I'm so excited about tomorrow morning when our family will publicly dedicate our youngest child, Matilyn Faith's, life to our Lord and Savior. It's such a special day for our family to stand before our church family and publicly proclaim that we put all our faith in God and trust the plans He has for her. During every baby dedication I've seen over the past 5 years I get super emotional because I know what it really means to trust God when His plans are not what we would choose for our child. But at the same time I know without hesitation or doubt that His plans are perfect. Our pastor/church equates laying the child at the alter to giving that child back to God. I know what it is to physically give your child back to God but I also know the peace that I have in my heart to know that Owen is in heaven, he is healed, he is safe, and he is loved. Tonight, as I prepare for this special occasion I can't help but be reminded of God's perfect timing.
When we scheduled Owen's dedication I really hoped to do it around Thanksgiving which didn't work out (kinda perfect since we didn't get out of the NICU before Thanksgiving). Instead his dedication was scheduled for January 9, 2011. On January 4th we were sent home with hospice and I feared we'd be attending a funeral instead of a dedication that weekend but God knew better and that wasn't the case. In fact, thankfully, the Holy Spirit dealt with me and very clearly spoke to me to say, "This child is not dead yet. Do not speak of death, instead speak life into him," so that's just what I did. His dedication was much more a time of celebration and hope, and also a time of letting go of our burdens and picking up the burdens of our neighbors.
At first glance there was nothing particularly "timely" about Elizabella's dedication. She was 4 months old and it was scheduled for December 15, 2013. It wasn't until the following year when her sister was born on that exact same day that we realized once again we'd witnessed God's perfect timing in our life.
Tomorrow's date isn't particularly special - in fact, I'm not even really sure what tomorrow's date is but I know it's special. Not only is it a monumental day for us as parents - committing to our child and our church family that we will raise her in a Godly way - but in a way this week also marks the end of a particularly difficult chapter in our lives.
On December 15, 2014, about the same time I was delivering Mattie, a doctor down the street was delivering some difficult news to my grandmother. She'd been diagnosed with lung cancer. I found out shortly after I'd held my little girl for the first time despite efforts to keep it from me as not to take away from our special day. It was absolutely a bittersweet day. Since then my grandmother was told she wasn't a candidate for surgery, she's undergone multiple treatments, and fought hard to beat this beast with a whole lot of prayers throughout the process. A little while back they sought a second opinion and after a lot of testing (and even more prayers) it was determined she was able to have the surgery. Last Monday (ironically enough on my niece's birthday), my grandmother underwent surgery to remove part of her lung and try to get all the cancer. This week, we got the amazing news that she is now 100% cancer free (PRAISE THE LORD). One doctor said it wasn't possible but the Almighty Physician reminds us that "nothing is impossible for Him."
Not that I needed a reason or reassurance to dedicate Mattie's life to Christ but it just makes my heart smile to be reminded this week of His perfect plans for our lives, of His incredible timing, and of His unconditional love for each and every one of us.
So all that being said I'm honored to stand before everyone tomorrow and dedicate my baby's life to the Lord, to publicly proclaim that I trust His plans for her life, and to promise to raise her in a Christ-centered home. I'm so excited and if you are in town please join us at Evangel at 9:30 am and if you aren't in town then I encourage you to go anywhere that preaches the word of God and to claim the life God has planned for you. God bless yall!
And just a PS to my many friends who are fighting the C-monster my prayers are still with you and I pray you grab hold of the Hope that is in the Lord and you claim your victory and Thank Him in advance for the mighty healing that is coming your way. And to a very special friend who is waiting on an answered prayer I pray you can find peace in God's perfect plan and God's perfect timing - your time is coming and I know it and claim it for you (with all my heart).