We had our Celebration service at church today. We have this service quarterly and it is a time to Celebrate life: both physical and spiritual. We celebrate the addition of children into a family, either through birth or adoption. We also celebrate a person's decision to follow Jesus through baptism. It is a sweet time for our church family to celebrate together.
Today we started with babies' pictures with birthdate and parents' names on the screens. There is much ooing and ahhing. :) Then, one of our pastors asked the parents to stand and people moved around them and laid hands on them in love and support and prayed for them to raise their babies to follow the Lord. It is a sweet time of dedicating the little one to the Lord and praying specifically for fathers to lead well and mothers to seek the Lord for rest and wisdom.
As I looked around the room, tears came to my eyes. I didn't know anyone dedicating their baby today, but it is such a space of unity. Such a space of rejoicing as they are thrilled and proud to be holding their precious son or daughter. It is also a space of heartache. I saw men and women with empty arms wiping their eyes. I saw husbands and wives clasping each others' hands tightly as a unified couple at the feet of Jesus and I knew they were begging him for the physical creation of life in their own home.
And, my own arms felt empty. I long for the day I will hold a little one again. I began to pray in earnest. I began to seek His face for the exact moment. The little one He has for me may be safe right this very moment. Or, she may be dealing with neglect and an atmosphere of hurt.
Lord, thank you for your wisdom and timing. Thank you for blessing each family today with new life. Thank you for your love and your healing of those who are longing to hold a baby and you have said, "not yet". Lord, I ask that you open wombs to conceive. I ask that you open hearts to say yes to fostering and adoption. I worship you, Lord, because you are worthy of worship and praise. I thank you for who you are and what you are going to do. In Jesus' name, Amen.