Today I am awash in the afterglow of the birth of my second baby and my first daughter. Lois Janine was born yesterday at about 6:10 pm in the IWK Grace Health Centre in Halifax, NS. She weighed 8lbs6oz, and she is beautiful like nothing else I have ever seen. (more pics here)
<=== Feast your eyes...
I wrote last time about how careful we need to be about letting our faith get hard to just how incredible God is and how limitless his ability to work things out is.
I don't know how to describe how overwhelming it is for me right now. Everything I see and experience in my life- when I walk in the front door of the house I really was starting to believe I was never going to have, when I kiss my wife, the woman I once almost believed I wasn't ever going to find, when I lift up and hug my son, who I once almost believed would never come and leave our family name to evaporate, when I hold this baby girl who is just killing me with how beautiful she is- seems like a dream that is almost too good to be true.
When I think about how little faith I have had for some of these things, I am blindsided with the reality that God really DOES love me more than I know, that he really DOES have a future and a hope for my life and that no matter what life looks like in the natural, he's reaching and working and putting every resource he has to use in causing favour to flow into my life and setting blessings in motion that will chase me down like the hounds of heaven. It really is about how good he is, because it's sure not about how stout or unwavering my faith is...
When my Grandpa lived here in Halifax, his favourite worship song was Jonathan Barnett's rendition of Psalm 34. I have learned to live the first words of that song- I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
Dating back ten years, things have been really hard, either with wrestling with my identity and calling in Christ, or with remaining faithful to both despite not having full-time work and having to postpone dreams because of finances and logistics. I have learned to carve out a place of rest and refreshing in the hard places of life so that my heart remained soft and sweet. Those lessons are gold to me, and I will cherish them for my whole life.
What I am finding now is that they leave me woefully unprepared for how to deal with a season of plenty. My ability to worship from a real heart of love in the dry times has been well-developed after nearly a decade. Now I feel like a total novice- I don't know what to do with myself because it's like being punch-drunk after getting one blessing-hook after another to the spirit man.
In any case, I am thankful that my heart's reaction hasn't been to scramble for the comfort of the season I am used to, but to take a deep breath and let myself get whirled away. It feels strange, but I feel new again, and I'm just so thankful to God for it all. What an amazing feeling to be able to love with a heart in two places and be just as real in both of them.
I'm full and running over God, and it's only because of your goodness. Thanks for everything, and for my baby girl. Hugging her is like grabbing hold of your heart for me- I plan on doing that as much as possible...