Friday, March 30, 2007

Weekly Word for March 30, 2007

Weekly Word - March 30, 2007

Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous;
love does not brag and is not arrogant, . . .
(Love) bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things . . .

(1 Corinthians 13: 4 & 7)

It was Thanksgiving, the perfect time to celebrate the news. They were going to have a baby, and the happiness on their faces - hid the uncertainty of that statement. They had tried and tried to have a baby, always ending in failure. So when they told us that she was again pregnant, my heart skipped a little beat, as I wondered how this would turn out. I wanted to believe that “this time” would be different, but I wasn’t so sure.

As Christmas came and went, she continued to carry the babies. They had learned that two little ones were growing inside of her. They were going to have twins. As the days and weeks went by, I started to hope that there would be two little babies to hold when spring turned into summer. I started working on baby blankets, and soon I had one almost finished. The delicate pinks, purples, and baby blues seemed just right for the two little babies that were growing inside of her. It was a little boy and a little girl, and I wanted them to have something special from us. As I worked on the blankets, the feel of the yarn in my fingers - made those lives feel so real. I thought that if I actually made the blankets, the babies just “had” to live!

But late February came, and the cold and snow seemed to bring the news that things weren’t going so well. “Please pray!” she asked us, and we prayed even harder for those two little ones. Her body kept going into labor, but the babies couldn’t live outside of her body. And so the doctors worked hard to keep them growing, and to stop the labor. Each week that went by, I hoped a little more. One blanket was finished, and I had begun the second one. They have to live, seemed to echo through my being. I have the blanket right here, to hold the babies.

With March, came even more bad news. She was sick, and the babies might be infected. As I read the words, I looked down at the finished blanket. “maybe I should send it - they could wrap their little bodies in it when they are born.” As I thought about it, tears seemed to fill my chest. “Lord, please help them!” I begged. And I continued to work on the second blanket.

(Love) bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things . . .

On March 10th, two little babies were born. They weighed just over a pound each, and were very sick. Their mother and father held them, holding them and talking to their baby boy and baby girl. They were like shooting stars, living for a moment - and then passing away in to the darkness. The two little ones were gone . . .

And there is a time for every event under heaven -
A time to give birth, and a time to die;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance.
(Ecclesiastes 3: 1 - 4)

When he called to tell me about the babies, and how they had died, I fought back the tears. He told me about holding them and about how sick each one was. And then he told me how they looked just like “him”! I laughed as he talked. “They had my ears and my face - except for the nose - that was their mother’s” he said. As I hung up the phone, I sat there just thinking about this young couple, and the babies they had lost. They had wanted them so badly. They loved them even before they had been born. “Lord, why?” I asked. I didn’t understand why this had happened.

And there is a time for every event under heaven -

I have to admit, I don’t always understand why terrible things happen, to those who don’t seem to deserve them. I find myself asking God “why”. And this time was no exception. I wanted to know why this couple had gone through so much. And then one day I got an email from a very close friend. I had asked them to pray for this young couple, and they said they would. But then they wrote: “Sometimes God has another plan, and we just don’t understand why things happen the way they do.” I read those words, and then I got angry. God didn’t make those babies and momma sick - I wrote back! But then I stopped, and realized that I didn’t know everything that had led up to this moment in time - and I surely didn’t know all that God had in mind for this couple. I didn’t even know what His plans were for my own life down the road. As I thought about all this, I remembered back to many years ago. To another mother, and another baby . . .

A time to keep, and a time to throw away;
A time to tear apart, and a time to sew together;

(Ecclesiastes 3: 6 & 7)

She must have been around 16 years old, when I first met her. She had long blonde hair, and beautiful blue eyes - and a belly that said she would be a mother very soon. She was bubbly and bright, and her mother was one of my friends. I would visit her mom a few mornings a week, and over coffee we would share our concerns and prayers. During those visits, I grew to care about this family - and especially this young mom and her new baby.

She had delivered a little boy. And he seemed so perfect, when I held him. He had blonde hair and blue eyes, and his chubby little cheeks made him look like his picture belonged on a baby food jar. It didn’t take long for me to care about him and his momma.

I remember the day, as if it were yesterday. I was visiting the family, and I was sitting in the rocking chair holding the baby. He was sound asleep in my lap, and his mother was sitting on the floor, next to me. She was jibbering like teen-age girls do, all about her life and the new boy she had just met. As she talked, her eyes lit up. And I couldn’t help but smile down at her as she went on and on about the boy. But then, her eyes clouded over. “Is it wrong for me to like him?” she asked. At that moment, she looked over at her sleeping son. I followed her gaze, looking down at this perfect little boy. And then I looked back at his teen-age mother. At that moment, I knew that she was still so young, needing to learn so much about herself. How was she supposed to be a “mother” as well?

When I was a child, I used to speak as a child, think as a child, reason as a child . . .
(1 Corinthians 13: 11)

They were two children, learning about life together - the mother and her son. And the two of them, had somehow found their way - in to my heart. And so over the next few years, I would spend time taking care of her little boy, and listening to his momma.

She was like any other teen-ager, she loved the idea of “falling in love”. She and her young man, became a couple - and soon were living together. Her son, started calling him “Daddy”. And together, they made a little family. But she didn’t know if she loved him, and she spent hours talking about her worries and concerns.

I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised when she told me that she was pregnant - but I was! And then she surprised me even more - she told me that she didn’t want to have this baby. As she talked, my heart was pounding in my chest. Silently, I was begging God to show me what to say or do. I tried to talk to her, tried to tell her that this baby was important. But she wouldn’t listen. Instead, she told me I couldn’t tell anyone her secret. And then she left. As she drove away from the house, I fought back the tears. “Lord, please, don’t let her have the abortion!” I prayed. Maybe that prayer was wrong, but it was how I felt. I loved her, and I didn’t want her to throw away her baby.

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, Thou wilt revive me; . . .
And Thy right hand will save me.
The Lord will accomplish what concerns me; . . .
(Psalm 138: 7 & 8)

It was only a few days later, when she was rushed to the hospital. She had doubled over in pain, while driving to work. As they rushed her in to the emergency room, she told the nurses that she might be pregnant. Within minutes, her doctor was at her side. After running some tests, he told her that she needed surgery. Her life was in danger. As they wheeled her away, her mother called me - telling me the details and asking me to pray. Then, just before she was about to hang up, she told me about the baby. “It’s a little girl” she said. But she didn’t know if the baby would survive the surgery.

The Lord will accomplish what concerns me; . . .

The surgery took many hours, but when it was over, both momma and baby were fine. The doctors had worked very carefully, to save the baby’s life. A fact, that the momma was not happy with!

When she was sent home, she was put on complete bedrest by the doctors. Her mother put the bed in the living room, and we all volunteered to help out with her and her son. Soon, there were meals and volunteers with her every day.

When it was finally my turn, I wondered what she would say to me. She knew how I felt about the baby, and I knew how she felt, as well. As I drove over, I found myself praying, asking God to help me. When I walked in the door, she had the television on, and her son was playing on the floor. I sat down next to her, and we talked about simple things - like how she was feeling and what she would like for lunch. She looked tired, and I knew that her stomach hurt where they had done the surgery. I took her little one with me, and I went out to the kitchen to make some lunch. He was a talker, and I found myself laughing and talking with him as I cooked. When I looked at him, I couldn’t help but wonder what his little sister would look like. As I got the tray ready for her, I fed him and then I put him down for a nap. As I headed back in to the living room, I wondered if we would finally have time to talk . . .

There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven - - -
A time to give birth, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to uproot what is planted.
(Ecclesiastes 3: 1 & 2)

That day, we talked about everything. We talked about the baby she was carrying, and the fact that she didn’t want it. We talked about her boyfriend, and how she wasn’t sure she wanted to have a baby with him. And then we talked about the life that was inside of her, and how it was a life that would change her world forever. I told her that even if she had an abortion, that little girl would always be a part of her life. As I left that day, I knew that I had caused her to cry, and to think about the things she was so upset about. But I didn’t know what she would choose to do.

It was about two weeks later, when I found out that she was going to keep the baby. She had decided not to have the abortion. On the day that I saw her, I watched her. She was gently rubbing her little belly, and the smile in her eyes told me that she had fallen in love with the baby.

A time to plant, and a time to uproot what is planted.

And then the baby died. When I got the call, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. She had gone to the doctors for a check up, and they couldn’t find the heartbeat. They did more tests, and found that the baby had died. The doctors were going to have to help her deliver, her dead little girl.

“Why Lord?” I wanted to scream! Why had He made her care about this baby, if it was going to die anyways. Why had we all cared? My heart broke, as she had to say good-bye to her little baby girl . . .

And I said to him, “My Lord, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, . . .”
“For this reason, they are before the throne of God; . . . They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; . . .
For the Lamb in the center of the throne shall be their shepherd, . . .
And God shall wipe every tear from their eyes.”
(Revelations: 7: 14 - 17)

I don’t know why terrible things happen, to good people. But they do. Right after my friend lost her baby, I found myself praying and praying - asking God for an answer. And then one day, I had a dream.

In the dream, I saw a little boy who was full of joy and life. I loved him the minute I saw him. I knew that he was “my” little boy. In the dream, I held him and laughed as he played in my arms. And then I heard a voice. It was a man’s voice, and it said: “Will you accept this gift of love?” “If you do - it is only for a short time.” “If you say no, it will be as if you never knew him.” When the man stopped speaking, I understood that the gift of love was the child. And he would be taken away, and my heart would break when he was gone. But if I said “no”, I would not feel anything - no love, but also no pain. And then I heard the voice again - - - “What do you choose?”

And if I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to move mountains, but do not have love, . . . I am nothing.
(1 Corinthians 13: 2)

“What do you choose?” - In the dream, I said “yes” to the gift. When I did, I knew that I had passed some sort of test. It was as if God said: “Good job, you understand!” I guess that’s when I realized that every gift of life, no matter how long it is with us, touches us in a way that changes us. Our hearts grow bigger, the more we love - the more we care. But we have the choice - to love or not.

“What do you choose?” - Every single day, we have choices before us. They are choices to care, to love, or to feel. I don’t understand why the babies were lost to the couple, and to my friend. But I do understand that those babies were loved. Not just by us - - - but by the Lord. They were gifts of life, for just a moment in time. And their lives, changed our lives - - - forever . . .

Love - bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails; . . .
(1 Corinthians 13: 7 & 8)

“What do you choose?” Next week, we will be celebrating the time in the Christian faith called Easter. It is the time when we remember the sacrifice that Jesus made - for all of us. He gave us a gift - His Life - so that we might Live and know what perfect Love is. And then He asks: “What do you choose?”

It is my hope and prayer that you will choose to care, to feel, and to Love. It is my hope that you will choose to say “yes” to Him - asking Him to be part of your life. When you do, your life, as well as all our lives - change forever . . .

But now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these - is love.
(1 Corinthians 13: 13)

God bless you and keep you, as we celebrate this Easter season - the time when we thank Him for those gifts of Love - that have changed our lives forever and ever . . .

In His Perfect Love,
Debbie & Ted Ayers