“Honey, go home. You haven’t slept more than a few hours in five days. I’ll stay with him. Surgery is scheduled for 8 am. You need to sleep when you can,” murmured my husband.
Tipping the newborn scales at 10.5 pounds, our five day old son snoozed soundly in his crib at Children’s Hospital. Diagnosed with the congenital birth disease, Hirschsprung’s, our pediatric surgeon explained that I couldn’t nurse our babe again until they completed his colostomy in the morning.
My emotions whirled from the day’s diagnosis, but at least we finally had answers.
“Lord, I beg you. Calm my wavering heart. Help me focus my attention on your many gifts,” I exhaled, as I processed through my short, choppy prayer. “At the worst, he lives life with a “bathroom bag”, and sports won’t be his thing. He’ll adjust. He can deal with that. Two surgeries are nothing in comparison to what it could be. This is not life threatening. Thank you, Lord. Use this.”
Exhausted, broken, yet grateful, I gathered my belongings and began heading to the parking structure.
My brother jogged after me and insisted, “Let me drive you. You shouldn’t be driving home by yourself.”
“No thanks. I really need the time alone to process all the information of today.”
As I trudged through the parking garage, the “What If’s” began dancing through my mind. Exhaustion blanketed my thought process and emotions reeled. I begged the Lord to set my mind on things above: His truth, His omniscience, His perfect love that casts out all fear.
Pulling onto the highway, I cranked the local Christian music station knowing that praise music would help squelch any darkness permeating my car. A brand new song by Twila Paris, God is in Control, rang out. Never having played the song before, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. My breath caught, and I pulled over to the side of the road to listen more intently.
“God is in Control. We believe that His children will not be forsaken. God is in control. We will choose to remember and never be shaken.”
The tears flowed. I couldn’t stop.
Gasping for breath, my whimper turned to wailing, as the spirit of the Lord descended into that car. He spoke so clearly. Reaching down His loving arms, He gently rocked me, and whispered, “Remember, Matthew’s mine. Remember.”
“God is in control. We believe that His children will not be forsaken. God is in control. We will choose to remember and never be shaken.
There is no power above or beside Him, we know, God is in control.
He has never let you down. Why start to worry now? He is still the Lord of all we see and He is still the loving Father watching over you and me.
God is in control.”
Oh Lord, how quickly I forget.
Scripture reminds me that You are the same yesterday, today and forever. You do not change.
Ladies, on that summer evening seventeen years ago, God’s voice sounded a whole lot like Twila Paris, and I have never forgotten this moment’s critical significance on my life. I did not hear a God who only chose to speak audibly to the people of the Old Testament. No, I heard the one and only, true and living God who sang truth straight to this momma’s heart in the middle of crisis.
My Savior who loved, and continues to love, my tiny babe more than I ever could, met me in a dark car.
His creative medium that particular day? A song. The outcome? Life Change.
As I finished my drive home, peace enveloped me. I can’t begin to explain it, but on one of the scariest evenings of my life, I set my alarm and slept through the night like a baby (a really good baby).
In Matthew 11, Jesus declares, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
Hearing is a discipline and too often, I make every excuse as to why God feels distant, but I am reminded once again of His desire to speak truth intimately and directly to us, just like that moment in my car.
Often, it’s in the ordinary, every day, simple moments of life when he chooses to reach out and minister to us. I love that He uses so many creative mediums to do so, and we just have to quiet our heart and listen expectantly in order to hear what He has to say.
With that in mind, can I ask you a favor?
It’s always such an encouragement to our (in)courage community to hear stories from each other.
Is there a time when the Lord spoke so clearly to you that it had a significant impact on your life?
Remember, many life change moments come from simple stories of faithful followers hearing His still small voice in ordinary, unexpected times as well as the big, bold moments. Now is the time to encourage each other and share your story.
I’m so excited to read it.
“When God’s voice sounds a lot like Twila Paris” situations typically only happen once in a lifetime (or twice for me, but that’s for another time.)
And just in case you were wondering, that seventeen year old baby boy is now being recruited by multiple Division 1 football teams. (Oh yes, the story definitely didn’t end that surgery morning when the alarm went off. It was only warming up.)