May Peace Be Yours.

Dear friend,

I know the path you’re walking now is hard.  So very hard.

I’d love to take the pain away from you, I’d love to take the pain away for you.

Those parts of you that are now forever broken…I know time will help, but those scars will remain and eventually they will tell a story……His story, becoming Your story.  As grace dosed over time does the healing.

While my arms long to hold you near, to be a shoulder for your despair….I pray you know Abba Father’s presence is there.

When confusion’s my companion
And despair holds me for ransom
I will feel no fear
I know that You are near

As days turn into weeks, and weeks turn into months…..your confusion will clear.  Your mind will once again focus.  The ability to prioritize and create order, will return.

When I’m caught deep in the valley
With chaos for my company
I’ll find my comfort here
‘Cause I know that You are near

Ohhh friend, He is near.  He is always near. Right there.

My help comes from You
You’re right here, pulling me through
You carry my weakness, my sickness, my brokenness all on Your shoulders
Your shoulders
My help comes from You
You are my rest, my rescue
I don’t have to see to believe that You’re lifting me up on Your shoulders
Your shoulders

In our weakness, He is made strong.  Dear friend, it is ok to feel weak.  To be weak.  That’s the beauty of grace – it is the very glue that closes the gap, between us and His supernatural strength.  His power.  Allow Him to carry you through.

You mend what once was shattered
And You turn my tears to laughter
Your forgiveness is my fortress
Oh Your mercy is relentless

One day, your smile will return.  One day, your soul will erupt with giggles.  That’s mercy.  You will never forget, you will hold memories dear, but joy will return.

My help is from You
Don’t have to see it to believe it
My help is from you
Don’t have to see it, ‘cause I know, ‘cause I know it’s true

My help is from You
Don’t have to see it to believe it
My help is from you
Don’t have to see it, ‘cause I know, ‘cause I know it’s true

Experience has seen me walk hard, rough roads, sometimes in the company of others, and at other times, the journey has been bereft of others.  I know which option I’d prefer, I know which option was made easier…..the roads with companionship have seen me become more vulnerable but the presence of others has made what was raw and harsh, just so much more bearable.

Friend, respond to those who reach out, even if you have to do it time and time again. Choose your ‘safe’ people wisely and then speak honestly time and time again with them.  Even if and when you feel stuck, like a broken record, don’t ever hesitate from telling them how you truly feel.  Their shoulders, along with His presence, will get you through.  This I know is true.

Your rest, your rescue, it can come from Him.

My friend, may peace be Yours.

(words in italics – lyrics to the song, ‘Shoulders’ by For King and Country).

Happy, blessed.

image

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.