When the people I love hurt, I feel their pain just as deeply. When they are in need, I feel the hurt of want just as strongly. Years ago, when I was pregnant with Brooke, I had some minor complications. I remember crying out to God, so fearful that I would lose her....but God spoke to my heart and reminded me that there would be MANY moments in her life that I would need to trust HIM for her well being. I thought about the first time she would fall and scrape her knee, or the pain of her first broken heart.....and I realized that I would go CRAZY if I allowed myself to worry! I placed Brooke in God's hands that night.....and every night since. If I had not learned that lesson when I did, I surely would have lost my mind when, two yrs later, Madeline Marie came along! She survived a hemorrhage in her brain, a tethered spinal cord and a kidney disorder...within her first year of life!
It is so hard to be a parent. How do you know when to buckle down and be stricter....or let go of the reins? There truly is a delicate balance. "Pick your battles"...that has always been my motto. But sometimes I honestly don't know which battles are most important! Music, clothes, friends, boys.......! Raising kids is hard....raising teens is harder! And lest we forget about Spencer! I was sharing my concerns for Spencer's future with my cousin, Angie, one day. About midway through my "What about college? How will he ever get a good job?" speech, she stopped me and said "REALLY Sha? Are you really already worried about his college education!?". My answer? "YES!" My hope...my prayer, for all my children is that they will #1-grow up knowing Christ and #2 that they will be truly happy! God has a plan for each one of them....including Spencer.
The Bible tells us to "cast our cares" on HIM. I am learning to do this....but I have sooooo much farther to go before I can honestly say that I do that! There is a scripture that God gave me one particular day a few years ago. It was before my back surgery and I was living in the worst kind of pain you can imagine! I had a photo shoot scheduled for that night and I could barely WALK! I tried to buy groceries that day, but I had to leave the store empty handed because of the pain! I remember driving home from the store that day, crying because I felt so "useless". I felt like there was no sense in my living if I could not even buy groceries! God spoke to my heart this verse : "For I know the plans I have for you", declares the Lord, "Plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11). Then He spoke the verse "He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." (Philippians 1:6). With those two verses, he showed me that he was well aware of my circumstances and yet He STILL had a plan for my life! That whole day I just kept speaking those verses out loud! Literally, 100 or more times that day I repeated them.....hoping they would get into my spirit! The next morning, I went to a meeting for young Moms, where I was displaying my photography and handing out business cards. At this meeting the moms made a craft.....it was some type of frame and they passed around sheets of paper with two verses printed on each page-so they could choose a verse to put inside the frame. When they handed me the stack of papers I just took the one off the top....would you believe, out of ALL the scriptures in the Bible, the two that were printed on MY page were Jer 29:11 and Phil 1:6?!! I busted out in tears!! I was amazed by God's love for ME! Think about it for a second, we KNOW "God loves us"....but do we really believe He loves US?! "Little ole" US? He loved me enough to show me, through His word , that He had not forgotten about me. BTW-out of curiosity, I asked the ladies at my table what verses they got, NONE of them had the same paper that I received. Each paper had different verses on them!
I really have NO idea how I managed to ramble on to this point....I started this post concerned about my "baby brother"....and ended up here! Never the less, I am learning not to worry, learning to give each of my loved ones over to God and trust HIM to take care of them. They may not always make the choices they should, but I have to believe that, in the end, all will be well. I am going to try to do the best I can raising the children God entrusted to my care, to love the people He has placed in my life and trust that He will be faithful to carry them through. He knows the plans He has for them...to give them a hope and a future.