Tuesday, April 7, 2015


A few months back a friend of mine lost her son. The ache was felt by so many. There were too many losses. He was the baby of promise. However, he was born too soon. His momma had lost so much, so many babies. I cried for her. I prayed for her in the night hours. And then I heard his name, Emanuel.

"God with us."

I cried even more. What faith! It rebuked and inspired me all at once.

And I knew God had given us a gift, a reminder that He is indeed always and forever with us. Emanuel.

Tragedy does not negate the gift. Death does not erase life.

God used that tragedy to encourage my heart in ways I am still comprehending. When I was scared of our coming adoptions I would remember Emanuel and with every remembrance I was reminded "God with us." It is a present statement, always evolving and never changing.

I was asked at one point if I was ready to bring the girls home and I told them the truth, no. No, I wasn't ready. I was only ready for the step I was on, which at the time was fighting paperwork problems. I wasn't ready for them yet. But I would be. Emanuel, God was with me, is with me, will be with me.

And as I struggle through the busy parts of the day with too many things to get done I remember He is with me in my triumph and in my failure. As I fill my calendar with doctors appointments, and deal with the outfall of our first Sunday in church, and clean skin infections God whispers the name to me again, Emanuel.

I say the name often as I claim the promise of what it means. And I cry out to Him, "You are here, aren't you? God, help me, right here and now. Be Emanuel. Be with me now."

Lauren Daigle's Song "Light of the World" has played on repeat many times in the last few months.
"Behold your King. 
 Behold Messiah.
 Glory to the Light of the World." 

Somewhere in the middle of this life, in the middle of changing diapers, in the middle of my failures, I pray that my heart will behold His presence. Will you behold Him with me today? Find Him in the midst of the ugly details of your day. He is weaving His story of grace and mercy and redemption.

Perhaps, you have recently experienced tragedy beyond comprehension, or are walking in that valley even right now, claim Him for who He is, Emanuel. He is with you even in this tragedy, even in your weakest moments, in your anger, in your doubt, He remains Emanuel.

It was a tragedy that left hearts hopeless and filled with longing and aching. But God has used the life of one baby boy to inspire me each day to take one more step forward, knowing that He is with me.

God with us.

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