God's Got This
In a world where things are constantly shaking it can be hard sometimes to step out of the boat and take those big risks for fear of the floor falling out on you. There's a temptation to just keep status quo, to play it safe and hold on to what you've got so that you don't lose anything. But the problem with that thinking is without risk there is never any gain and if you're only wiling to take a small risk there's only a small gain. However, the good news is that the greater the risk the greater the gain.
God is looking for people who will pray big and play big. He is searching high and low for people who will stop playing small. He is looking for a people who are bold and move forward not without fear, but in spite of their fears. He is looking for a people who will jump with no parachute because they are that certain that God has got this thing. He is looking for the faith of a child.
What amazes me most about God is how He teaches us through the most unlikely of circumstances and unlikely of people. One of those people is my son Hawke, who was an unwanted child.
Several months into my pregnancy with him I found out my husband at the time was having an affair. I had two older children and had quit my job to stay at home with my kids. So here I was, financially dependent upon my husband to pay the mortgage, the car payment, and all the bills….bills that were in my name because his credit was bad, and now at my most vulnerable point he had betrayed my trust.
Not only was I hurt from the betrayal, but I was angry that for the first time in my life, I was financially dependent upon a man--and this is what I got in return. When I told him I was pregnant, he made it very clear he did not want this child, and now, neither did I.
I remember the day I had wished for my unborn child’s death.
A friend of mine had called me. Much like my situation, she had two other children, was pregnant, and had recently found out about her husband’s affair. Only on this day, she called to tell me she had miscarried. As selfish as it sounds, I didn’t feel sympathy for her. Instead, I was envious. “Why does she get to have a miscarriage and I have to have this baby?” I asked God.
Unlike my first two pregnancies, there was no anxious anticipation of my unborn son’s arrival. This pregnancy made me feel trapped and I was angry about it. I wanted nothing further to connect me to this man who had betrayed me…and I certainly didn’t want to carry a child by him. I wanted to get a job, leave him, and never depend on another man again. But who would hire a pregnant woman? I swore as soon as this baby was born that’s what I would do.
Well, nine months of pregnancy had finally come and I was at the hospital about to give birth to a baby that I still didn’t want. The painful contractions were gripping me, a reminder of the pain I felt inside my heart. I wasn’t thinking about holding or cuddling this newborn. All I could think about was that I was completely empty inside and this crying, needy baby was going to be pulling on me – wanting attention and love – something I felt totally incapable of giving. There wasn’t even a desire to give it.
But regardless of how I felt about it, he made his way into the world. Still, I felt nothing towards him. No motherly affection whatsoever. I was numb from my pain. I watched the nurses take him to the sink to wash him. I turned away, curled up in my pain on the bed.
I heard him crying.
I looked over at him. He looked so defenseless and rejected. He reminded me of how I felt. Suddenly, something in my heart changed. He needed me. I decided I would love this baby, and the more his father rejected him, the more I would love him.
I named him Hawke because a hawk soars above everything. I decided that this child would rise above all life’s problems and soar in life. And to my surprise, instead of a crying, needy baby that would tug and pull from me at one of the darkest points in my life, he became exactly what I needed.
He was the happiest and easiest baby ever! In fact, his first word was not mommy or daddy, it was happy. On days when I would be crying he would walk around the house saying “Happy day….happy day” ….and before I knew it, my tears would turn into a smile. And ten years later this child has continued to make me smile and taught me so much about life and God.
When I look at him I can't help but be reminded of God's goodness and how His love is often displayed in mysterious ways.
God's love is incomprehensible and He loves all of His children equally, but what I've come to realize is that His relationship with all His children are not the same. I have three children and I love all of them equally. I would give my life for all of them. However, there is something special about my relationship with this "unwanted" child.
Because he was initially unwanted by his father and mother there was a deep, indescribable love that developed for this child. Call it the underdog syndrome, I don't know, but there is something in us that wants to root for the one that no one wants. We love it when the outcast wins, and what I've learned about God is that when everyone else abandons you He steps up and fights for you. God is famous for using the unwanteds and outcasts of society.
So, I guess it should come as no surprise that God is using my unwanted as well.
I'll never forget the night when i was awakened to a knock on my bedroom window. Startled, I looked outside and noticed my son Hawke standing outside.
"What are you doing?"
"Will you forgive me?" he said with his voice shaking and tears coming down his cheeks.
"Yes, I forgive you, but get inside."
The thought of my 10-year-old son being outside the house alone this late unnerved me. He had gotten reprimanded earlier in the evening for not listening and I had sent him to bed without our usual nighttime routine of snuggling, prayers and a kiss on the cheek. Out of my three children this one absolutely cannot stand for there to be distance between us.
"Will you please come outside?" he stammered. His red eyes and insistence propelled me to join him outside despite the fact that it was almost midnight. I walked out the back door and saw crumpled up tissues all over the deck.
Wiping away tears he sniffled, "I've been out here repenting for my sins and praying for......." and he went on to name a number of people we knew that had been dealing with serious illnesses. "Will you sit down with me here for a little while? I just feel God's presence out here. Don't you feel it?"
I felt it.
As the moonlight shown on his tiny frame I was astonished at how genuinely anguished he was in his soul. What was even more surprising was the fact that it was Yom Kippur, the high holy day of repentance for the Jewish people. Hawke had no knowledge of this holiday. I couldn't ignore the significance of this. God was certainly doing something in this child's life.
Then there was the day he came home from church where they had discussed the importance of fasting and he told me he wanted to fast. Surprisingly, he woke up the next morning skipped breakfast and took an empty lunch box to school so no one would know he was fasting. He did this three days that week.
At night when I tucked him in he asked, "Mom, if you get baptized three times do you get more of God?"
"Are you wanting more of Him?" I asked.
"Yes, I need more of God."
"All you have to do is ask," I said.
And there he went, praying for more of God's power and presence.
Then there was the evening where he wanted to play the game of fall and catch me. He would fall back wards and I would catch him. After doing this several times I told him we were done, but he kept insisting "one more time". And as you know one more time turns into two and three and four. So after about the fifth or sixth time I said, "That's it Hawke. No more."
As I started to walk out of the room, out of the corner of my eye I saw him standing on the top of the couch. He was getting ready to fall back. I ran over and caught him just before he fell to the ground. Giggling he said, "I knew you'd catch me!"
I heard a gentle whisper from God. You could learn something from your son. I won't let you fall. I'll always catch you.
Then there was the speech before the Senators and the House Representatives. When I shared with Hawke that I was going to testify in support of the Heartbeat Bill (a bill that would save the lives of unborn children from abortion once a heartbeat is detected) and share my story of how my "unwanted" child became the greatest blessing in my life, he decided he wanted to say something as well.
And after I finished speaking, there stood beside me, my 10-year-old son before the Ohio Senate and House of Representatives, saying words that grown men have been too fearful to speak.
"These babies deserve a chance to live their lives and we shouldn't treat them like a piece of trash because God made all these kids special and He has a plan for their lives. We shouldn't abort these babies because God doesn't like that. That's what the devil wants you to do."
I couldn't have been more proud of my son. As we left the hearing room we headed down the hallway into the gift shop. Inside Hawke saw a civil war hat that he wanted.
"Can I get this mom?"
"No, we're not buying toys today, but you can get a snack or candy bar if you want."
We purchased a twix bar and left the shop to head to the bathroom, which was right across from the gift store. As I waited for Hawke to come out I decided to run back in the gift shop and grab myself some trail mix. When he came out of the bathroom he had a huge grin.
"I saw you go in the gift store. I know you got me that hat."
"I didn't get you the hat Hawke. I got some trail mix."
With his smile getting wider he said it again. "I know you got me the hat."
I chuckled. "I didn't get you the hat."
He persisted. "Yes, you did. I saw you go in the store."
"I didn't get you the hat."
As we walked together back down the hallway he tugged on my purse. "It's in your purse," he said still smiling.
How was I going to disappoint this child that had so much faith in their mother to believe that she wanted to give good gifts to her child because she loved him so much and knew it would make him happy?
After several more minutes of standing in the hallway going back and forth about him insisting I got the hat and me insisting I didn't get the hat, I walked back down the hallway to the gift store.
"Which one of these hats do you want?"
"Which one do you think I should get?" he said trying them on.
"Whichever one you want," I said smiling.
As I paid for the hat I heard God so clearly.
This is how I want you to trust me. When you come to me with an assurance that I am going to do what I said I would do for you, because I am good Father and I want to give you things that make you happy because I love you, I can't not give them to you because of your faith.
If Hawke had started whining and begging or telling me how his brother and sister always get stuff and it's not fair that he doesn't get that hat, I can assure you he wouldn't have gotten that hat; and depending on whether he started complaining he might not have even gotten the candy bar.
But because he had such childlike faith and was so sure that his mother had gotten him something that would make him happy, there was no way I was leaving that Statehouse without getting him that hat. If had to charge it or beg to get the money to buy him that hat, that boy was getting that hat that day.
That hat and this boy has changed the way I approach God. If as his mother I feel even more compelled to love this child that was initially unwanted, to fight alongside him and give to him because he trusts that I love him and want to give him good things, how much more compelled is God to fight for us when we're unwanted by others, to catch us when we start to fall, and to give us good gifts when we approach Him with childlike faith.
Papa, I know you got this.