Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day Dedication

This time of year last year, I spent an afternoon watching Ellen's Mother's Day special on DVR with envy as I sat in bed eating countless Flavor Icicles. First time mom's were receiving thousands of dollars worth of free baby stuff right in front of my eyes as I lounged in my sweats, praying time would fly so I could meet the acrobat baby maneuvering around in my belly. I was 38 weeks pregnant, and while everybody earlier that day at church sweetly wished me, "Happy Mother's Day," I didn't feel like a mom. I felt like a balloon. A giant, sweaty, contracting balloon who wanted so badly to be in California with Ellen. Anybody been there? Anyone?

I had waited for this day for so long. The day when "Mother's Day" pertained to me. And not because I'm a fan of Hallmark Holidays (because I'm really not,) but because I always dreamed about the day I would have children of my own. And I had ideas on how I would raise them: in a home full of family who loved the Lord with fervor, where we'd eat and grow and play and learn. I knew I wanted to surrender my kids to the Lord. I just didn't know what that looked like. But today on Mother's Day, Brett and I stood in front of our church body with Levi as we proclaimed our desire to dedicate him to Jesus and our wish that everyone there would encourage us, hold us accountable, and help us raise him to grow to know the Lord as his Savior. It was an emotional day, because this past year, I've realized how scary it can be to surrender your child to God. You see, this wasn't the first time I confessed to the Lord that Levi was HIS, not mine, and I wanted HIS will for his life.

The first time I dedicated Levi to Jesus was about 12 hours after I learned his little life was growing inside me. Signs of miscarriage began, and Brett and I lied in bed and cried and prayed that Jesus would protect our baby, but also we begged Him for HIS will to be done, and we prayed with confidence that no matter what He chose to do, we would praise Him. Hardest prayer ever. 

Weeks later I remember surrendering Levi to the Lord again at church while singing "10,000 Reasons" during worship (which "ironically" we sang again this morning!) Up to that point, all attempts to hear his heartbeat had failed, and we were going in the next morning for another check up. I sang "Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me, Let me be singing when the evening comes." And that was my prayer. That God would allow whatever would give Him glory, and I trusted that He loved Levi even more than I did. So I tearfully prayed, "Lord he's yours." (And yes, I really did say "he" because I just knew we were having a boy!)

Levi was dedicated to Jesus one last time just 4 weeks before he was born as I sat in the church pew at a funeral for the one week old baby boy of my sweet friend. Words will never adequately describe how sad, how vulnerable, how guilty and shocked and scared and numb I really felt. It was so unfair that the first time I was meeting her beautiful baby boy, he lied lifeless in a tiny casket. I knew right then I would never understand God's ways, but I chose to believe that somewhere in the midst of the hurt and anger and guilt and fear, my God was still a loving, gracious God who's love for His
children was higher than the mountains and deeper than the oceans. The safest place for my baby to be wasn't in my belly or my tight embrace. No, it was in the arms of Jesus, just as my friend's baby was. So I cried and I prayed, that the Lord would comfort my friends. I prayed that Jesus would meet their baby boy at the Gates and hold him tightly so that he would feel so loved and wouldn't be scared. And I told the Lord that I'm giving Levi back to Him, to do as He sees fit, because He is good. It hurt and filled me with peace all at once. And my heart has never been the same.

So today as we "officially" dedicate Levi to Jesus, our prayer remains: that God would grant us wisdom and discernment so that we may point to Jesus in all we do, that God would work in Levi's heart even now and prepare him for the day He reveals Himself to him, that the veil would be removed from Levi's eyes and he would see God's greatness and love for Him, recognize his own sin and need for a Savior, and decide to follow Jesus the rest of his life! We give him to You, Lord Jesus, and praise You for loaning him to us! Amen!

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