Friday, February 21, 2014

What a Difference a Year Makes

Are you struggling already, so early in 2014?  Are you lonely, sad, frustrated, guilty, shamed, fearful, anxious or in agony?

Do you think this season/situation/circumstance you are in, dealing with and/or facing will last forever?

I had those same thoughts a year ago.

A year ago a baby was born, 10 days ahead of her due date and 5 days ahead of my scheduled c-section.  Labor came on suddenly, no idea why and all of a sudden, we found ourselves in the hospital.  The worst was yet to come because when she came out, her lungs weren't ready.  She couldn't breathe well and the nurse knew it right off. So, we kissed her goodbye and they rushed her to the NICU.

For Eight Long Days we held vigil over her, me in body representing her family and others in spirit through prayer.  This beautiful, unexpected, precious gift from God fought for her life.  He promised me she would be out on Friday but I didn't tell anyone that because I didn't know I could believe those kind of promises.  I didn't know if she would always struggle.  I didn't know for 6 days when she would come home.  It was agony to not be able to hold her.

It was so painful.

But on the night of the 7th, the healing the Holy Spirit started on the moment of her first breath was complete.  I got word early that morning how well she was doing, a remarkable turnaround from the the day before.  She came home right on time - on His timing. You can read the details here.

Yet now.  But God.  

What a difference the Lord can make in just ONE year.  What a whirlwind first year of life she's had.  I hope it means she will have an adventurous life.  My neighbor told me she would complete our family - that God knew we needed a 3rd child even when we didn't.  She was right.  He was right.  I thank Him every time I see Natalie and Sophia play, kiss and dote on her.  I thank God every time Dave picks her up.

She is the treasure of our lives.  And to think, a year ago, she looked tiny, vulnerable, alarmingly beautiful, even especially medical-d up:

And now today, she is vibrant, lively, opinionated, hilarious, determined.  The picture of health - 90% of kids her age.  Still as beautiful as the moment I laid eyes on her.
You might feel as vulnerable as she looked in that first picture.  God sees you there.  He also sees you as you will be, like she is now - healed, whole and completely in Christ.  He will take you through your own struggle, your next year or season of life. Wait on Him.  Trust in Him.  Hope in Him.  

Expect Him to be with you.  Be confident your struggle will not always be like this.

This is God’s Word on the subject: 'I’ll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.'

That's from Jeremiah 29:11 in the Message.  It is as true the day she was born as it is today.  It's just today I can see the reality of it.  Give it time, dear friend.  The Lord will come through, just as He did for Ella Grace.

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