Happy, blessed.

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This guy here, he’s my youngest out of three boys and he’s about to turn five. And here in New Zealand, turning five is quite a big deal. Most kids start school on or as close to their fifth birthday as possible. So, as you can imagine I’m feeling all the feels.

I could write a post about how we all gotta stop blinking. These kids just grow like weeds and they will have flown the nest before we even know it.

I could write a post about how amazing this little dude is and how he lives up to his very name, meaning happy and blessed.

But really, all I can think about is his birth story and seeing the touch of God, the fingerprints of grace, every step of the way.  And I see relevance in this for each and every one of us; young, old, married, single, childless, parent, sister, brother. All of us…..I’ll even keep the mention of bodily fluids to the very minimum.

Asher’s coming ‘to be’ was very much a planned and wanted happening in our lives.  We’d always wanted three kids and then some unexplained medical issues and moving countries kinda put some blips on our path.  In fact if ‘he’ hadn’t have happened exactly when he did, we were just gonna prepare our hearts to be a family of four.  We plan and we strive.  We spend a lot of time scheduling life, putting order in our days.  But there’s a deep peace that comes from living in the knowledge that at the very start of the day, and at the end of the day, our steps are ordered by the Lord.  He also knows what our hearts cry out for.  What our deepest longings are.  We read in the book of James in the Bible that ‘Every good and perfect gift is from above’.  

To make a very long story way shorter, from 28 weeks I had to have weekly ultrasounds to check on my baby, because of being exposed to a certain illness that I had no immunity to. You never know when and where you’re gonna get hit with one of life’s curveballs.  Peace can come from ‘building your lifeboat‘, especially in the times when the sailing is smooth.  And that curveball ended up working in our favour, maybe even to the point of saving his life.

I was a day shy of 38 weeks, at my regular weekly scan when the technician left the room in search of my Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist.  You know something’s up when that happens.  Turns out the baby had ripped his amniotic sac to shreds.  Who knew that was a possibility?  So I was sent straight to the hospital…the risk being if the amniotic sac had started leaking fluids, a great gushing, it could have caused a prolapsed cord.  Ain’t nobody got no time for that.  Once again, a surprise for us, but not for God.  And as always – impeccable timing.  My husband had just come home from being away, a six hour flight across the country, away.  He had come along to that appointment with me, on what we thought was a whim, because he had been away and had time off due to him.  But God knew he should have been with me.  How many times do things happen in our lives, at just the right time, with just the right people around us?  God knows.

My labour progressed very slowly, because I went into labour naturally with the shock of everything….then the medical staff intervened to try to speed things along…but still…it was was a long and painkiller free process.  My regular obstetrician was called in, on his day off.  He’d been golfing, of course..  He came and went, only to be called back in right in the last five minutes of labour…Sometime we feel like we’re inconveniencing people.  And sometimes we really are.  But I also think that sometimes we need to realize that we actually do matter.  My doc was on a very infrequent day off, but my delivery really mattered to him.  There were others who could have taken over for him, partners in his practice, but the care of my baby actually meant something to him.  Sometimes people move in and through their inconvenienced lives to prove to people that they actually matter to them.  It boils down to relationship doesn’t it, and the fact that love really does.  And to be on the receiving end of that means a great amount. 

In those last few minutes, my OB stepped aside and gave my husband the spot to actually deliver Asher.  Pity he couldn’t have wiped his delivery fee too…but in that handing over….it was quite a powerful moment I realized, in hindsight of course.  The Doctor talked Michael through what he needed to do, but he gave him the responsibility to actually bring our baby into the world.  Michael’s gentle hands were the first to touch Asher.  I can’t help but see this as a picture of God guiding us in our everyday lives to be Jesus with skin on.  He’s right there, beside us, helping us, guiding us, but we’re His hands.  We’re the ones who need to step up and put hands and feet to this love we know.  

Where we were in America it was the law to fill out all the official birth paperwork before leaving the hospital. Including the birth certificate.  I have my suspicions that the time pressure for naming your baby results in some of the pretty out there names we see….but it did mean that we left the hospital with a bona fide American citizen, who is also a New Zealand Citiizen.  This dual citizenship isn’t something we take for granted.  While not everyone can hold dual citizenship in two earthly countries, all of us can have dual citizenship of sorts.  Heaven and earth.  And while some of us may be stuck with some very interesting names….let’s not forget what names God calls us.  Beloved.  Cherished. Friend.  Accepted.  Chosen.  Blameless. Complete. We can all learn to accept these treasured names.

 My prayer today is that you could catch a glimpse of just how loved you are. I can see God’s love, protection and provision woven clearly throughout all of Asher’s birth story…..and I know this same love is there for you. 

Happy and blessed is our Asher.  Happy and blessed are we.

 

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