There is a moment when you hold your child in your arms for the first time, that the weight and gravity of the life you are to shape and mold begins to sink in. All of the sudden everything you have ever thought important, or that you “knew for sure” suddenly seems questionable. Do I really know anything? What if I make a mistake? What can I really teach this child? HOW DO I DO THIS??? It is in this moment that we do one of two things, we buy every single book we can on parenting, or we call our parents. Now maybe you did neither, but I will tell you – I did BOTH. I was reading up on everything prior to my daughters birth. I wanted all the details! I would be prepared! But in reality nothing actually prepares you for your first baby. NOTHING.
They give you this class at the hospital after your baby is born… or at least I was told they do. You see we never made it to this class. After a LONG delivery I was faced with some health complications that caused me and all my loved ones to fear I may not make it out of the hospital. I will save you all of the details of that time, but I will say there was a moment after the doctor left the room that things drastically changed. He shared that I was experiencing internal bleeding they could do nothing about and we would just wait and see how my body would respond. I kept hearing the phrases, “there’s nothing we can do” and “we just have to wait and see.” These words did not make sense, after all I was an avid watcher of “House MD” and knew all sorts of fancy terms like “exploratory surgery” and suggested it to my doctors, to which my doctor replied, “That will cause you to bleed out on the table.” Ok. We were in a serious place. This was no longer just a normal post birth recovery. I was coming face to face with my mortality while the life I had just ushered into the world was laying next to me in a hospital crib. Then when the doctor left, I did the only thing I knew to do, and that was worship. I put on some music from my phone and just talked to God. My husband and mom quickly followed suit and we prayed. We called for Pastor Kim and Jenny, Pastor Kyle and Karli and we gathered and prayed. It was in that moment that I remember telling God, “I want to live. I want to raise my baby girl, but you love her more than me and if you think this is the best plan, I surrender to you. Do your will Lord.” It was the hardest and easiest prayer I have ever prayed because it cost everything but there is such peace in surrender.
If you are reading this you must realize that I made it out of the hospital (whew!) and I am indeed still alive. My beautiful daughter will be 8 this year. A few months after her birth I began to contemplate what would her life have been like if I had not been around for her. It still makes my heart sink to even think about, but it was the mental path I took anyway. I began to think of how the people in her life would tell her stories about me, what liked, who I was. Maybe they would tell her about how she reminded them of me. I was overwhelmed emotionally at my own thoughts and I actually cried out loud, “But I don’t want her to know about me, I want her to KNOW me!” and as fast as you can blink the Holy Spirit said, “Exactly.” In that moment a wave of humility took over me and I began to think about how God desires us to know HIM. Not to know every Bible story and give every fact about who He is, but a deep knowledge, full revelation of HIM. His heart to be our heart, his words to be our words. I was taken aback how this rabbit trail in my thoughts brought me to such a realization of the cry of the Father towards us.
In Genesis 5 we meet a man named Enoch who walked with God. He walked with God to the point where he knew God so well that one day God just took him right to heaven, absent of death. Can you imagine that kind of KNOWING? The interesting thing I find in the life of Enoch is that he did not begin his life with a pursuit of God that consumed him. It happened after a very specific incident. He was 65 years old and he had a son named Methuselah. For all we know this was his first born as the length of life was much longer back then. At 65 he began this unprecedented walk with God and did so for another 300 years.
As a parent I believe that the birth of his son compelled him to change. The gravity of shaping the life in front of him showed him he could not raise this young baby without a complete and total knowing of God. For apart from Him we can do nothing. He is the complete and total picture of the Father to us, how do we even attempt to parent without the guidance of the Holy Spirit? Could we as parents begin a pursuit of God that would encourage our children to emulate and pursue Him on their own? Whether your kids are 5 weeks, 5 years or 35 it doesn’t matter. Your pursuit of Christ and a true KNOWING of Him can change your life and theirs for generations. You see Enoch had his son Methuselah, Methuselah had a son named Lamech and then Lamech had a son he named Noah. In Genesis 6 we see that the world has gone completely to sin but there is one man and his family who has remained and would build a boat to gather 2 of every animal and start all of creation over again. But the legacy of his father and grandfathers is summed up in one verse. In verse 9 we see the legacy of a lives lived in pursuit of knowing Him – for it reads,”and Noah walked with God.”
Check out the origin of this article from Pastor Alison by reading the REAL Kids Magazine “InGathering” online!