Isaiah 64:8 - "But now, O Lord, You are our Father;
We are the clay, and You are our potter;
We are all the work of Your hand."
Just like sand blowing across a canyon, life shapes us. I also believe that when we are willing to be molded, God shapes us, and He is the Master Artist when it comes to creating a vessel for His glory.
Lately, I have been thinking a lot about how God has been molding me, particularly when it comes to my need to relinquish control.
Just before the birth of my first child, my midwife warned me about the need to relinquish control. Almost every day, she came face to face with life and its beginning. The birth of a baby, but also the birth of a mother. Occasionally, she witnessed the end of life as well. Seeing the nature of life's beginning and end, she knew very well that we have no control over such things.
Still, I fought for control of my child. When he was born, he was taken from me. He was kept in NICU for six days without good cause. Many of the earliest parenting decisions I had intended to make were taken from me. I was not even allowed to see my child for more than 10 minutes until the day after he was born, and I was not allowed to be with him or hold him when I wanted. Thank the Lord he was just fine and we were able to bring home a perfectly healthy boy after those six days. But I had nightmares about the experience for the next two years. I dreamed that he was back in NICU, attached to wires, and that I was not allowed to hold him. I dreamed that when we were allowed to bring him home, there were doctors chasing us down in the parking lot demanding that we bring him back.
I have a friend that had undergone a similar experience with her third child just months before. She made encouraging comments to me about this being a good lesson for her in understanding the need to relinquish control. But I clung to control more than ever. This was MY child. I would protect him with all of my might.
It is so ironic to me that we have two beautiful unplanned children. You see, we tried to control when we had children and took those matters into our own hands. Two times, God showed us that He had better plans. The third child that we prayed about and asked God for months to conceive was lost before he was ever born. It was then that I finally began to understand that when it comes to life and death, we have no control, it is only God.
And so we turned our hearts to God and have made the commitment to give Him all control over the lives brought forth in the Holy Covenant of our marriage. This is not a realm we wish to control anymore. We do not bind this choice upon others, it is simply where God has brought us and we seek to glorify Him with a family devoted to Him.
So God has blessed us with a new life in our family... a little one that should arrive some time in June. The moment I told my husband the news, he thanked God and immediately said a prayer dedicating this child back to the Lord. We are finally beginning to understand - these children are gifts from the Lord. They are not our own. He has lent them to us and entrusted them to our care for a time so we can bring them up in "the nurture and admonition of the Lord". The time may be long or it may be very short. We have no guarantees. Even the two children that have been born to us already may not live through tomorrow. For that matter, we may not live through tomorrow. God alone holds the power over life and death, and thankfully, He, in His grace, has offered us a way to be with Him when we die.
Until now, I had not been able to face this thought, and even now, it is deeply painful, but I can finally say, with tearful joy, that I have a child in heaven, gazing upon the beauty of the Lord.
God is good. Always.
Lord, come quickly.
From Revelation 21 -
"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
"And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son."
"And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. But nothing
unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or
false, but only those who are written in the Lamb's book of life."