arrival of your birth. So how could it seem like it was getting worse.
We had no idea that your dad would have heart issues and accumulate 30K in medical debt. We had no idea that your mom would be introduced to panic attacks and ER visits that would consume her mind for a longer season than it should have.
We had no idea that you would live in 6 homes in 6 short years.
Talk about consistency and stability.
As I read this, this morning I was taken back by how different our life has gone since writing those dreams with paper and pen to a newborn baby with her whole life ahead.
But I wouldn’t have changed a thing.
Our life, has been full of joy. Our life has been full of adventure and growth. We have leaned on the Lord like never before and as much as our circumstances at times begged to differ, our life really did get better when you were born.
Our plans are not His plans and they don’t always go as we would choose. Actually, I can’t name a time that my plans have ever worked out since I fully submitted myself to Christ. But its been a beautiful journey of submission and surrender.
I’ve learned that consistency for a child is when her parents are consistent in their love for one another. Stability comes when their parents are stabilized on the Lord despite how life shifts and turns when we least want it to. A good childhood isn’t based on where you live, how your home looks or even where it is located. It is based on the firm foundation that it is built upon. When a home is built around Christ, it will stand.
No matter how many times you move. No matter how much pain you walk through.
Baby girl, life is full of the unexpected. It throws you curve balls and when you think you have little to no breath left sometimes a mighty rescue comes. But what I am learning is that it doesn’t always come as we expect it. There will be times when Jesus comes on a white stallion and valiantly takes us into a new season, a new ease and a miraculous moment of His supernatural rescue. But then there are other times when his answer comes with the blows that feel somewhat similar to the blows he felt enduring the Cross. As if we need one more thing to come against us, it seems like He sends more.
God is good. He doesn’t give bad gifts. But I also know that My Savior claimed the goodness of God while He was slain for my behalf. Things got worse before they got better. Things seemed dim before His light came through.
If you’re in a season that doesn’t make sense. If you’re in a season that seems to be getting worse when you are praying and believing for better, don’t lose heart. God is with you in the confusion and He truly has an answer to it all. Just stay focused on Him, read His word and KNOW that He is God.
To my Golden Birthday Baby:
Thank you for teaching me so much through the journey you have lived. You live each day as if its your last… full of joy, hope and love.