Friday, December 9, 2016

Be Brave: SBC Christmas Tea 2016

Be Brave - the 2016 theme from our annual Christmas Tea.

We all have to be brave at some point in our life. It may be the first day of kindergarten. It may be the day you lose a spouse. It may be the day you receive devastating news. Or the day you bring home a brand new baby.

As Christmas approaches, I can't help but think of how brave Mary had to be. She was probably judged. She was probably scared. It probably wasn't how she expected her first pregnancy to happen. Yet, she was carrying the Son of God. She was to give birth and raise the Messiah. Her scary circumstances were for a greater good.

I view the Christmas story differently now that I am a mother.  I'm not comparing myself with Mary, but I do think she felt some of the same emotions that I experience as a mother. We moms are in this together.

Expectations and assumptions are common reasons for discouragement in my life. I research, plan and make lists for big events, picturing my emotions. Time after time, that day arrives and I don’t feel the way I decided I should feel.  I am continuously learning that the Lord is the one who orders my steps…not me.

When my son, Hudson was born, I had all these images in my head of the first time I would see his face. I assumed family would be there to capture the moment in a frame-worthy photograph.  I had always dreamed of becoming a mother and I had decided that my first moments holding my new baby would be magical.  (Read Part 1 and part 2 of Hudson's birth story)

But the Lord continues to want to teach me the lesson that “It’s not about me. My life is not my own. His plans are not my plans.” After a surprise case of eclampsia, my son was delivered seven weeks prematurely. I still have no memory of the 3 days surrounding his birth. I don’t remember the first time that I held him.  It was not as I had planned.

Due to a lengthy period of unconsciousness, I had to relearn some things. I had trouble putting words together for quite some time.  But the Lord put a song in my heart. “Our God is Greater. Our God is stronger. God, You are higher than any other. Our God is HEALER, awesome in power. Our God.”

As doctors marveled at our situation, our God was praised. As Hudson was released from the hospital after just 17 days, our God was seen as being awesome and strong. As I recovered, our God was seen as Healer. Our God. He had greater plans.

Instead of feeling discouraged that my birth story didn’t unfold the way I’d expected, I am humbled to remember that God saw fit to show His greatness and strength through our lives. And the next time I face days of uncertainty and disappointment, I am praying for the courage to look for the greatness of our God. If I enter circumstances expecting God to show up, I will never be disappointed.

I Samuel 7:12   “…Up to this point, the Lord has helped us.”

The evening at the tea was filled with great conversation, yummy food, and encouraging testimonies of God's faithfulness. 

Like a gaggle of geese squawk encouragement at the goose flying in the front, this group of ladies prayed for and encouraged our sisters in Christ. 

Our scary circumstances may be different, but our God is the same. His plan is perfect and He is always good. 

 So, be brave, sisters. Be brave. 

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