Many are preparing nurseries and having baby showers about this time in pregnancy. Please pray for the emotional arrival of Eli. Please pray for God's peace and for a safe delivery when the time comes. Little Eli is having a ball kicking and moving without a care in the world.
The Lord is preparing little Eli's room - this we know - and the baby shower...well, it will be Heavenly and attended by a host of angels singing & rejoicing over Eli's arrival...God Himself will be the Host!
Thank you for all the thoughts and prayers, calls and encouragement! I don't think we could all get through this without you. God's family is such a blessing!
All to Jesus I surrender, all to Him I freely give...
"Please pray that when I deliver there's no bleeding complications. We talked a little about it with the doctor today. It's in the realm of possibility that if complications during delivery occur, there's a chance I will need a hysterectomy. I just would love specific prayer."
Those words turned into a wide-mouthed monster within seconds within this mother's heart. If I could insert the actual expression on my face when I heard those words, you'd have seen my whole body contort, in slow motion, into the shape of a great big fat NO!!!
I know we said whatever Lord, BUT, I had no idea it could get more complicated than it already is. My mistake...
Oh, I'll do more than that my dear sweet surrendered daughter!!! God and I are gonna wrestle this one out daily!
I don't know, somehow I thought our greatest risk in this was going to be the intensity of having to say good-bye to sweet Eli. Now it seems, there's all kinds of possibility for even greater suffering.
Hysterectomy? Hemorrhaging? My daughter? My baby?
I was all in when it was all about God and little Eli. How brave I am, how "spiritual." Ugh! But, what, now? I never imagined the risk to my daughter, other than the obvious loss and grieving she and Joe will endure. Now my concern is for my daughters future life and destiny!?!?
I argued with her a bit...I'm a little embarrassed about that. "You said there'd be no greater risk!" "Mom, it's out of my hands."
Out of our hands...exactly.
All I keep hearing are the sounds of Eli's little heart beating...life...designed and created by God...for a purpose. All of his days counted, all of my daughter's days, counted. All of all of our days...counted and designed for a purpose.
Little Eli is here because he has a purpose. Every beating heart has a purpose.
Thank God, I quickly recanted my response when He reminded me that my daughter is first HIS daughter! He controls her life and has already designed her days. He loves her far more than I can even imagine, so I can trust Him. No matter what comes, whatever Lord, I trust you. No matter what. I only grabbed fear first because it was right there...just waiting for me. I think it always will be.
Fear, those false emotions appearing real - feeling all too real I might add! Feelings and emotions are important, however, I'm having lots of practice learning to make them second to God and His Word. His Word tells us that perfect love casts out all fear. Once they pass through Him, they transform in His perfect Love and come out genuine, filled with truth, abundantly life-giving and over the top hope-filled.
I pray Father, LORD JESUS, for Your protection over Laura and little Eli. I know You are already at the delivery and are in total control. I know You already know the outcome. I know I can trust You. I want only Your will. Truly, I want what's best for Your children, my child and her child Eli. I know You love them far more than I can even imagine. So, I know Your hand will guide all concerned at the time of little Eli's birth. I pray You will keep me focused on Your voice so I will know what to pray and when to pray it. I pray you use me to call down from Heaven what is needed at any given moment. I pray You speak and move in the minds and hearts of all the doctors involved and the assistants and that not one would miss You in all of this. I stand before you now with trembling hands lifted high, be glorified, in JESUS name! Amen.
Peace...that was what I clung to yesterday when I got the awesome chance to visit with our littlest angel, Eli Judah Miles.
It didn't come the way I thought it might...the peace. It came straight from little Eli, as we nervously peered in to see how things were going, he held up two fingers! It was as if he had privy to what could only be heard on the inside of all of us peeking in; our grieving and the intensity of our wills beating ferociously for things to look different. Praying we'd see the miracle healing, or hear the sound of wide open gasps as the doctor says, "whoops we've made a big mistake, he's fine, he's just fine."
That's not what we heard at all. The prognosis is still the same, we won't be holding little Eli long at all. This time we have with him now is so precious. To have opportunity to visit with him almost weekly is such a special gift, especially for sweet Laura and Joe. "He has your chin and nose Joe... and your mouth," Laura and Joe spoke to each other as they shared a little angel time together.
We all listened and watched intently as the doctor went limb by limb, part by part explaining everything that makes up our reality. What an incredible doctor, Dr. Celeste Shepphard. Her warmth and sincerity, as well as, the length of time she spent with us during an incredibly busy schedule, brought us great comfort.
It's as if somehow little Eli knows...he gave the peace sign, waved and smiled. His little mouth opened too; maybe he was saying it's all okay Mom and Dad. I'm gonna be just fine. Or maybe, he was saying thank you to his Mommy and Daddy for carrying him, even though to us, he seems broken. We're all broken sweet Eli. Some you see and some you don't. We think you're perfect. You are so beautiful to all of us...beautifully broken.
I saw a friends newborn baby soon after I saw our little Eli yesterday. How can this be? She's perfect and beautiful and her mommy has her tucked safely in her arms. It's hard holding back from the temptation to ask God why. Why?
Maybe the w.h.y. exists because it stands for Will Humans Yield? Will we give over all authority to our Lord in the face of a hard decision? Will be submit to His power and will to do whatever He wants? Do we really mean, whatever Lord, when we say it? Whatever, what a powerful word. Will we yield? Even when we think it unfair? Will we yield even when it hurts more than we can bare?
Our Laura and Joe gloriously yield. Yes, they said yes, they will do it! Whatever may come...they call You, Lord. We will yield to what you are asking us to do and we will carry, Your child, our child, Eli Judah Miles, as long as You will it. Yes, pick me, Laura says, every single day. "I hope I get to carry him as long as possible."
Mimi will carry you too little Eli. We all will, so many more are carrying you too. We carry you in our hearts and minds and in our prayers to our Lord and King!
As Laura carries sweet little Eli, Jesus also carries us...broken humanity. All of us, beautifully broken and placed in the Body of Jesus Christ to be made whole.
One day soon little Eli will get his miracle. He will be healed. He will be whole. He will walk upright and straight into the arms of His Father. Until then, we will all carry you little Eli, as well as, your mommy and daddy.
you're not even born yet and you've touched and changed many hearts and lives...like mine.
when we first saw you, you were inside a heart...no doubt a preamble to what your little life would mean to so many...
we all loved this first look at you...not knowing, however, that by medical standards, this was not the optimal circumstance for you. your mommy's womb is heart-shaped, they actually call it a defect - sure doesn't seem like it, we all thought it was absolutely precious. well, it can cause problems with your growth, but we were told you settled in the best possible place and everything should be just fine, except maybe a c-section when the time of arrival comes because you may not have room to turn when it's time.
our next look at you was devastating for all of us...you have a problem...it's called "limb body wall complex." it's no one's fault...it just happens sometimes. your little heart is beating strong and you're growing; it's just that your umbilical cord is too short and so your abdominal wall never closed, so you're organs are still attached to the placenta, which, we are told means you will not be able to survive outside of your mommies womb. 100% fatal is your prognosis. there are times when surgery can be performed to fix this after you're born, but for you, they said it's the worst case scenario and won't work.
needless to say, we are all trying to process our emotions. difficult doesn't even come close to describing them.
i couldn't process this...
of course, your mommy was given a choice...carry you knowing she would never go home with you, or abort you. this was not a choice for her...she will lovingly carry you until god carries you home.
i prayed so hard for god to take you sooner than later if this was to be your legacy. i couldn't imagine how we would all get through this...it seemed so cruel, torture actually.
i cried and wrestled with god over and over trying to find the perspective i would need to be available to your mommy; physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, to be able to walk through this with your her.
her precious doctor told her she would walk this road with her and she could come and look at you every week and spend time with you because this time in the womb will be all she will experience with you. she also said we were invited to come as well, i.e., family. i shut down at this point. how could i come and bond with you, love you, and then lose you. how can i watch you, watch your precious mommy, my precious daughter, go through this deep pain and devastating hurt? my only response is that i would think about it.
so many are praying for you...praying for a miracle. that scared me. i couldn't place my hope there. what if it didn't happen? i learned long ago not to get my hopes up for anything, it always seemed to end in disappointed and hurt. i actually started to see that if i didn't hope, good things actually happened. #emotionally confused
in talking with my other daughter, sarah, she's so filled with faith and hope; believing for a miracle, etc. i became angry and fearful; doubtful even. why wasn't i feeling those things? where was my faith? well, we're talking about flesh of my flesh here...my precious daughter laura. how can i watch her suffer and go through hurt like this? even though she's mature and married, a mother still wants to protect her babies. i can't protect her in this. that saddened me deeply. how can i watch everyone build her up emotionally for a miracle and then have it not happen?
then, one morning i was driving to work and got a prompting to turn on christian talk radio. charles stanley was on and the very first words i heard him say were, "god wants you to be filled with hope." that got my attention! romans 15:13 "may the god of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the holy spirit you may abound in hope." god wants me to hope and be filled with joy and peace. i begged him, "then by the power of the holy spirit fill me!" why wasn't i being filled? then it hit me; actually it swelled from the core of my being and filled my heart and mind.
god showed me that i've been placing my hope in things; events, miracles, in hope, in healing, in people, in life, in my own strength, etc...when it should be in a person - the only person - jesus christ. my hope, your hope, should be in him! it doesn't rise and fall with our emotions. it doesn't ebb and flow with the tides in our lives. it doesn't dip when things are bad and rise when things go our way. it's in him...our hope resides in the fullest capacity, in him alone. it never changes.
i don't have to be afraid.
i can't tell you how deeply this healed me. it not only changed my perspective over past events, but for this moment and forever more as well. my hope is in christ. yes, it's possible we'll get our miracle, we serve an incredible god...however, my hope will not be altered if we don't get one.
you, my sweet angel, have taught me so much about life, myself and my god already. you have taken and refocused my vision and captured my heart! i am free now to be whatever i need to be for your sweet mommy, my precious daughter. i am free now to watch you move on the ultrasound and talk to you and experience you while we have you. no one knows what's going to happen, but you already have moved our world and made your presence known. you have already created a legacy of hope & love that will live on in the hearts of more than we know.
the world says you shouldn't be here. we can't wait to meet you, whether here or heaven, we love you so much...
p.s. isn't it ironic, you're going to be a thanksgiving baby...
I love conferences! I could attend a conference somewhere, anywhere, every week! I get so much out of them. I love the diverse group of women that speak and learn so much from their testimonies and Biblical insight. I always walk away feeling more connected to God and other women who share similar life issues and struggles that are often hidden below the surface during the dailies of doing life. Conferences tend to crack open our chests and give us an opportunity to process the messy and often ugly truth of it all. I attended one such conference recently called, "Abundance."
One speaker challenged us to close our eyes and spend a few quiet moments with God allowing Him to speak to our hearts. It wasn't but a minute when I sensed God wanting to speak to me about a beggar. We didn't have enough time for me to dwell longer for more, so I made note of it and have since been contemplating what He may have wanted to share with me.
God began to speak to my heart. I know when it's God's voice because when it comes, it seems to come from out of the deepest part of me and it always seems to be accompanied with a sort of weightiness. It comes with authority. It rises up from within me and presents itself in my mind. It's as if it gets on an elevator and takes the long trip from my heart to my head, slowing rising with ever increasing clarity and then it's full blown in my thoughts! No doubt straight from the heart of God.
He then began gently ministering to me about this beggar thing. He's SUCH a Gentleman! Even when He speaks to me about sin, He's so tender, pressing me to repentance with Love. I hope you find that to be true in your life as well. He's so loving.
I sense what He's wanting for me to understand is that I've already been made whole through His Son Jesus Christ and that He has filled my cup to overflowing. I lack nothing!
This prompting from Him about beggars is peculiar and I am going to have to meditate on it for a while, but what He wanted me to know for now I believe, is that I too am a beggar...we all are. Whether we're willing to admit it or not, we beg all the time; please notice me, please see that I'm worthy and have value, see what I can do, please make me feel like an important person in your life, do you think I'm pretty, please fill my cup! Ugh! We might as well all walk around with a tin cup around our necks! We're beggars in a myriad of disguises. We're all cleaned up on the outside, but the truth of it is, we're needy and broken and looking in all the wrong places for what we think we need. The masks we wear hide the messy uglies; or we think they do. There are those that can see right through them!
I've often heard that when we find a distaste or disdain for someone or something, or for something someone is doing or not doing, it's because all, if not in part of what we judge to be distasteful in them, may reside in us in some capacity. We either can't see it, or we're not willing to see it. Taking in point the beggar and finding my own beggars soul.
As I've mediated now for days, I'm finding that God is exchanging my thoughts of lack and neediness with thoughts of wholeness. Realizing I don't have to be a beggar. He's already filled my cup...He's already made me whole. He made me whole when He adopted me and called me His Daughter. He provides all I could ever need or want. He is Enough!
I believe our enemy would love for us to walk around feeling impoverished and depleted; and I have to admit, I've felt like a beggar for some time in my life. No more soliciting alms for a living, begging others, indirectly of course, to meet my needs. There is no drought in a life where the River of Life endlessly flows.
I believe what God is showing me, maybe my path in life, a call maybe, is to help women see they have all they need. We don't have to be beggars. We are Daughter's of the Royal King Jesus.