Sunday, February 22, 2015

Twelve Years Ago, I Was Afraid

Twelve Years Ago, I Was Afraid

I’d given birth to our daughter at 5:22 p.m. The NICU team had gone to work immediately and rushed her away from me.

I didn’t even get to hold her.

A night that should have been filled with joy was tinged with fear.

Knowing what I know now, I could make an argument that I wasn’t nearly as afraid as I should have been.

If I’d known how long it would be before I got to hold my baby girl…
If I’d known how long it would be before we got to take her home…
If I’d known how my hands would tremble on the keys when I searched for Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome…
If I’d known how my motherhood experience wouldn’t come anywhere close to what I’d thought it would be…
If I’d known how my faith would shatter into a million pieces as everything I thought I knew about God got lost in the long days of specialists and therapies and one missed developmental milestone after another…
If I’d known how hard it would be to be Emma’s mom…
If I’d known what this journey would cost me…

I wasn’t nearly as afraid as I should have been.


From this place, 12 years in and knowing what I know now, I have to say that I shouldn’t have been as afraid as I was.


God held her when I couldn’t.
God held me while I waited.
God sat with me as I read the description of a diagnosis I never wanted.
God caught the tears that hit the living room floor when the invitations for the playdates didn’t come and all the other kids were walking and talking and saying Mommy while we spent hours in therapy for her to learn how to touch her nose.

God watched as my faith crumbled and He didn’t get mad. Instead, He put my faith back together. 

No longer the faith of a good girl who believed her good behavior would get her in good with a good God. 
No longer a faith in a God I had figured out. 
No longer a faith that made sense.

Because God doesn’t do things the way I think He should. He transcends my understanding of logic and common sense. His scales don’t tip in my favor when I’m good, but always tip in the direction of my eternal good and the eternal good purposes of His Kingdom.

I don’t know what the future holds. Goodness knows there is plenty to fear.

Middle school.
Puberty (
Teenage years.
High school.
The days when the little brothers are off to college and it’s just me and her again, like it was for the first five years before they came along. 

Yeah, looking at that list, I’m afraid.
But I’m not nearly as afraid as I could be.

Because God is already there and there is nothing lurking over the horizon that will not first pass through His loving hands. 

I know this not because a preacher told me. Not even because the Bible tells me so.
I know because I live it. Because every day, He is there. No matter what comes, He is already there. Even, especially, when what comes is something I would have preferred to avoid. 

I know because God cares more about making me more like Him than He cares about whether or not I like Him. 
Because He cares more about my sanctification than my satisfaction. 
Because He’s big enough to handle my fear, my doubt, my anger, my frustration, and understands me even when I throw a temper tantrum about His plans. 
Because God uses scared people all the time.
Because twelve years ago, I was afraid.

Tonight, I’ll close my laptop, and sing a happy birthday goodnight to my Emma. The little girl who rocked my world. The little girl who made me into a much better mommy than I would have been if she hadn’t permanently altered my definition of motherhood. The little girl who drives me insane and brings me indescribable joy. The little girl God designed before the creation of the world to be exactly as she is. The little girl God has big plans for.

The little girl God entrusted to me twelve years ago, even though I was afraid.


Unknown said...

I LOVED this post. God definitely has His own way of teaching us through life in ways we may never have imagined. Thank you for sharing.

Marcia Chadwick Moston said...

This is said so beautifully I'm afraid to add my words. Beautiful daughter. Beautiful mom.

Lynn Huggins Blackburn said...

Thank, Tammy! God definitely teaches us in ways we never could have imagined! And I think we learn those lessons the best.

Mary Curry said...

Lynn, you made me cry and smile and pray and feel so very blessed that our paths have crossed.
I lift you and your sweet Emma in prayers on this 12th birthday. Thank you for sharing your hard-won wisdom and faith.

Dana R. Lynn said...

Absolutely beautiful, Lynn. I was profoundly touched by the message and the intense faith that shines in this post.

Lynn Huggins Blackburn said...

Mary - Thank you! I too feel blessed to have crossed your path! Thank you for the prayers - they are always needed!
Dana - Oh thank you. I know that God has big plans for Emma and I'm only just beginning to see how her story (and mine) may be something He will use to encourage and draw others to Himself.

Lynn Huggins Blackburn said...

Marcia - you are too kind. Thank you!

Cat Tolbert said...

This is a beautiful story, Lynn. Thank you for sharing your journey.

Mary Beth Dahl said...

Thank you for sharing a little of your journey and showing us how deep God's love flows.

Lynn Huggins Blackburn said...

Cat - It means so much to me that you stopped by! I miss seeing you!!

Mary Beth - I love deep God's love flows! Thank you!

Vonda Skelton said...

Wow! Powerful reminder that He's all we need, even when things seem terribly wrong. Thank you for your transparency. Many are/will be touched because of it!

Lynn Huggins Blackburn said...

Thanks you, Vonda!

Blayne said...

I don't think that my first post went any where... I will try again. I am blessed because you shared this lovely story with us.. I am blessed to have known Emma (she is so precious!!!)... I am blessed to have loved your family, all of you hold a special place in my heart... I am blessed because we have the same relationship with our God and Jesus our Savior... Even though we are not a part of your every day life... I can still feel your presence so we are blessed!!!