As every mom does, I am sure, I watched the minutes this evening counting down until the moment Abigail Faith entered our lives. I recalled wanting to toss my natural birthing plan out the window, and thinking the nurse was on board. Only later did I find out that my dear, supportive husband was standing behind me shaking his head no. Poor woman — a desperate patient one one hand, and her very firm boss on the other.
I seriously thought the IV team, and my epidural were on the way during the 15 minutes it took to go from 6 to 10cm dilation. Nope. I also assumed the doctor would be in the room when the baby arrived. Wrong again. Nothing went as expected that day, including welcoming an Abigail instead of a Jack Logan. The depth of that surprise will never wear off, thankfully.
As 6:26 pm neared I was busy in the kitchen, preparing dinner for the boys. It had been a beautiful day, capped by the full rainbow smiling at Chase and I as we left the gym in the afternoon. I think I heard the rain before I saw it, because the sky really hadn’t changed. The pinks of approaching sunset, puffy clouds in the distance and the golden haze in my yard contrasted completely with the deluge that made my jaw drop. The shock of the dissonance made me stop in my tracks, and brought the thought, “The blessings of God are heavy upon us.” It only lasted five minutes — just long enough for me to get the Lord’s birthday message for Abbie.
As I finished dinner, and reflected on the year gone by, it struck me that on Abbie’s eighth birthday, we had no idea how smart she is. We were a month away from beginning to do math with her, and had just figured out that she could spell. I wonder what she is going to surprise us with this year — I can hardly wait! I pray that this would be the year that her body would be unbound.
This has already been a fairly lengthy update, but I want to share with you the message we got at church yesterday. It was so exquisitely-timed that I laughed aloud when the subject, and the punchline, were revealed. I think it was God’s birthday letter to Abbie (and her family.)
We had a visiting pastor yesterday, who said he would be speaking on faith, using the text in Genesis that describes when Abraham was called to sacrifice his much-prayed for son. His decades of praying for Isaac made my years of pleading for Abbie pale in comparison.
The crux of the message was that there were two sides to that mountain that Abraham and his unaware son were climbing, and they could only see their side. They could not see God coming up the other side to meet them with the ram, to be sacrificed in Isaac’s place. Abraham did not delay his obedience in order to wait for God’s alternate provision. And, if he had faltered, if he had stopped halfway up, or even just a few steps short, he never would have known God’s provision for him. How different would his life and faith have been?
The pastor defined faith as the intersection of our obedience and God’s provision. The challenge, he explained, is that we often want to see the provision before we obey. But, “Do not quit. Do not quit. Don’t give up. Do not quit!!!” he exhorted us.
Oh no — we will not quit. We will not stop. We are just trying to keep up with an amazing girl who is charging up that mountain, confident in the provision that we only glimpse dimly. May the Lord bless her deeply this year!