So I had a baby on my birthday. Nine years ago today in fact. I’ve written about this before. It’s just kinda one of those things that happened in my life that has forever left me changed and so, so thankful.
This happened during a very dark and difficult time in my life. Having a baby was the very last thing I thought I needed. But I was so, so wrong.
This is why I am thankful that God tells us no. That he doesn’t always answer prayer the way we think he should. And that sometimes he takes us to a place that is far from comfortable and where we think we might not survive. Because without him, we just wouldn’t.
As I laid my hand on top of his head this morning and whispered into his ear, I felt the whisper of a God who still has his hand upon me. I fought back the tears as I said, “Nine years ago this moment I was holding you for the very first time. And nine years ago I heard the words that I will never forget, ‘Wait! Don’t move him! He’s still attached!’ and that’s when I knew what your name would be, because Levi means, to be attached. And God’s special purpose for you was fulfilled. And I am so thankful he used you in such a special way to show your Mama that his hand was on my life.”
It was the perfect gift. He was just what I needed and I didn’t even know it.
I didn’t know just how significantly God would use him in my life and marriage in those early moments. I didn’t know then, that a few months later I would stop dead in my tracks when I read the story in Genesis of another Levi who God used to attach a wife to her husband. I didn’t know that he would use this little baby to root my feet firm. And I didn’t know then that the warmth of a whisper from God would once again give life to my soul and a renewed determination to keep walking with Him, one small step at a time.
It is no wonder to me, that Jesus compared being the greatest to being a little child. That unless we become like little children, we will never enter into his kingdom.
It is in those moments, when I am being led my a small hand, that God usually does a big thing in my heart.
Being a mother often requires so much. We give of ourselves constantly. Denying our own physical, emotional and spiritual needs. And sometimes we find ourselves depleted, exhausted and wondering who we are.
So it makes those moments all the more sweeter. When God stoops down to show you a bit of Himself, in a dimpled smile, or an unexpected hug, or heart-words you would have never thought you’d hear, or the times when you know you’ve blown it and they take you back anyway with genuine love and forgiveness.
When I left the hospital nine years ago after my body had been broken open for another, I left with new life in my arms and in my heart. Even though I couldn’t quite see the beauty in the gift yet and I might not have even felt it. But God knew and he saw and he was faithful to fulfill his promises to me.
To answer me when I called on him and to deliver me from all my fears…to make my face radiant, never covered with shame…He promised that the angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them…He said to taste and see that he is good and to take refuge in him...that those who seek Him lack no good thing...that his ears would be attentive to my cry... and that he is close, close, close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34
So please sister, do not fear. Even if you can’t see past tomorrow. Even if the weight feels crushing and you’re just not sure. Even if the grief threatens to overtake you and it really is not fair. Even if you don’t understand and you’re angry with Him.
Wait. Just wait. Hold on and let him hold on to you. He will be faithful. He will show you.
You have been given a gift. You may not see it yet. You may not feel it. It may take months, even years to see what God is and was doing. But I promise. He is. He is working and he cares and he is with you. In the midst of the pain or the heartache or confusion. He is.
Levi is that kind of gift. His life represents that kind of sweet love-note from Jesus that says, “I see, I hear and I know. Hold on a little bit longer and you will too. There is purpose in your pain, there is meaning behind the aching and through it your faith will be made genuine…” (1Peter 1)