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His Timing

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Our first pregnancy, Nugget

Yesterday, December 3, 2020, marked the anniversary of mine and Steven’s journey to parenthood. It was four years ago that we discovered we were pregnant for the first time, and our lives were forever changed.

I wanted to write something yesterday, but I didn’t know how to formulate my thoughts. Then, tonight, we did our Advent devotion. We use the devotional I wrote called God’s Gift. I posted it here last year. I can’t lie. It was strange to be on this side of that penning. To know, with realness, the joy that Sarah references.

I’ve talked about our journey on multiple occasions. The pain and confusion. The grief. The little moments of joy that we found through it. The desire for it to be used for something greater than ourselves. And while we were prepared for our story to have a much different ending, here we are in the midst of a parenting adventure with Peter.

And it’s His timing that has brought it about. Numerous examples exist explaining why His timing is better than anything Steven and I could have orchestrated. I was able to retire from my job and am home. Steven had accumulated enough time to have paid leave for an extended period. A promotion was a possibility–with it a change in schedule that we were able to “test drive” before a decision had to be made. And, frankly, a pandemic.

Meeting my son for the first time having to wear a mask.

I don’t know if I can explain that last one to my, or anyone else’s, satisfaction. It’s about more than Peter giving us something good to focus on in a difficult year. We are familiar with difficult years–this one was just a different difficult. The pandemic has sharpened our focus on our family unit. Honestly, I’m grateful for the unique backdrop that is Peter’s birth year. The masks, the social distancing, the learning new ways to be community. The world that we brought Peter into is markedly different than the world we left behind December 31, 2019. It’s a new opportunity, more starkly apparent than ever before. I often feel that too many people are too eager to throw out the blessings of this year because they came wrapped in disappointments, heartaches, and raindrops.

I read recently in Rachel Held Evans’ Inspired something said by Ellen Davis: “From [Job] above all others in scripture, we learn that the person in pain is a theologian of unique authority. . .qualified to speak of God in a way that others, whom we generally call more fortunate, cannot speak” (97). Job has resonated with me over the last four years already. {Peter’s life verse actually comes from Job–chapter 5, verse 9} Reading this helped illuminate what I have felt glimmering in the depths of my soul.

My relationship with God has changed over this journey. It has deepened, become more solid, become more honest. I have learned to go to Him with it all, no matter what that all is.

Peter’s dedication service where we announced his life verse: “He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted.” Job 5:9 NIV

So, it is in His timing that the birth of our son came and the journey parameters change.

God’s Gift: Timing

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Day 6 Advent and God’s Gift

Bible Reading: Genesis 21:1-7

day6

Image: public domain; I questioned my husband’s choice of this picture, but he said it was the joy on her face that drew him to it for today. I have to agree that his choice is good.

Today is, personally, a difficult day for me in this devotional.  I stare at the scripture reference and the notes I’ve written about it. 

Isaac, the improbable child given to Abraham and Sarah. The joy of the seemingly impossible–all the questions Sarah had while enduring this time of waiting. And God says in the end–Look what I can do!

He promised the child years previously.  And He kept His promise. But, oh, the wait!  So often we try to manipulate the fulfillment we want.  We can’t decide what God’s promises are going to look like.  We have to wait for His timing. I’m not sure there’s anything any more difficult or question provoking.  

Waiting for Isaac mirrors waiting for the Christ child, and the improbable saving of a sinful world through the birth of a baby.  

Thoughts for today:

What difficult waiting are you doing today?

In your prayers today, acknowledge to God the difficulty of waiting.  He can take it. He knows. If you need to, cry out to Him your frustration and your disappointment that His plan doesn’t fit your schedule.  Then ask Him to help you remember that His timing is better than yours, and His plan is greater than anything you can devise.