Do you know where you were 12 years ago? I was 21, in a hospital, in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, giving birth to my first child, James. James was the first of four beautiful, incredible miracle children that God blessed me with.
You see, Shawn and I had visited a fertility specialist for a couple of years with no success. In fact we had begun looking into adoption and more intensive fertility treatments when our youth group that we pastored asked if they could pray for us. They prayed over me, and as near as we can figure it, I became pregnant that weekend. It was a great pregnancy. At first I was student teaching and puking all the time. And emotional ---- wow----- was I ever the crazy witch! But then things evened out after the first trimester into an easy pregnancy.
12 years ago, on a Wednesday morning, I woke up with some lower back pain. I did not realize that I was in labor until it was critically important that I be at the hospital. One of my friends came over and literally shoved me and Shawn out the door. It was a 45 minute drive to the hospital, through the mountains. Shawn flew around curves, screeching up in front of the hospital just about an hour or so before James was born. By the time we checked in and got up to the room, it was just about time to push. I did my whole Lamaze stuff....picturing a restful, peaceful place ...huffing and puffing.....James arrived quickly and safely. 9 pounds, 5 ounces.
No one had ever told me about the moment when you see your child for the first time. Holding him, we wept. It seemed impossible that God had done the miraculous and granted us a child that our doctor said we would never have. The love that I felt for my son was so much larger than I ever imagined. As I held him, I could not believe that God would ever have let His Son come to earth and take my place and die for me. I would not have given up my son. I also learned a little bit about how much God must love me...if He loves me more than I love my son...wow!
Tonight we celebrated James's 12th birthday at Johnny Carino's. His choice because he loves their oil and garlic for the bread. As I sat at the table in the quiet restaurant and watched my children laughing, I was overwhelmed by just how blessed I am. You know those moments that you would like to freeze so that you can always remember them? This was one of those nights. Abby was dancing to the jazz music playing in the background. Katie was slurping her spaghetti noodles through her gap between her front teeth. Grace, James, and Shawn were discussing multiplying decimals. Everybody was talking at the same time. It was chaotic, and beautiful.
Happy birthday James!