These are the journals that I have kept over the last 25 years of my life. They are precious to me because they remind me of my story. They tell stories of joy, like the moment that I realized that the boy I loved, loved me back. That entry, written 0n July 28, 1994 says, “He loves me! I can tell in everything he does that he loves me.” There are entries full of pain that still make me cry. It’s funny how I can go years without remembering the pain, and then it comes back with a flood of tears. This post from July 1, 1997 says, “This morning at about 5:00, I lost my baby. I’m dying inside.I’m trying to be strong and hold in the emotions, but if I don’t cry, I am mean to Joshua. I don’t want to hurt him. He lost his baby too. I don’t know how to handle these feelings.”
By the way, that baby would have turned 18 this month. There were two others after that little one. My life is busy and full and I don’t often think of them, even though they will always be a part of me. But, the truth is, something about what would have been that first baby’s 18th birthday has affected me recently. I can’t say that I wouldn’t have changed a thing about how things turned out, but I can say that my Heavenly Father has comforted me and blessed me abundantly.
Then there was hope and fear intermingled as I wrote about my fourth pregnancy. My daughter and I read that journal together about a year ago, and we both cried. I begged and pleaded with that baby to fight. I begged the Lord to protect her. On September 2, 1998 I wrote, “I made a promise to God regarding this child. I promised that when he/she is born, I will not hold it back from anything that God calls it to do. It would be like me to try and prevent it from going somewhere dangerous, but I won’t interfere with the Lord’s work.”
That child, my beautiful and sweet daughter, will be seventeen in a couple of weeks. I don’t know exactly what she is going to do with her life, but one thing has always been clear to me. She’s not the kind of girl who will ever be content to live an “ordinary, safe life”. She had a very real encounter with Jesus when she was four years old. She loves him. And, she loves people. She tells me that she never ever forgets a face. Faces come to her mind and she will pray for them, even if she only ever met them one time. One of the memories that I treasure in my heart is that of her sitting on the window seat in our living room. She had a missionary storybook on one side of her, and a World Atlas on the other side. She wore that atlas out! I don’t know if she will ever be a full time missionary, but if God calls her to it, I intend to keep my promise. I won’t hold her back.
I have five children! I have lots of journal entries about them all. I feel a little guilty, like I should write about each and every one of them. Well, I have and will again, in other posts. This post began because I wanted to tell a particular story, but then I got all sentimental and weepy and…
ANYWAY…Here is what I intended to share.
A few weeks ago I was dealing with some anxiety about different situations. I was praying and I felt compelled to reach in the bag beside me and open one of my old journals. The one that I happened to grab was about a time of honest turmoil. I was a mom with four young kids. Two of them were in foster care. Our goal was adoption, but it was looking more and more like the newborn baby girl that we had been caring for would be leaving us. I was sad, but trying to prepare myself and our family to let her go. In the meantime, we were part of a church plant in a different county. We were trying to sell our house and find a new one in that area. Moving to a different county was going to be problematic in the situation with our baby girl. Life was crazy and full of uncertainties! My entries were full of prayers for both situations.
As I read the journal I discovered something that I had never realized before. It’s a long story and parts I have written about before. To sum it up, there were two things that needed to happen. We needed a home to go to quickly, as ours had sold, and we needed to be able to take her with us. I wrote this entry on July 16, 2005: “How do we truly put something in the Lord’s hands? In my mind I know what it means. It means let go and trust. But, how do I let go? It’s so hard. I need to let go of how I want the situation to turn out.”
A few weeks later I wrote two different entries on one day. I never realized it was the same day until I looked back. In the morning I wrote about what was the beginning of moving towards the adoption of our daughter. And in the afternoon I wrote about how our offer was accepted on our dream property. God showed up in a big way that day, and I never even realized it until ten years later!
I needed to see that entry on that day a few weeks ago. There are many things that are completely out of our control. We can fret and drive ourselves crazy with anxiety, or we can choose to trust God. Right now, in this season of life, I choose to trust God. It’s not like I’ve thrown my hands up in the air and said, “Everything is going to be fine!” But in my heart, I am saying, “This may not turn out the way I think it should, but God has a plan and he is in control. ”
And, just like Gandalf, he shows up precisely when he means to.
Well, that was random. Welcome to the inner workings of my mind. 🙂