When God gives you a detour sign...
A few weeks ago it was laid on my heart to write a personal blog about what the Lord is doing now, four months after becoming parents of two crazy, wild, lovable boys…But I just didn’t have the energy. It was all I could do to keep the kids alive until Dad got home.
Now, with a day and a half of some relief, this is what I feel lead to share with you…
I guess the Lord has a sense of humor, as we are batting 3 for 3 in 3 years. Yep! If the Lord continues with His plan we will have added three kiddos to the Harris family in just three short years. Whew! (You can take a minute to gather your thoughts on that. Trust me, it took more than a minute for the parents of these sweet babies to pick each other up off the floor.)
With each pregnancy has come a specific lesson learned. He has highlighted one area of His sovereignty to teach me with every child.
Controller. Many of you know that we spent a month in the hospital when Billy Wayde was born due to him arriving 6 weeks early. I will never forget meeting him two days after his birth, covered in cords, lights, masks, tape, and being surrounded by beeping machines. Even at 34 weeks, he looked like he could beat up all the other babies in the nursery (most weighed in at 4 or 5 pounds and he was a whopping 7lb., 3 oz.). At that moment the Lord had every ounce of control. While friends and family urged us to send him to a larger hospital for better care, the Lord told us to wait. So we waited.
I have heard it said, “If you want to lose control, have a kid.” I couldn’t agree more. Especially in this situation. His life was out of our hands and in the Father’s hands. I remember looking at him and praying, “Lord he is yours, not mine. Make his life be for You, not me.” Right then all pressure to “raise him right,” “put him first,” and “give him the world” was relinquished.
The Lord knew my tendency to control and manipulative situations as I wanted and he chose to immediately take that from me.
As I think about the Lord’s display of sovereignty in this situation, I can’t help but think of it’s true meaning: “mighty,” “one in power,” and my favorite for this moment in my life - “to be able.” Yes, as the sovereign God, He is always able to heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out demons, and so much more. Yet, for Him to will to do such things is a different story. Just like me, I’m sure that some reading this have lost people who they love, perhaps even a child, and question God’s ability to have lengthened their life on Earth. While we might not know why He didn’t choose to heal them in that moment, we can be reminded that His mind is infinite and all-knowing, while ours is finite and limited in knowledge. He knows and sees the big picture and provides healing for our suffering, in all circumstances. We have the hope of the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15), which brings life that lives on forever.
Provider. Switching gears for am minute - on the surface, to have $40,000 given to us to adopt a complete stranger, about half of which came by way of complete strangers, shows God as the ultimate provider.
Growing up I was raised to “make a way” for myself. I was raised to believe that I could do anything I wanted, whenever and wherever I wanted to do it. Seriously. Even just a week ago I told Tate, my husband, that I could build our house myself. I didn’t mean that I could be the general contractor. I meant that I could build it with a hammer and nails - by myself! (Oh my poor husband…what he has to deal with some days!)
A few years ago a good friend (and complete servant!) and I were going though next month’s schedule of clients. We were completely booked, which made me happy. However, I continually wanted my studio to grow bigger and bigger, but how? Charge more per class? Hire an assistant? “Let’s start by getting a larger studio,” I said. “…But that will be more money.” She looked at me and said, “You aren’t your provider. God is.”
At that moment the reality that I knew set in. I needed to hear those words out loud. Little did I know, I needed to hear them - not for growth of my business - but because God would have to provide so much financially and situationally for what He was about to call us to do. And He did! In this “paper-pregnancy” He was our provider from start to finish. And with a boy that eats like three grown men, He continues to be!
Sustainer. If you haven’t figured it out yet, we are expecting, again! This time, in my belly. That’s right, less than three months after bringing home our second child, I am pregnant! In January we felt a heavy burden to quit using birth control and allow the Lord’s plan to take place. You may be thinking, “Well, that’s dumb!” And that’s OK. For us, we were at peace.
We told the boys they were having a baby sister the day of the first positive pregnancy stick. We took them with us to the first appointment (at 7 weeks pregnant) for them to see “baby sister” (as Mama predicted).
This is is a replica of the ultrasound picture we saw:
Nothing. No baby. No yoke sac. Just an empty gestational sac. But…I was ssssooooo sick. There had to be something.
Nothing. The kids didn’t understand. We didn’t understand. The doctor told us it was a blighted ovum and she expected my symptoms to subside and me to pass the sac. As I researched blighted ovum I understood and was OK if that was the result.
A few days later, I felt a heavy burden to pray for this baby. In between visits to Mr. John (the toilet) I poured my heart, guts, and tears out to the Lord, begging Him to help “her” to grow and grow and grow.
Judge me if you want, but at that moment the Lord put the desire in my heart to have this baby. I could barely function enough to keep the kids fed (let’s not talk about baths) and alive during the day, and I was OK with having another child because I thought it was the Lord’s plan, but all of a sudden it shifted.
Have you ever had that moment when you were cool either way, then it changed by leaps and bounds?! This was my moment. The Lord placed the desire in me and I knew He would have to be my sustainer if this pregnancy was to continue. We prayed for she and I like never before.
So sick I could barely walk and going to the lobby restroom to see Mr. John again, my husband and I went to the next appointment. As I laid on the table he could see the ultrasound monitor, but I couldn’t. He looked at me with a sly grin. He knew. She was there. Heart beating strong with a completely formed head, body, and protruding limbs.
Seven days after the ultrasound showing NOTHING!
The ultrasound tech and our doctor were both amazed and had no way to describe it. Had there been a yoke sac and the baby as a circle with a heartbeat 7 days later, that would have been normal. That was not the case. There was no natural, scientific way to explain multiple views of an empty gestational sac turned into the complete shape and form of a baby with a head, body, and limbs.
The past 5 weeks have been tough. Perhaps some of the toughest days I’ve experienced recently. When it comes to things like a new baby, the loss of a loved one, working through substance abuse, or the first few moths of an adoption, you expect to have to rely on the Lord to sustain you. But when it seems as though you have clear direction for the next few months and you are excited to have this short bit of clarity and then it gets halted by an inability to function properly, it can be tough.
In this stage I am reminded of the sweetness of our God:
“Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.” Psalm 55:22
“I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given in Christ Jesus, that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge - even as the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you - so that you are not lacking in any gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” - 1 Corinthians 1:4-9
In these opening words Paul is writing to the church in the city of Corinth. This city had a thriving economy and was located along a major trade route, making it a strategic center point for the spread of the Gospel. People coming through could carry it to the ends of the world, just as Jesus commands (Matt. 28:19). However, the people in Corinth were terribly wicked. Believers were not excluded from this, some of them had much trouble breaking their former habits of paganism.
In the midst of this, Paul opens his letter reminding then to give thanks because of the grace that they have. The fact that they were cleansed, not lacking any gift due to the hope they had in the Lord Jesus Christ, who would sustain them and make them guiltless, spoke volumes to God’s faithfulness.
Before Paul addressed any concerns, he “gave thanks to God” for them “because of…grace.”
What a beautiful reminder that because of that grace it doesn’t matter what we go through, whether we need God as our sovereign Controller, Provider, Sustainer, or ______________ (you fill in the blank), we should go to Him in thanks first, then make our requests known.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” - Philippians 4:6
Victoria is a wife, mom, ambassador of Jesus, and a lover of all things that involve learning.