I’ve had several fears over the past several weeks. After seeing the progressions of the ultrasounds one of these fears was that the deformities of our sweet baby might scare us, or even more of a concern, that the children would be scared and not want anything to do with the baby. When I say scared, I really mean that I have been afraid that we might be repulsed. It grieves me to admit the thought even came into my head. I wish it hadn’t. I wish I were one of those people who never had thoughts like that. I’ve met them. I really want to be like them. I actually try to keep myself around these kind of people.
I know I can’t control how the children will respond, although we are diligently trying to prepare them and pray for them. And if I know them, they will love with all they have, because they are just great kids like that. But, I knew for me – I could take this fear, this ugliness to the Lord. I mean I could have ignored it, and wished I were different, which I tried. But that really doesn’t fix anything. At the bottom, I’m still ugly – and truthfully I wanted that to be changed. So I admitted it to Him.
I couldn’t dare tell anyone else. I really took this to Him believing He would work it out, but I really didn’t know how He would do it. My biggest prayer has been that whatever happens, I will be okay with it. Whatever the Lord’s will, I want to agree with Him. So I waited.
I didn’t have to wait long. I was having a particularly sad day. I wasn’t angry with God. I wasn’t without joy, I was just sad. I was up late and I received an email from a teenage girl in our church. Little did I know, God was about to show me how amazing He was once again.
Here is a little of what she wrote, “I haven’t spoken to you lately or anyone really about your baby but on our first night on our youth trip we stayed in a hotel and I maybe slept an hour that night but I do remember I had a dream about that beautiful girl!! It’s been a week now and I don’t remember exactly what that dream consisted entirely of, but I think she was either 1 year or a few months old and I couldn’t stand how BEAUTIFUL she was, it was…..I don’t have the words to explain her beauty, I was in awe of her. I woke up in tears in the middle of the night!!! When our chaperone got up that morning the first thing I told her was that I had a dream about JOY and she was absolutely beautiful!! God works in mysterious ways…”
He certainly does. I sat there in tears, in awe. I had been meditating for weeks about what beauty really is.
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. – 1 Peter 3: 3-4
But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” – 1 Samuel 16:7
I knew, no matter what this baby looked like, he or she would be beautiful. I was just scared I wouldn’t believe that too, when it mattered most. But as I read that email and realized again, what a personal God we have I knew I would. This baby is JOY. God is teaching me the beauty in JOY. The breathtaking beauty of Jesus Christ in all things. He is in it all. He is teaching me, all of us, about Him. This sweet girl’s words didn’t make me think that God was telling me I would have a baby girl, or that He will change the way the baby looks – He is teaching me what He looks like in all things.
Jesus is beautiful. Not that superficial, watered down appearance we normally refer to as beautiful . . . oh no, it is much better than that. It’s the kind of beauty that brings tears to your eyes, that wakes you up in the middle of the night. It is the kind that makes you say, “I couldn’t stand how BEAUTIFUL” and “I don’t have words to explain..” Because there just aren’t. It can’t be explained in one word – that is why there are thousands of words broken up into hundreds of chapters and verses to describe it. And even then, it’s not enough. That’s why we have a counselor, the Holy Spirit, revealing to us His beauty.
When I read that e-mail the reality that He is choosing to use our baby to reveal Himself as beauty struck me. What a blessing. What JOY. And that’s an understatement.
And even better, WE ALL have that opportunity. We can all embrace the beauty in Jesus Christ and it can be channeled through us, revealed through us. Oh how He longs for us to allow Him the opportunity. Just as I long for my daughter to believe her beauty doesn’t have to be of this world, how much more does our Father in heaven, “who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men”.
The cross. Beautiful JOY.