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Thank YOU!

Thank you for the gift of your time today. My prayer is each time you stop to visit you are blessed with truth, and encouraged to keep going ~ one foot in front of the other, chin up ~ simply because you've been reminded you are on the road to VICTORY!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Five Minutes on Being Prepared

Several Scriptures wrestle for first place in my thinking.  Jesus telling us He has gone to prepare a place for us in Heaven.  John the Baptist, the forerunner for Jesus' ministry, preparing the way. Preparation of the Passover meal, sacrifices and thanks offerings.

Finally though, relating preparation to my own life, a personal testimony from my earlier years pushes through to the front of the line bearing the lessons of the following Scripture verses from Proverbs.

The heart of man plans his way
    but the Lord establishes his steps.
Proverbs 16:9 ESV

We humans keep brainstorming options and plans,
but God's purpose prevails.
Proverbs 19:21 MSG

And so the year was 1993, March, actually.  Our oldest son was about to turn two ~ March 14th, actually.  Additionally, I was just about 9 months pregnant with our youngest son, whose due date for arrival was March 19th.

As I went to my then weekly OB visit, I received the good report that all was well and we seemed to be right on time for our scheduled arrival date.

I was so excited.  Everything was working out for my plan.  All my ducks in a row.  We would have a 2 year old birthday party for our oldest son, and then clean up, rest up as much as possible.  Finally, we would welcome our youngest a few days later.  Perfect timing!

Perfect according to my plan...until March 13th.  Before dawn, I awoke, feeling rather uncomfortable.  Unable to go back to sleep, I wobbled downstairs to lay on the couch and watch the unbelievable winter wonderland accumulating outside.  Now if we didn't live in Atlanta, Georgia, a massive snow storm might not seem unusual in mid-March, but as our southern landscape became overwhelmed with inch after inch of fresh snow we watched in amazement!

Our son, who would be 2 the next day wandered out with his dad, eyes wide and unsure what to make of the cold white covering his normally winter brown yard.  I continued to feel uncomfortable, staying inside and resting as much as possible water broke around 5 p.m.  Oh, but wait, little one; you're not due to arrive for another 5 days.  And tomorrow is your big brother's birthday.

I called my doctor's office and told the answering service my situation.  The woman on the phone took my pertinent information and told me to get prepared to go to the hospital.  My doctor called shortly after indicating I would be going to our local community hospital rather than the planned hospital since the weather was too bad to travel... and electricity was out downtown.

"Wait, so you're coming out to this hospital?", I asked dazed and confused by all the upheaval in "my plans".  My doctor told me no, and not to worry, the doctor on call would do a great job and the hospital near us would be just fine.  "Don't worry!", he said several times and then wished me the best before hanging up.

That was it!  Wait, go to the hospital early.  Go to a different hospital.  In labor, meet a doctor I've never met before, who would most certainly deliver our second child in the midst of this wintry mess! No, I was a mess.  No longer did any of my plans matter; there was a new plan, and I needed to get on board.

I truly believe this experience was a pivotal moment for me.  My Father was using circumstances for a teachable moment.  His purposes were for my good.  It was time for me to have a spiritual growth spurt, and take the next step in learning to trust Him more and more.  Father was teaching me the truth of His word in practicality.  It's fine for me to make my own plans and be prepared, as long as I hold those preparations loosely and comply willingly with His greater plan!

Suddenly new preparations spun into motion.  Dear neighbors came to care for our oldest son for the night.  My husband, who is from Ohio, skillfully navigated the snowy roads, and got us to the different hospital without incident.  We were able to get a delivery room immediately, and our youngest son was born just 2 hours later.

God is good and trustworthy.  He is Father and He knows what He is doing.  Gratefully, our delivery experience was even more wonderful and satisfying than our first experience as the doctor on duty was both skilled and careful for my desire to deliver our baby naturally.

Even to this day, we tease our youngest son about wanting to make his arrival the day before his brother's birthday.  We delight in having a fascinating story to tell of God's plan, which was not my own, of a baby boy born in the Blizzard of '93.  And how could I have ever prepared for two sons with birthdays one day apart?  No, that was Father's idea.  His good plan prevails, indeed!

Blessings of Greatest JOY on your amazing adventure journey with Jesus!