5 years ago today, one of my best and dearest friends from college had a little boy. This day was was filled with joy and anticipation, and when we heard that little Forrest had arrived, all of the friends and family celebrated. I remember being in the room after he was born and it was like a big party- the hospital room was packed with friends and family alike who had come to meet this little boy. The next morning around 6:30-7 I got a frantic call from Brittany- Forrest wasn't doing well. He had been rushed to Le Bonheur. She was trying to get discharged so she could be with him. Not being a mother at the time I remember thinking "you can't leave the hospital- you have to heal!!" But I of course didn't tell her that. I'll never forget the fear, anxiety and overwhelming since of disbelief that she had in her voice. If you are reading this, you no doubt know the end of the story... that there was an end. Sweet, precious, tiny Forrest lived here on earth for 55 days before going to see his Heavenly Father.
And the Harrisons... how did God deem them to be parents who lost a child. No, lost children! It seems like God has taken these "good" families and rocked their worlds. My sinful nature makes me want to ask "so, what's in store for me?? You had them lose children, but what are you going to take away from me??" I know that's Satan using this to attack my walk with God. I know that's not how God chooses to punish. If that were the case we would all be in deep, dark holes and would never have the chance to live eternally with our God and Savior. But, as we said all throughout Easter "Hallelujah! Christ rose from the dead!"
Lately it seems like God is throwing a HUGE sign at me saying "YOU ARE A PARENT!! DO NOT TAKE THIS LIGHTLY!" I've been bombarded (in a good way) about Godly parenting and am realizing it is a huge responsibility to raise God's children in a manner that is pleasing to Him. Did anyone see how I acted last night during dinner? It's a good thing- you wouldn't think so highly of me that I acted that way towards my children. But, I'm learning that they are here, not for my sake, but for His. To bring Him glory. To bring others to Christ. The single most important duty I have in my whole entire life- did you get that? my LIFE- is to raise them so that they will desire to walk with God. I pray every day that they will never remember a day where they didn't know and love God. I pray daily they will walk the straight and narrow path in middle/high school and college. Knowing Whit's personality and leadership skills I pray he leads friends down God's path and not toward the "popular" crowd. High school SCARES me to death and the only way I know to combat it is to pray. Now. If you are reading this and wonder what on earth I'm talking about please take a moment and read through Deuteronomy 6. There are tons of other passages, but this is where all of this came from and the charge we are given as parents. God gave us precious gifts, and I'm now realizing it's not for my benefit, or to dress cute, or to lug around to play dates, or to tell funny stories about them at dinner parties... it's to raise them to love Christ! I bet the Harrisons and Spences would tell you each day is an utter gift and blessing, and that's how I need to choose to see each day. That is how I need to choose to discipline. That is how I need to choose to love. That is how I need to choose to serve.
That is a whole lot of random information, but that is what is on my heart today. Happy 5th birthday to Forrest. Happy 3 1/2 years to Evie. I pray your families feel God's blessing, courage, joy and love today. I honestly don't know how you can wake up every day, but each day you live is a testimony of God's faithfulness to us. Love to you, sweet friends!