January 4, 1984 was the happiest day of my life. After eleven long years of barrenness, God had finally granted me a child at 9:28 am. Having almost lost her twice, her birth was a miracle to behold. A small five-pound baby girl full of opinion and insistent that we know she had arrived. I didn’t even get to see her until 2:30 pm that day because of her premature status. Her little lungs had not yet developed, and the doctors and nurses rushed her to an incubator lest other complications arise.
But when I held that sweet little baby in my arms, I promised God to raise her in the fear and admonition of the Lord. I was ever aware that she was His gift to me; lent to me to care for as an earthly treasure. I remember laying in the hospital bed holding her while watching TV. I rushed my hands to her little ears when I heard a curse word blurt out. Protective instincts became my mode of operation. With each evil that came our way, Mama Bear hovered lovingly over her with every defense.
As she became an adolescent, I learned quickly that smothering her was not in her best interest. I allowed her to stretch her wings and fly. Each step of the way, I begged God for wisdom and courage to let her go. And when He did, He gave me grace to brave the storms of isolation and the ever-daunting empty nest. She no longer needed me. She had found her fulfillment in another. Oh, the lessons mothers must learn!
Today, she is 39 and it marks her entrance into her 40th year - the year of testing. Having found her soul mate and birthed four children of her own, she rushes through life experiencing the same joys and sorrows I did as a mother. Her thoughts and worries are similar; and her commitment to God’s Word and His choice for her family is constantly challenged.
I can’t help but parallel her life to mine as I entered mid-life. Having lost my husband to divorce, I was pushed into the work force, and had to survive as a single parent; I can’t help but thank the Lord for sparing her. Thank you, Lord, for giving her a loving and wise husband. Thank you for the health and well-being of her four children. Thank you for their commitment to all that is right; and for introducing them to the King of kings and Lord of lords.
It’s been a roller coaster ride so far. But her 40's will give her a visual of life from the other side. What could she have done better? What purpose does God have for her at this stage of life? Will she submit to the beautiful meaning of life or try to formulate her own path? Today is half time. Time to reassess and analyze. Time to see all God has given and time to build on a foundation of love and wisdom. Solomon said it best:
To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth?
I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.
He hath made everything beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.
Happy birthday, Terribeth. This is your time.
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