The Promised Land

You’ve been thinking a lot recently about promises. You know that God has so many promises in the bible that you can claim. And that is all well and good and everything, but sometimes you want more. You have come to the conclusion that the spiritual inheritance God has given you through your family makes you very, very spoiled. Your hearts yearns for more, not just for the promises God promises to everyone, you want the promises God whispered into your heart. The ones that are made just for me.

On facebook today you find out that God blessed Camp Ray Bird with an additional 109 acres. You remember fondly the summer you worked at this camp. You remember praying for that land the entire summer. You felt the Lord speak into your heart that summer, that land belonged to Camp Ray Bird. And yet the deal was not closed that summer as you were so sure it would be. God told you that land was theirs, how could the talks stall out? This was not how you had pictured it.
Later you find out that you were not the first person to pray for the land surrounding the camp. Various camp directors have been praying for that land for 40 years.
You seriously doubt you are the only one who heard the Lord declare that land for Camp Ray Bird. Maybe the director heard it the first time he prayed for that land 40 years ago. Maybe he retired, and went on to be with Jesus thinking “this is not how I pictured it, I was sure that land was ours. You wonder if he ever became disheartened, yelling out to God “where is the land that you promised me?”
These wonders come very close to home, too close to home. Because you are still wondering about a promise God gave you. You have the most amazing baby girl, a gift that you cannot believe God blessed you with. You could never be good enough to deserve her. But this was not how you pictured baby’s first Christmas when you were round enough to play Mary in the Christmas pageant last year.
When you were giving your kids their final exams last year you also were waiting for your ultrasound appointment, the ultrasound appointment. The one that ends in “it’s a ____!” But you felt confident in how that appointment was going to end. You knew what you had in their, and despite the fact that you had showed no other medical symptoms, you knew that the day would end with not just boy but boys. Twins.
You didn’t come to this conclusion lightly. Heck, you didn’t even want twins. Two cousins and a speech coach had had them and twins looked hard. One at a time until you were done, that is what you had always said. But the signs for the twins were flashing like neon vacancy script on a cheap motel. The names the Lord pressed into your heart two years before you were even trying to conceive, the night you were visiting Camp Ray Bird and the Holy Spirit took hold of your hands. You laid them on your womb and prayed for it to be filled with those boys. The dream you had a week after you knew you were pregnant. The one you knew was more than just a dream. Your friend praying for you to be filled with twins twenty minutes before you told her you were pregnant. The numerous words your dad received, even after the first ultrasound. The second not just a dream.
Then there was the owl. Your dad had been talking about owls for weeks, months even. Owls were supposedly the new sign of the prophetic. They can see into the night. (As an English teacher you appreciate God’s use of metaphors.) The morning of your due date your sister and you take a walk with her giant pit bull mix to really get things going. When you return home and head into the back yard there is a giant owl waiting for you on the tree in your backyard. As you, your sister and her giant dog approach. You had never seen that owl in your neighborhood, you have never seen it since.
You are absolutely in love with your baby girl. She is the most exquisite child, the best parts of your husband and you plus an extra amazing all her own. And as you rock her to sleep at night, you pray for her brothers, the ones that are in your heart. The ones that God promised you, and by extension, her. Even the song that you sing to her every night, the one you picked just for her has mention of these brothers. You didn’t plan that.
You get choked up when you talk about them to your dad, the person who has had so many words for these boys, your boys. You tell your friends how crazy it is, but you miss them. You didn’t know before, what it was like to be a mother. But now that you know your heart pulls at the idea that your sons are not with you.
You were pretty angry at God when you got that ultrasound that said girl. You attempt to blame it on the pregnancy hormones but your freak out was pretty epic. Why would God tell you twin boys only to give you a girl? Why would He urge you to tell non-believers when it wasn’t to be? Why so many words, so many signs if you weren’t carrying those boys?
You don’t know. You still don’t know. But the Lord has made peace in your heart. You are eating up every single second of this baby’s first Christmas. And hope that next year it will be a babies’ first Christmas.
Hey! Ray Bird Ministries does such an incredible amount with every single dollar God has blessed them with. They are so so serious about sharing the gospel and making disciples y’all so please consider checking out their website and being a piece of the great land promise!

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