Seven years ago tonight I sat upstairs at a desk in our game room feeling nervous about the future, but really unsure of why. The next day's events were not a new thing; I already had five other children and four of them by c-section. I felt confident in my doctor's and all of the baby's prenatal tests had come back normal. Yet, I had a sense that life was going to change. And, boy has it changed in 7 years!
Seven years ago tomorrow, the windows of Heaven opened and I have loved Ryan since the moment I first met him. With each child, birthdays feel like a special moment to reflect on not just the first time I got to hold them, but on the passing years. With Ryan, each birthday feels a little extra special. Perhaps not knowing what each day will bring has made me a little more grateful that we made it to yet another birthday.
Additionally, since I don't think Ryan marks time with a calendar and I want him to feel really special on his birthday, I have been thinking about and talking about and counting down to his birthday ... well, let's just say A LOT! And, it's made me think ... a lot.
Recently, I have read and heard some people question whether God is real, whether prayer works, if God really knows or cares about any one person, and other such things about Him. So, in honor of Ryan, I want to share with you some things that I have learned because of Ryan.
I know God has a better plan than I do because when Ryan took his "first steps," my friend was there to record the sweet hug Ryan gave me when he finally made it to me. I wouldn't have been able to focus a camera through my tears and I'm so blessed to have that one moment in time caught forever. I didn't know he'd "walk" that day, but God did and so He made the plan work.
I know that God knows me by name because I have had a friend call to say, "Here's the name of a great Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon and a great Hematologist Oncologist, and here are their numbers." I had just found out that I needed that information, hadn't posted it on social media, or told anyone, but God knew.
I know that God knows my needs because I have been rushing out the door to the Emergency Room and accidentally picked up a call on my cell phone. It was my friend (and visiting teacher) calling to check on me. She was then able to help make the necessary emergency arrangements for the other children.
I know that God sends angels, both seen and unseen, because I have felt comforted to go to sleep at night knowing Ryan was being watched over. I have seen countless angels perform countless blessings and miracles in our lives, including but not limited to a small army of angels that sacrificed to bless us with Ryan's van.
I know that God answers prayers because I have had moments when I have felt the courage and strength wash over me that comes from praying and having others pray for you. The power of prayer has lifted the burdens, given me courage, and strengthened me to do all that is required. On my own, I am not enough.
Over the years, there have been comments made to me about what a super mom I am or what an amazing job I do with Ryan. I want to tell you that I am not a super mom and I don't have any super skills. And, if you have ever thought for even a moment that you saw a glimpse of a super hero cape on me, it is His power -- the strengthening power that God gives. I am just a short little girl who really, truly believes that God lives and that He will strengthen me to do His will. I know with every tiny piece of my body that God loves Ryan and that God sent him to earth. I don't know why Ryan came in the body that He did. I have some theories, but I don't know. But I know God does.
And, tomorrow we will celebrate and give thanks to God for such an amazing SEVEN years with Ryan!