I ended part three of His Wonderful Works giving my personal testimony of how the Lord taught me about being separated from the world unto Him in the issue of my clothing.
This took place during my early years of marriage and when we had our first daughter Niki.
Well, after about a year of being a mother of a beautiful baby girl I began to long for more children. I knew that our Niki was a miracle and my doctor had told me as much when he said that I needed to be thankful for the one child that we had. But yet in my heart was such a longing for more children.
I would hear women talk when they found out they were pregnant as if they had just been given a death sentence. They talked of how much harder it was going to make life, how could it happen "now", and other terrible things about what God said was a blessing--something to be desired, something that should make a man with a "quiver full" happy. (Ps. 127:5)
This troubled me, and I would ask the Lord why He couldn't give us children when we wanted them and we would dedicate our lives to raising them for Him. I didn't question His wisdom, but I did question why He didn't allow us to have children to raise for Him.
This became such a spiritual burden for me that it consumed much of my prayer life. I thought of it constantly and prayed often about it. I went to the doctor and the matter of medication to cause ovulation was brought up again. This time if I remember correctly we bought the medicine but I didn't take it.
Once again I was brought back to prayer and fasting. Over the years when I have a serious spiritual problem my mind goes to Revelation 4's description of the throne in heaven when John has it shown to him.
There is the throne set in heaven and the One sitting on it is like to a jasper and a sardine stone. There is a rainbow round about the throne that is in sight like unto an emerald. Out of the throne proceeds lightnings and thunderings and voices. Before the throne is like unto a sea of glass out of crystal. What a picture!
In chapter 5 the four and twenty elders fall down before the lamb having vials full of, which are the prayers of saints.
The throne of mercy in Hebrews is a place we are allowed to come boldly to because of our high priest being there for us, and obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-17) The place where our prayers are put in vials as a beautiful perfume. I often wonder if each person's prayers have a distinctive aroma.
And that's where I go--to this wonderful place to cling to the mercy seat for help. My prayers have often been answered very quickly--that is in my early Christian days. In my later years He has had to teach me to "wait on Him", but that's another part to these "wonderful works" chapters.
One day my pastor's wife and I was out visiting a lady in our church who was very ill. At some point and time in her illness she felt prompted to have the elders come and anoint her with oil, and she got well. I don't remember if our visit was before or after her getting well, but I assume it was before because she was homebound and we were visiting her.
We were pulling out of her driveway to go home when I knew. That's the only way I can describe it. I knew that the Lord had answered my prayer and we were going to have more children! It wasn't a great feeling of joy or relief. It wasn't the "I believe, help mine unbelief" that I experienced with Niki. It was just that I knew.
I don't even remember if I told Gary or not. In July I was reasonably certain I was pregnant. I went to the doctor. He told me I wasn't pregnant. I told him I would be back in September and I would be pregnant. The doctor's nurse gave a nervous little giggle as if she didn't know if I was being funny or if I was a crazy person. My doctor said, "Don't laugh."
I went home and made it a matter of serious prayer. I went back in September and the rest of the story is history. We have our precious Alicia Rue--my second miraculous answer to prayer for children.
When I was pregnant for our children Gary and I would pray together (at his suggestion and desire) that if our children weren't going to be saved that we would ask the Lord to take them back before they reached the age of accountability. That's a scary prayer, but I always believed I could deal with going to the casket of an innocent child and know it was safe in the arms of Jesus with much more grace than looking down at a teen or young adult knowing that it was eternally in hell, and so I prayed that prayer.
Alicia gave me several scares in the womb. She was a very quiet baby and many times would go right up to the hour when I was supposed to call the doctor's office and report the absence of movement before she'd move. I would be in tears, emotionally a mess and then she'd stir.
I finally learned two ways to get her to move. Knitting would always irritate her with the clattering needles and she'd stir as if irritated. The other way was to sit a cup of hot coffee on my tummy!
When she was born she was just as quiet a baby out of the womb as in the womb. We actually wondered if she'd ever talk or socialize. (Can you believe that if you know our Alicia?)
One hot summer night I heard her gurgling in her crib and when I grabbed her from the crib she was choking on liquid from her stomach. When I'd hold her straight up she'd breathe and when I'd lay her back in my arms she would begin to turn purple again.
We rushed her to the hospital but they found nothing and by morning she was fine. She had a large circle of clear stomach acid (?) on the crib sheet when we left for the hospital. When we came home the sheet was dry, there was no odor on the sheet. If I hadn't heard her gurgling we would have found our quiet little daughter dead in her crib that morning.
At that point I didn't give my children to the Lord but I did realize that if He didn't enable us to raise them and He didn't wake us up when they needed us, we didn't have any hope as parents. I realized that His works not only involved giving us children to raise for Him, but giving us grace, wisdom, mother's intuition, etc. to raise them for Him. (I had felt we needed to keep her in a cradle in our room instead of moving her to Niki's bedroom...mother's intuition?)
I couldn't do it--it required an involved and gracious heavenly Father to raise children.
So my wonderful works in this chapter of His wonderful works in my life?
1.) I learned that just because He carries out His works one way the first time doesn't mean He will do it the same way the next time. (As you'll see in my stories of Nathan's birth, Nevin's birth, Asher's birth, Cierra and John's birth)
Each on of their stories are completely different! Nate was a surprise, Nevin came when I was fasting and praying for a friend to conceive, Asher was our first adopted baby, and Cierra and John came via a radio program! :)
My second lesson on His wonderful works in my life was that not only did I have to let the Lord do all the work in giving us children, but I had to let Him do the work in giving me the strength, ability, and wisdom to be a good mother in every area.
Did I learn these lessons like a huge light bulb came on and I never forgot it? No, that's not how it worked at all. Even in writing this, I see where I must be reminded time after time after time that these things are true--and even though I fail and deny Him so many times--He always abideth faithful to me.
So, after writing this I say to my Beloved once again, "Remind me again and again, dearest Lord, of those things that I so easily forget. I look to you to be faithful to guide me into all truth and to carry out the wonderful works in me for my children and grandchildren to see that You might get all the glory and praise. In Jesus name, Amen."