God’s Promises // An Update on Josiah

It has been almost six and a half months since the day that our lives changed forever.

It feels like yesterday and forever ago all at the same time.

There are days that I feel victorious.  Days when I am so confident in the mighty future the Lord has in store for our son…for miracles…for healing…for a radical testimony to come out of this little life.

And then there are days that I feel absolutely defeated.  Days when the doubts and worries and fears come rushing into the sink hole that has found its way into my soul.

Yet, woven throughout the new normal of our days, between diaper changes, bath time, nursing, playing, crying, and giggling, are the whispered reminders of God’s promises to us over our son.

See, right after Josiah was born, the Lord gave us two promises.  The first one came in the story of the meaning of his name – “Jehovah has healed” – which I wrote about here.

The second promise came through my dad the day after Josiah was born at 29 weeks.  For decades, my father has built a habit of starting out his day reading a few chapters from the Bible, not necessarily following a plan but just reading from Genesis to Revelation.  Time and time again, the Lord has spoken to him in the face of many difficult situations through the exact chapters he was to read for that day.

The Lord did not disappoint as my dad woke up on November 21, 2016, with a heavy heart, asking the Lord what had gone wrong.  How had this happened?  Not only was his first grandchild born prematurely, this little boy was also born with a birth defect.  He opened up the Word to the chapter that was next for that morning – John 9.

“As he passed by, he [Jesus] saw a man blind from birth.  And his disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’  Jesus answered, ‘It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him…'” (John 9:1-3; ESV)

It wasn’t an answer that made sense to our human minds.  But we knew it was a promise from the Lord.  That none of this was in vain.  That somehow, the works of God would be revealed through our little son’s body and life.

A few months ago, I was scrolling through Instagram when I saw that a friend of mine was creating art out of Scripture for thirty days.

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And in that moment, the Divine Voice broke through and silenced the busy traffic of my soul.  This…this is the truth over Josiah.  My ways are not your ways.  This is going to be good and this is going to be glorious.

My friend was kind enough to mail the original artwork to us, and it’s currently in Josiah’s room as a constant reminder of God’s promise.

No matter what happens the next few months, His Words are what we are going to hold on to.

This coming Wednesday morning, on June 7th, Josiah will have his second surgery (he had his first one the day after he was born) of four total surgeries to correct his imperforate anus.  Below are the specific prayer requests we desire to lift up before the Lord as we walk into this next step of healing for our son…

  1. That God’s mighty works would be displayed through Josiah.  We are contending for creative miracles, for the Lord to finish His perfect work of wonderfully and fearfully creating our son.  We want to see the look of shock and awe on the faces of Josiah’s surgeons and medical staff as they examine his development and progress.
  2. That all necessary medical intervention will be 100% successful.  We are believing for everything that his surgery team has planned for Josiah’s body to go even better than planned.  We are asking for His angels to guide the hands of all of the medical staff who will be a part of Josiah’s case.
  3. That recovery and healing will be quick and as painless as possible.  And also grace and mercy over my husband and me as we tend to Josiah post-op and work through next steps at home (e.g. continuing to change his colostomy bag, eventual daily anal dilation, etc.) to prepare Josiah for his last two surgeries.

A couple of weeks after the surgery this Wednesday, Josiah will have one more procedure (that will still require general anesthesia).  The information his surgery team collects from that procedure will determine the final plans for Josiah’s major surgery in August.  After that, as long as the dilation process is going well at home, Josiah will have his final redirect surgery sometime in the fall (we are hoping everything is done by his first birthday/Thanksgiving).

To all of our prayer warriors who are fighting alongside us…thank you.  Truly.  I wish I could reach out and give you each a virtual hug.  Your declarations of truth before His throne of grace strengthen us in ways you cannot even imagine.

The road ahead looks long and it’s definitely not going to be easy.  But this I know.  It’s going to be good.  And it’s going to be glorious.

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Dear Little One…

You are 19 weeks old today!  I cannot believe it…we are almost halfway through this cohabitation thing we have going on here.  And in just a few days, we find out whether you’re a boy or a girl!  But before we find out, I wanted to write down a few thoughts I’ve had about you during the past few days.  As much as mommy and daddy are SUPER eager to find out, there’s something quietly sacred about you remaining something of a mystery to us…a little being that only God knows fully about. Read more…

Living According to the Implanted Word // The Book of James {Part Three}

There is something very powerful about the concept of being born-again.  Regenerated.  A new creation.  The old has gone, the new has come.

For a sinner like you and me, this is glorious news.  It’s hope at it’s finest.  It’s an invitation for redemption and relationship.

James 1:21 tells us that we must “receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.”

The implanted word?

Just a few verses earlier, in verse 18, James reveals how God, “of His own will…brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first-fruits of His creatures.”

The implanted word is the word of truth…Scripture…the Living Word…Jesus Christ (John 1:1-3).  By Him and through the Word, God makes us new…brings us into the newness of life as one of His own children.

That very word is implanted within us, a seed of the spirit of God sown deep within us, growing and bursting forth into a new life. Read more…

Count It All Joy // The Book of James {Part Two}

So, I’m going to be honest.

I really didn’t want to write this post.

You know when you read something in the Bible and it’s just too much to handle?  It’s just too much to face the reality that you don’t want to live by the truth of these words…that the Word of God really is a double-edge sword piercing through the joints and marrow and soul and heart of a person.  It’s irritating to know the truth and not live by it.

So you kind of just skim over those parts.  Push the dust-bunnies into the corners of the room (oh, you don’t do stuff like that??).  It’s like how I’ve always covered my eyes on any of the Jesus-being-crucified movie scenes from when I was a child (and yes, I still do it to this day).  I know it’s the truth, but it’s just too painful sometimes to come face to face with the gory, offensiveness of it all. Read more…

From Unbelieving Half-Brother to Bond-Servant // The Book of James {Part One}

I grew up in the church but didn’t really give my life to Jesus until the summer of 2007.  I was getting along just fine as a “Christian” – going to church, leading worship, and reading the Bible (anyone else do Awana?).  But I also got along just fine living the way I wanted.  As long as my “Christian world” didn’t intrude into my life and plans and what I thought was best, then all was well.

Until that fateful summer before my freshman year of college when the Lord in His great mercy revealed to me – Dear one…but you don’t really know me…

As I read Matthew 7:21-23, it was like I was reading the Word for the very first time…

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.  On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’   And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’”

I knew if I had died in that moment, I would have been one of those that would have said, “But God, did I not say I was a Christian?  Did I not lead worship at church?  Did I not…”  And yet the truth would have been revealed – but I did not know God…thus, I did not do His will in my life.

Everything changed after that day. Read more…

The Greatest Gift of All

As fall fades into winter the sometimes cloudy, gloomy days are the best kind of weather for curling up on the couch with a cup of tea and a good book.  I recently indulged in Francine Rivers’ “A Lineage of Grace” series of five novellas, each portraying a fictional perspective based on the biblical accounts of the five women named in the genealogy of Jesus Christ.

Besides the fact that Francine Rivers is an amazing author, it was beautiful to read this book and ponder upon the reality that these five women were real women who faced real issues in their day.  In the midst of the messiness of life, they played a seemingly small yet significant part in bringing forth the Messiah.

But most of all, the novella about Mary was my favorite.  Although the major events are formed around the narrative written in the gospels, Rivers took some creative liberty to imagine what it would have been like to raise Jesus as a baby, child, teenager, and young adult.  He truly was the fullness of God and man in one human frame without sin.  What would it have been like to interact with Him, fully God yet fully man, perfect yet so real?

This quote from the book captured it so beautifully (p. 527) – Read more…

Hearing God’s Voice

There have been a few seasons in my life when I have found myself asking the familiar question, “God, how can I know what Your will is for me?  How can I hear Your voice?”

For some funny reason, my little mind thought that once I made those “big decisions,” like college, a career, a spouse, and a family, I would be set for life.  No more “quarter life crisis” moments, no more pondering upon that fateful little question, “God, how can I know what Your will is for me?  How can I hear Your voice?”

So…joke’s on me.  Yup, there’s no such thing as being “set for life,” particularly if you’re living for Jesus. Read more…