As a little girl, I remember pulling up to a gas station on one of our many road trips. Tommy and I were probably 5 and 7. Side note - most of my favorite childhood memories are of being in the backseat of my parents car, listening to them chat and share life, dad drinking coffee from a thermos, John Secada music in the background and dad eating cherry Halls cough drops. I still only eat cherry Halls cough drops just because they remind me of being in that safe back seat. Thanks mom and dad for quite the sweet and very safe childhood :) Back to the gas station... We see a family living out of their car. They had two kids that seemed to be me and Tommy's ages. I was overwhelmed to the point of tears. I NEEDED to help them. Something deep down ached inside. Must admit, always been a softie. Tommy, on the other hand, thought they should just go get a job at McDonald's :)
That's been an overwhelming theme to my life...I've wanted to feed the homeless. Protect the oppressed. Seriously, have googled how to be a foster parent no telling how many times. I sound like a saint until I say this... I've never followed through and that has always discouraged me about myself. Truly, have felt like I am not living out my calling my whole life.
When God gave me Walt and Fenley, I decided that must be my mission field for now. Serving them. But there was still that nagging thought that I wanted to do more. The verses in Matthew 25 that talk about serving the least of these have HAUNTED my heart:
"Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’"
Background story detour... God sparked a relationship in January of this year between the wisest woman I now know and me. She is deaf and is now on hospice care for cancer. Let me tell you something...that woman has taught me so much about service to God and a REAL relationship with Him. There is no telling how many lives she has changed. And do you want to know her advice about how to find your area of service to God? Seek Him. Love Him. Know Him. Get to know Love Himself and you will naturally find yourself in service to Him and loving it. She has ministered to me in ways I can't comprehend yet. She and I have emailed back and forth for ten months and have only met once. I actually caught myself reading her emails over and over and God gently saying... "Back to the bible, Lauren" :) After that advice about service from her, that verse about serving the least of these has not haunted me as much. I've spent the last ten months laying down a lot of things at the cross. A LOT. This season would not have the fruit it does without the love God has poured over me through her.
Back to serving the least of these. As this pregnancy ticks by...I'm overwhelmed physically and emotionally. Absolutely exhausted. Heartburn. Heartbreak. Restless nights. Worry. Anxious about every doctor visit. Anticipating a c section and this story playing out while I'm numb from chest down. Hormones are CRAZY. (ex: I made Walt a caramel cake. After 4 days I threw it out. He came home wanting another piece and I sobbed because I had already thrown it out. Poor Walt.)
And then I read something in my devotional yesterday with the Matthew 25 parable attached to it... "Sometimes we are called to give up our money or COMFORTS to provide for the needs of others." Wow. Shocking revelation to me. I have spent a lot of my life praying for an opportunity to serve. And that He would reveal when I could be privileged enough to really serve Him. And here I am... Doing what no one else can. For one baby. My perfect in Christ baby. Making a difference and believing in my son, when the world and doctors say not to. Hello Heartburn, Heartache and Hormones, come and stay a while. C-Section? Bring it. I'm just serving my God by loving on my son. A "least of these" that only I am currently called to serve. I count it a privilege to walk this beautiful story. Nothing short of a pure calling. Safe to say, that parable in Matthew 25 now encourages me instead of haunts me. Praising God for revealing that to me!
And that turns me to Jesus' story... A baby who was born in a stable, a man who only lived 33 years and died on a cross. Never had a "home". Never defended Himself in court. All of his friends scattered. He came here knowing what He was up against. From the worlds perspective He was a failure. But open the door of your heart to Him, and find He is magnificently perfect. His humble story teaches us how to unpack our humble, imperfect stories. And how to walk through an "incompatible with life" diagnosis. Because aren't we all a little incompatible with life here on earth? :) Wills just has a physical diagnosis that demands our attention. But Wills' physically "broken" diagnosis has healed this mama's spiritual heart and given me my first real opportunity to serve my least of these. Pray I continue to do it boldly.
Jesus, in distress, prayed for God to pass His cup of suffering but God's will, not His. That's my exact prayer now. Every day. Pass this cup. Heal our son. But if You don't, then I trust Your hand here. If you feel God leading you to pray for us, join us in that prayer please.
A sweet precious friend texted me this verse this week. Said God put it on her heart to share with me :) I LOVE when He does this...makes my walk with Him very sweet. It was very timely.
"God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?"
So as we wait another 23 days at the most, know that we are relying on God speaking and acting, promising and fulfilling. Marvelous anticipation.
That's all for now :) love to y'all in Gods perfect spirit!