One night this week, a memory came to my mind. It was a memory that had been stowed away for more than 4 years. And for some reason this memory came vividly back into clarity this week. I suspect I know why.
This is the memory: BJ and I were visiting my aunt and uncle in North Carolina over a long weekend. While we were there, we attended their small community church. On Sunday morning we observed the Lord's Supper. This church was small enough that each family unit was able to take turns to go to the front of the sanctuary where a table with the bread and wine were placed. The entire family would kneel at the small table and partake of the Lord's Supper together. It was a very intimate and special setting. Usually the father would pray, break the bread, and serve his family. We went forward with my aunt and uncle and their children, and we were the first family to go forward. For the remainder of the service we sat in our seats while the rest of the families took turns going forward. One family stuck clearly in my mind. This was a family with three young children closely stair stepped in age. I don't remember the sex of each child but I do remember at least one little girl with long blond braids. As I sat there watching this family, my eyes began to fill with tears.
It had been at least one year since BJ and I decided we wanted to start a family. At the time one year seemed like an eternity to wait and I was becoming anxious. But then, at that moment, while watching that family take the Lord's Supper, I asked God for a family like that. During my prayer, God placed a sense of peace in my heart. I can't explain why the peace overcame me and why that family has stuck so clearly in my heart, but it has for these many years. And it has been this week that God has brought that memory back to me.
This pregnancy has been my most difficult one with gestational diabetes getting more challenging to manage day by day, and with very scary pre-term labor which reminds me daily that this baby could possibly come too early to be healthy. Every day that I feel this baby move and wiggle in my tummy is an answer to my prayers. But because of the medical hardships in this pregnancy, I believe my body may not be cut out for any more pregnancies. Recently, this thought has made me feel very sad. I can't say for sure our family is done growing -- I won't close any doors that God would want to open. But I'm also keenly aware that this could possibly be my very last pregnancy. In my moments of sadness and disappointment this week, God has filled my mind with the sweet memory of the family at the Lord's table 4 years ago. As I'm getting nearer to giving birth to my third precious child, I sincerely believe God flooded my mind with the memory of the sweet family because He wanted to remind me of His faithfulness. I have been reminded of my prayer over 4 years ago, and the peace that God placed in my heart on that Sunday morning. It is through this memory that I have praised God this week with joy and thanksgiving for giving me the family I desired. It is through this memory that I've been reminded that God deserves all the glory for all things. Just a simple memory -- what an amazing gift!
And 4 years ago, while in the car returning home from our North Carolina trip, BJ and I talked about the weekend. It was then that I learned that BJ was also moved by the sight of that exact same family at the Lord's table. There was nothing "special" or "different" about that family. But it's the same family that God used to speak to both of our hearts at the very same moment. And interestingly, the week after we returned from our trip, we also learned that I was expecting our very first child. God is so good!
Iron Sharpening Iron
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