Reading thru the series mentioned in the previous entry, The A. D. Chronicles, numerous times a miraculous birth marked a new covenant between God and a man or God and His people. Abraham and Isaac for one example. All of this swirling in my mind and heart, bringing to remembrance the turning point in my own life or heralding moment at the birth of my own two children.
Now don't go get me wrong. I'm NOT saying God gave me any miraculous births. Not in any way beyond the miracle any birth is. And their birth's did NOT mark any eternal covenant with the whole of mankind or even one nation. But thier births DID mark spiritual flagstones in my own life and my own relationship with God.
Travel back with me to the late 80's, early 90's. I'm a child of God who never learned how to let Him be Lord of my life. The result is I married without consulting Him and then asked Him to bless that marriage. I was out of church, out of His will, out of the Word. Pete was ready to start our family after four years alone together and I agreed. Surely if we had survived the blending years we were ready. Early in the summer of 1989, Bubba was born. He was beautiful and perfect. I felt totally humbled and unworthy. Totally unequiped to be his mother....but I was. As I saw Chinese face tanks in Tiananmen Square on the evening news...heard the Burlin wall was falling...went through the 1st Gulf War and even joined hands across America to pray for God's protection and power...I knew the times and seasons were changing. I knew Something was on the Horizon.
We had been hurt and betrayed by someone in the family we totally trusted. I had a temper and a tonque I used to cut down opponents. Pete would actually say "sick 'em Barbara" like he was talking to a pit bull. As Bubba entered toddlerhood, I was an angry, isolated young woman. Isolated by unforgiveness. I wore anger on my sleeve...ready to attack any who attacked me or mine and tear them down in torrent of angry, harsh words.
As I reflected on the changes in the world around me, and the beauty and hope and purity in my young child, I began to hunger and thirst. Eventually, that longing led me to open the copy of the Living Bible my mother had given me as a teen. Once I opened it, I could hardly set it down! I hungered and thirsted for the Truth, the whole truth. And for the One behind the Words. As I'd read, I'd frequently be reduced to tears and heart wrenching confessions of how far I had strayed from what He intended. Once I had finished the Bible, I began to long to go back to church and enjoy the fellowship I had felt there as a youth. To be fed beyond what I could find on my own.
Pride put up a wall. That's MY church. I was there long before most of those who now are there came. But I will look stupid coming in not even knowing what Sunday School class I belong to! God had Susan send me a card in the mail. First invite to Sunday School I had, had in many a year. Now I knew what class I wanted and the teacher's name!! The very next Sunday, I got Bubba dressed and me ready and left for Sunday School and Church, with a heavy heart for the one I left behind at home....Pete.
The birth of Bubba turned my mind and my heart toward God. Who can gaze upon an infant with any sincerity and deny Him?
To summize, I soon went forward and publically declared I had rededicated my life to the Lord. I got involved in every class offered. When the pastor's wife, Cookie, invited me to help in Vacation Bible School I did so in blind faith that God would equip me to do what was not in me to do by my own nature. Before much time had passed I was teaching children's church and subbing for other's in classes when they were out. The Lord showed me I had a gift for exhortation and for faith. I joined with others to be a prayer warrior for the needs of our congregation. I went through the Experiencing God bible study. At home I had regular Bible study and prayer times. I was growing in the Lord and beginning to see things through His eyes. Especially my sin...and Pete's sin. I felt as if I were on a path that was leaving Pete in the dust of my sandles.
So many lonely evenings and days...save for the presence and delight of our son. He centered me. Through the thought of him and for his sake God kept me where He wanted me.
Flash foward five years. I was happy and blessed in the Lord, but felt a thousand miles away from Pete. I had a prayer warrior friend in Cookie and a blessed, newly converted mother-in-law. And Satan desended. He knew where Pete was weakest in our relationship and struck him there. I knew he was coming because of a dream the Lord had given me. I knew what He'd look like. Thank God in Heaven I was closer to Him than I have ever been in my life!!! My little man, Bubba, was my strength during all of this. A rock. He kept me centered. He saw and heard too much really...but he knew, he understood his mother was in a fight for her family. He saw me cry, pray, rail, and weep.
I fasted, I prayed, and ironically in nine months Pete and I were victorious over the onslaught. Though he still didn't know Christ and did not understand all that had happened, we enjoyed a blessful rest and season of two years of bliss as a couple.
This closeness, this joy spoke to my heart and told me it was time to finally have the other child Pete had long wanted to have.
It's a very condensed version, but I am pouring out my heart to you here my friends. The birth of my Devotions on Marriage journal came through these trials. Please join me in the next entry as I relate how my precious little Bug is also a marker in my spiritual life.
Barbara in Caneyhead