SOMETIMES THE TEARS just flow. Burdens get so heavy and decisions so difficult that your natural response is to weep. God knows the tears you have cried, and He honors every one of them by transforming them into SEEDS OF HOPE. REJOICE that your tears are NOT IN VAIN! God CULTIVATES each glistening drop and TRANSFORMS it into a blessing. PTL!
Moments of Peace in the Presence of God
From the time my son was in my womb, I prayed over him, desiring him to be born happy, healthy, and to know and serve the Lord with power and might in a great way. I have never wavered in my desire for his life.
God was good to bless my Andrew with a passion for truth and the purposes of God in the earth. He was hungry to read by age four just so he could read his Bible on his own.
In the year 2000, he was a sophomore in high school. His father chose another road in life and left us. Smooth sailing and full steam ahead had become a fierce storm at sea. My son responded with strength, and dug his heels deeper into the Word. He continued on his set course of college and career – initially in constitutional law from a Biblical perspective – eventually settling into an economics degree.
He was on his own now, my daughter and I had relocated to my hometown to begin to rebuild our lives there once he started college. The clouds parted for a time and forward progress was made in the sail. I was very proud of him. God had provided a home and cushion of Godly men and families to support him in fellowship and prayer. He pursued a double major and held down a full time job in a retail office supply store.
Joyfully I received the news that he and one of his best friends since middle school were engaged.
What celebrations with a wedding one year – seeing them settled comfortably in a small apartment close to family – and his magna cum laude graduation from college the next. He assisted in weekly services, leading worship in his church as he served the Lord through music. It appeared that the table was set for smooth sailing ahead – if he could get a job in his chosen field.
But, the waters were getting choppy. Recession had set in. Entering the corporate field he sought made for rough seas. And, then, the skies turned black.
My 23 year old son was diagnosed with cancer. His life was thrown completely off course. A job he was about to take, getting him out of the retail rat race finally putting him on his career path, fell through. And what a blessing! Had he taken the job having to move forward in his treatments, he would have been uninsured, and lost the position. But, having been a servant in his workplace, he was cared for through an excellent insurance plan and caring co-workers who supported him through his crisis.
And, how supportive his church family was! As his mother, living far away in another state, I was spared seeing the day to day struggles he endured, but knew his testing and trials before the Lord were for the glory of God. Steadfast in faith, within a year, he was 100% cured of the cancer and regaining strength. He would always need to maintain regular screenings. His ability to father a child was not assured. However, his job was secure. His relationship with the Lord, strengthened. His music, blossoming through it all. Thank you, Jesus!
Things weren’t turning out as he had planned. But, blessings abounded as the Lord directed his steps.
Then, JOYOUS news. A baby would be forthcoming! Miraculous, indeed! Now, of course, with so much more to provide for in his future, he sought the career change he had been targeting. Steadfast still, waiting on the Lord to open the door and make the place.
Yet, another storm. Dear Andrea went into labor and delivered three months early! Mackenzie Joy was born weighing just under two pounds.
Once again, his job would be strained, and his life for three months would revolve around work and the NIC-Unit at the hospital where his precious daughter – fitting in the palm of his hand – was kept in a little box, hooked up to various monitors and life sustaining devices, while mom and dad watched . . .
. . . and waited . . .
. . . and learned to feed her through a tube.
As a professional children’s storyteller, I can tell you – the best stories are filled with conflict and miraculous deeds of deliverance bringing about happy endings.
Andrew and Andrea’s story had been filled with such things. Each one tapping into and testing a deeper part of their beings to break them, make them, and mold them more fully into the purposes of the Lord – for His glory.
This past year has been a momentous one. It was a year ago this week that Andrea went into labor, delivering after two weeks of bed-rest and three months intensive care. Finally home for Thanksgiving!
Then, new routines and responsibilities caring for an infant with special needs in the house – premies must be seen to with greater care.
Andrea at home. Andrew continuing his worship leadership and music compositions . . .
. . . and back in retail – a vocation he did not intend to be in still, by his mid-20’s.
This past spring, he took an assistant manager position in his company, looking to better provide. This put them in the position to become homeowners for the first time. Moving into their house in June. Trying to settle in during July – while Andrea continued with a summer course towards her own degree. Mackenzie today is growing – thriving – perfect – about to celebrate her first birthday this month! Her story – a blessing to everyone she meets. A living testimony to the faithfulness and provision of God!
They say that the top stress-makers in people’s lives are death of loved ones, divorce, illness, moving, career concerns, marriage and children. Well, weathering the threat of the first – twice – and all the rest within the last ten years – and most intensely within the last three years – with short respites here and there – well – I’d say Andrew and Andrea’s cup overflows in the preparation of God for service and ministry in Him – and blessings of unspeakable joy – as the Lord directs their steps and provides their needs at every turn.
The miraculous makeover of the vision for one’s life takes time. When I prayed for my son in my womb, I desired God’s best for Him – that my son prove to be a mighty man of God before all else. Though I would like the road to “Mighty Man of God” to be smooth and paved in sunshine and gold – that has never been the road map plan of God. Read the Bible – story after story – seasons of conflict and conquering in the making of miracles and men of God.
This precious family that I love so much is on the way to that smooth road paved in sunshine and gold. It’s just that the journey to reach that place is potholed. Bumpy happens. God delivers out of every rut, and shows the way through each detour met.
When you’re in this for the Lord – expect such things along the path – and KNOW how much stronger and meet for His service and calling you will be. Why – someday – storybook dreams of youth can come true and you just might “go around the world and preach the Gospel!”
Mackenzie is celebrating her 4th birthday this month – and will be starting preschool next week!!
She will be going to school with Mommy and Daddy everyday. Mommy teaches science and Daddy – having left retail behind for good, serving in full time ministry (remember that prayer for him from my womb?) – now teaches English, Literature and History in addition to being full time church/school staff as an ordained elder, worship leader, youth group leader and small group discipleship leader at Master Builder Ministries, home of East Gate Christian Academy – reaching the community through Christian education.
I once taught on staff there, working under Pastor/Headmaster Ron Bernier, who happens to be Andrea’s father, my son’s father-in-law and mentor, and our Mackenzie’s grandfather (Pepre). Fifteen years ago, I was the parent going to school with my children, teaching and learning together, in the same school where now my son is the parent, going to school with his wife and daughter, teaching and learning together.
To God be the glory for the things He has done!!