Today, I was hurtling down the highway in my good old 97′ SUV, thinking about what it actually means to walk by faith instead of by sight. Sometimes to understand that, it is helpful to look back at all the old miracles that were birthed because of truth that felt stupid to live out in the moment. So here is a story I wrote down for my nephew.
I remember the tears in your mama’s eyes when I gave her a little plaid shirt and a pair of overalls one cold March night. She’s a fighter, your mama is. We used to fight silently in the shadows of the old family room that had the orange flowers on the wall–our hair flying, using our fingernails to leave long red streaks on each-other’s arms.
When your mama took care of grandpas and grandmas, she used her fighting skills again to make sure the grandpas and grandmas were not in pain, and were dressed nicely, and felt loved. Believe it or not, Trey, some big people are not as kind to grandpas and grandmas as you are. But whenever these grandpas and grandmas saw your mama, they felt very happy, because they knew that she would keep them safe.
These special grandpas and grandmas lived all together in one big house, and they always tried to get a peek at your dad when he came there to visit your mama. There was a lot of kissing that went on during those visits, let me tell you! That made your mama’s grandma and grandpa friends very happy too.
Your mama wanted to give your dad two perfect gifts. Do you know what those were? I’ll give you a hint: we joked that if they came at the same time, we would call them Esther and Lester. Now can you guess?
Well, it was not so simple to just buy these gifts at a store. Your dad and your mama had to fight, and fight and fight to get them. Did you know that people only fight when they REALLY care about something?
Your mama ate no yummy food for a long time. She let doctors cut holes in her and had to stay inside and lay very still for weeks, while her friends were doing fun things.
Your dad worked very hard! He saved and saved all his money and then he took your mama far away on an airplane to let another doctor cut holes in her. The only fun part about that trip was that your mama got to see a seal.
Your mama felt sick year after year, and your dad worked very hard and saved his money year after year, and both of them never gave up fighting to get you!
Jesus gave your sister to your dad and mom one very special summer. That was half of the perfect gift your mama was fighting for! She kept right on asking Jesus to give her you! And guess what else? Aunt was asking Jesus for you too!
A long, long time ago, long before your mama started letting doctors cut holes in her, Jesus told Aunt, “Give your sister a boy outfit and declare over her she will have a son.” Now, Aunt wasn’t used to declaring things. She didn’t feel like your mama was going to ever have a son. Aunt doesn’t like to make people sad and she knew talking to your mama about having a son would make your mama very sad.
But Aunt had to obey Jesus! If you don’t obey Jesus, it’s like saying, “I know everything there is to know.”
Aunt didn’t know much about declaring, and she didn’t want to make your mama sad, but she obeyed Jesus and bought your mama a boy outfit and declared that you would be born.
Sure enough, your mama cried and Aunt felt bad about that, and wondered if she had done the right thing.
A long time went by and Aunt almost forgot about the little overalls because Jesus gave your mama half of the perfect gift she asked for, and Aunt was very excited about that. Aunt figured half was enough!
But it was not enough!
So one day, Aunt hurried down a sidewalk in the city, past bushes and tulips, and came into a cold small room with the shades pulled down. Your mama was there, working very hard, harder than you will ever work in your life. Your dad was giving her tiny snacks and trying to help her feel less sweaty.
Your mom was working hard because you were growing inside her body and she had to use her muscles to help you come out and meet your dad! Isn’t that amazing, that you spent almost one year living inside your mom’s body? You were very small then.
Aunt was so proud of your mama! It hurt your mama very much to bring you out of her body, but she said, “Okay,” calmly, every time the nurse told her to do something scary. “Okay. I will do this for my son,” she said. “Pray, honey. Pray for me, Hun,” she said to me and your dad.
We did. I told her that you would be perfect.
We told your mama she was doing so good, and that we were proud of her. She was in horrible pain from working so hard. Your dad put his head down, and I promise you he cried. He says he didn’t, but don’t believe that.
The nurses said that your mama should focus on working harder to help you out come out of her body, and Aunt wanted to smack them. Remember, your mama is a fighter. She gives things she REALLY cares about 100%–everything she has.
The nurse had to hurt your mama to help you come out, but she said ok and let them. After they hurt her, they saw for the first time how big Jesus made you! They told your mama that she was very strong lady. Your mama worked extra hard for a few minutes, and then everyone said, “Yay!”, and jumped around, because we could see your perfect little face! You looked like a perfect doll. You had never been in fresh air before, or seen people, but you only cried a little bit! You were already so brave.
The nurse lifted you up and gave you to your momma and she snuggled you very close. You were still a little confused about all the unusual sights and smells, but your momma sang you your favorite song and that made everything seem safe. You felt right at home!
Your dad cuddled you and just kept talking to you and watching your little perfect face. Aunt thought your dad would pop like a balloon–that’s how proud he was! Your dad and your mama bundled you up in a soft motorcycle onesie and wrapped lots of blankets around you. You had your first car ride!
At your house, your sister was all snuggled up in her soft nightie too, and the lamps were on because it was bedtime. Sister was so excited to see you, Trey! She hugged and hugged you!
Everyone told their friends that you were finally here, and there were celebrations in many houses that day!
And do you know what? Jesus and all the angels in heaven celebrated too! Your name has your destiny written in it, and do you know what your destiny is? To show people what God is like, to conquer and win and to have honor!
You have already lived out this destiny, Trey. Did you know that? You already showed the world what God is like by proving that when God declares something into existence, he ALWAYS follows through. Even if it seems impossible, or doesn’t happen when we think it should.
You will live out many more heaven-realities, Trey. No weapon fashioned against you will prosper. Your big hands and wide shoulders are built for battle; your mind was chosen by God to live out vision and passion no one else can live out!
And this is probably hard for you to understand, but Aunt will say it anyway. Your destiny is not measured in earth-years! You will win many wars in worlds to come, in places only Jesus has seen and been to. What we are doing in this earth is just practice for something even bigger!
No wonder all of heaven’s armies were in an uproar when you were born. They were all fighting over who gets to add you to their team.
Today you are wearing the shirt I bought you long ago, stupidly, when I thought there was no hope for your mama’s lifelong dream to be fulfilled. Today you are friendly, and brave and highly distracted by anything with an engine.
You helped me see what God is like. You are my very own miracle.