In the centre of our town there is a beautiful open air pavilion, shaded by trees. Every spring, at the beginning of June, our church meets there to hold a Sunday morning service. It’s a normal service in a special location.
A year ago, standing in that pavilion, singing along with the worship band and the rest of the congregation, God spoke to me.
A year ago, I was coming out of a difficult time. I had been praying hard and trying to accept that maybe God’s answer to what I wanted was, “Not yet.” Or “no.” But that morning, in that place, God spoke to me softly and His answer was, “Yes.”
I have had three experiences where I have been sure God was speaking to me and that was one of them. A deep, solid assurance. A promise made. This is what I heard: ” When you return here next year, your baby will be with you.”
It was so powerful it was frightening. I was afraid that it was my wishful thinking, that I was creating false hope for myself. What I didn’t know – what I couldn’t know for another two weeks – was that I was already pregnant.
I repeated that promise many times over the next nine months. In the early weeks when I was so afraid of losing another pregnancy. Through a tearful call to my doctor one night, wanting desperately to know, Is this normal? Through a second trip to the ultrasound department and, this time, a beating heart. And through those final two weeks as we waited for our child and prayed for her organs to keep growing, keep working. Those final two weeks, that unexpected wait in Vancouver. God’s promise was in the forefront of my mind and I knew that this baby, whatever her health or abilities, was the one God had planned for us.
Last Sunday I stood again in that shaded pavilion. I stood and worshipped with Pearl in my arms. She fussed a little and she tested out her voice with coos. She’s getting heavy these days and before the songs were through I passed her over to Peter. She fell asleep, her head against his shoulder.
God keeps His promises.
I don’t know why I’ve been given so much and others have not. It’s humbling and a reminder every day that our God’s mercy so vastly outstrips our worthiness. I’m not worthy. But I believe that God wept with me in sorrow and rejoices with me in gladness. I believe He looks down at my girl and smiles, delighted with His creation.