"How has love changed your life?"
This is an article titled "Fingerprints of God" that I recently wrote to reveal how God has been with me since I was born.
"Fingerprints of God" by Lori Laws
"From one man he created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries. His purpose was for the nations to seek God and perhaps feel their way towards him-though he is not far from any of us. For in him we live and move and exist." Acts 17: 26-28 NLT
"In awe" is the best way to describe how I feel. This Scripture says God uniquely planned and decided everything about me before I even drew my first breath! I was first only a thought in the mind of Almighty God; He says His thoughts about me outnumber the sand on the seashore! I was fearfully and wonderfully made... to be a reflection of His glory! He purposely planned to introduce me to the world on December 22, 1968. He decided that I would reside in the small town of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Stop and take a minute to read the above scripture again... it should give a tremendous amount of value and dignity to all of us.
So Travel back in time with me, and I'll tell you how I'm covered with the fingerprints of God...
I could have easily been aborted when my mother learned she was pregnant. There was already an older sibling; I'd be just another mouth to feed. My parents were having marital and financial problems, so you can say that I wasn't planned. I may have been an "accident" to my birth parents, but I wasn't a surprise at all to God. He knit me together in my mother's womb. He said that all of the days ordained for me were written in His book before one of them came to be. And He has plans for my life...wonderful plans, plans to give me hope and a future! How awesome is that? My birth mother wanted to give me the best life possible, and she knew it wasn't her. In Her womb, I was in the safest place for an innocent, unborn child... so what could I have possibly done to deserve the death penalty? She knew I was innocent, and demonstrated her love for me by doing the most courageous thing...she put my needs before her feelings, and placed me for adoption. It had to have been hard. And as I write this, tears of intense love for her stream down my cheeks. My heart is filled with so much gratitude. I live and breathe because she did the most unselfish thing...she chose life!
In the meantime, there was a couple asking God to bring them a child, because they were unable to have biological children of their own. This would be the miracle they prayed for... I was adopted at 10 weeks old. Up until then, foster parents took care of me. I now had a nice new home and a new mom and dad. Most importantly, I was wanted ~ I was really wanted! My mom still tells me the story of how her and my dad stopped at "Brown's Children Shop" to buy me a little pink dress to wear home on the day they picked me up from the Adoption Agency. They were totally surprised when they got a phone call saying there was a little girl there waiting for them, that they should come and get me. One phone call...just one phone call was the only notice they got! Can you imagine the excitement and anticipation knowing that you are going to meet your new daughter for the first time? The day they brought me home was the same day they "showed me off" to their family and friends. Even though I had already arrived, they called it a baby shower. It was a special day for me and my parents. I was passed around from lap to lap that day. My mom tells it as if I was a movie star; everybody wanted a chance to hold me. We have pictures. That day was March 5, 1969. My mom calls it my anniversary, and she reminds me of it every year. She also told me that I was a good baby, and soundly slept through the night. Being a new mom herself, she was always on the phone with her mom asking baby questions.
And then, there are the many times My new dad would rock me to sleep in "our" rocking chair, all the while singing a popular song of 1969-1970, "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head." Of course I didn't understand the lyrics, but the melody was soothing, and hearing the softness of my dad's voice lulled me to sleep. Call me crazy, but as I was trying to put this story together, I went online to find the lyrics to this song. And I was shocked! Here's the part that sounds crazy... I believe this song to be a prophecy for my life, a foretelling of my future. I said that it sounds crazy, but it's something I wholeheartedly believe. I'll explain...
Let's fast forward forty years to the year 2008...
I've had a spiritual heart transplant, and I find myself doing things I never thought I'd be doing, not in a million years. I have a new identity in Christ and I'm deeply in love with my Creator. We have a very intimate relationship, Jesus and I. I'm also in the midst of dealing with the challenges of having a rare form of Muscular Dystrophy. Any type of suffering will either make you run from God, or make you cling tighter to Him. I chose the latter...
"I died to this life, and my real life is hidden with Christ in God." Colossians 3:3
I once read somewhere, that if you're not ready to die...you're not ready to live. This gives me a different perspective of life here on earth, and helps me rearrange my priorities. I try to look at life from God's perspective and seek what He desires; and that's not always easy. Not easy in my strength, but with Him "all things are possible."
Anyway, a door has been opened for me to share things I've learned about myself and about God through my illness. I started a support group that reaches out with a life raft, giving hope to those who are struggling with their own suffering. The group encourages and strengthens women who are coping with a chronic illness/disease or a physical disability. Just like the Bible says, I am able to comfort others because of the comfort God so freely gave me. The group is called NEVER ALONE. When I was first diagnosed with this muscle disease, My emotions and feelings were all over the map. I needed godly support, but there was nothing out there. Sure, there were a few support groups out there for those with Muscular Dystrophy, but there were none that were Christian ~ Please don't get me wrong, secular groups have some good things, but they're missing the most vital ingredient... God! So NEVER ALONE was birthed out of that need. Getting past myself by investing time in others, helps heal my pain. Our meetings are a place of refuge; we may not have the same physical things going on, but we all most certainly have the same feelings and emotions that only someone who has been there can understand. The group is also for discipleship; we can overcome whatever obstacles or challenges we have because we are grounded in the Word of God.
OK, you're probably wondering why I think "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head" was foretelling my future. Well, check out these lyrics...
Lyrics to "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head," by BJ Thomas 1969-1970
(* lyrics in italics)
Raindrops keep fallin' on my head
And just like the guy whose feet are too big for his bed
Nothing seems to fit
Those raindrops are fallin' on my head, they keep fallin'
I had the hardest time dealing with this illness. Nothing seemed to fit.
I truly thought my life was over. This is a chronic disease-I don't get a break; 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week..."they keep falling"
So I just did me some talkin' to the sun
And I said I didn't like the way he got things done
Sleepin' on the job
Those raindrops are fallin' on my head, they keep fallin'
I did me some talking to The Son. "I hate this disease...Why is this happening God? Are you sleeping on the job?"
I think you can imagine the conversations Jesus and I have had.
Again, this is chronic. I never get a break from this disease.
But there's one thing I know
The blues they send to meet me won't defeat me
It won't be long till happiness steps up to greet me
But there's one thing I know...I can't rely on my feelings, because feelings change. What God says is fact.
"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." Hebrews 13:8
"Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes in the morning." Psalm 30:5
I am believing, and have faith for a physical healing!
It won't be long...I will soon be saying, "You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing." Psalm 30:11
Raindrops keep fallin' on my head
But that doesn't mean my eyes will soon be turnin' red
Cryins' not for me
Cause I'm never gonna stop the rain by complainin'
Because I'm free
Nothings worryin' me
Even though "Raindrops keep fallin' on my head," I'll keep on praising and worshiping! The Bible says, "God inhabits the praises of his people." Psalm22:3
I will "Cast all my care upon him." 1 Peter 5:7 "Because I'm free!" I Can't be any more free than I am; I'm free in Jesus! "Who the Son sets free is free indeed." John 8:36
What will worrying accomplish? "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4: 6-7
Hopefully you can now see why I think what I do about that song. I know God has a great plan for my life, and it's just starting to unfold. He's protecting, loving, and guiding me through every situation and trial. The Lord chose me. I didn't just decide to serve Him, I was chosen before I was born. The proof of this is written in Ephesians 2:10, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.”
And I think this is the best, and most exciting part...God has turned me into a writer! All I need to do is put pen to paper, and things seem to naturally come. It's so awesome to realize that God truly has prepared me for what I need to communicate to others through all of the good, the bad, and the ugly experiences throughout my life; especially with learning how to cope with this disease. And it's so amazing how God handpicked my husband for me... it just so happens that Michael knows a thing or two about computers and technological things. He set me up on the wonderful "blogosphere," where I'm able to reach people all over the world with God's love. When I sit and write, things seem to pour out of my heart, and hopefully connects with someone who needs to hear the exact words I write. And then of course, there are times when I'm simply amazed at what comes out of my pen, or how I knew what keys to press on my computer's keyboard! Writing is my ministry. God is taking my mess, and making it a message! I'm so humbled, yet so honored. That's why I write! That's why I blog! And whatever happens next, I will give God all the glory! I will always give God all the glory! Hallelujah!