A year ago today we were headed to celebrate the fourth of July with our families in Tulsa Oklahoma. We had the car all packed up, we headed to McDonalds for a quick breakfast, but before we hit the road we had an exciting doctor’s appointment to go to. I was 20 weeks pregnant and we were going in for a routine anatomy scan. We had our 16 month old little girl and our four year old little boy with us. We couldn’t wait to tell them if they were getting a little brother or a little sister. Little did we know, we wouldn’t find out if we were having a boy or a girl, but that the baby we were expecting in November no longer had a heart beat and I would have to deliver him stillborn.
Because of the way the holiday fell the earliest we could schedule the delivery was 3 days later. My doctor knew we were headed to Tulsa and said if we wanted to we could go ahead and go. We decided it would be best. We wanted to be with family. We left the doctor’s office, got the kids set up in the car with their movies and headphones, and we started our four hour drive to Tulsa. I know it was God that we had that trip planned. We had four hours to cry, to talk, to pray, and to cry some more.
The next day was July 4th and we wanted to keep things as normal as possible for our son Gus. So we went to a pool party at my sister’s as planned, we took him to see Brave as planned, we hit up the firework stand and shot fireworks as planned, and we went to see a firework show as planned. I laughed and smiled and enjoyed seeing our families, but in the back of my mind I could only think about the little lifeless body that was in my womb.
I know that every year when it’s time to celebrate America’s freedom I’ll think of fourth of July, 2012. I’ll remember how unbelievably hard that day was. I’ll remember taking a shower and completely losing it when I saw my pregnant tummy. I’ll remember the dread I felt knowing that in just a few days I would have to deliver a stillborn baby. I’ll remember wondering when the tears would stop. I’ll remember staying in the car at the firework stand so no one would see me and ask me when my baby was due. I’ll remember sitting on the lawn of my brother’s church and watching fireworks shoot into the sky and wondering why us. I’ll remember all of that… and I’ll celebrate.
I’ll celebrate America’s freedom, but more importantly I’ll celebrate my freedom. I’ll celebrate the fact that on July 3, 2012 when we received terrible news from the doctor we immediately turned to God and He began to unveil more of Himself to us than we had ever seen before.
2 Corinthians 3:16-18 (NLT) But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.
Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom. The Spirit of the Lord was with us when we found out, when we drove to Tulsa, when we watched fireworks that night, and He’s still with me today, setting me free. Free from fear, free from sadness, free from doubt, free from confusion, free from sin, free from guilt, free from the curse of the law. I’m not a slave to the things that satan would have loved for me to become a slave to after losing Felix, and it’s because I turned to the Lord. I welcomed His spirit into the situation, He came in and He brought freedom with Him.
Where He goes, freedom goes! If you are in bondage to something turn to the Lord, invite Him in and let His spirit set you free.
This year when I’m sitting in the itchy grass watching the fireworks light up the sky I’ll be thinking about all that God has done in my life since last year and thanking Him for setting me free!
- Whenever someone turns to the Lord the veil is taken away.
- Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom!
- I am free… free as an American, but even better, free as a Christian.
- The miraculous, super natural healing that has taken place in our hearts over the last year.
- Refuge by Deluge. Such good words to sing to the Lord this morning while reflecting on the last 12 months.
- Slept so good last night.
- Delicious breakfast at the very cute State & Fig.
- Beautiful weather.
- Fun morning exploring the Santa Barbara Mission.
- Beautiful gardens and amazing trees.
- Hummingbirds! I’ve seen two since we’ve been here.
- The architecture out here is just stunning.
- World War Z made for a very fun movie afternoon.
- Arts & Letters Cafe. Beautiful patio perfect for lunch on a day like today.
- Pumpkin soup. Never tried it until today. I’m a fan! I loved it.
- Heirloom tomatoes.
- Got to rest our legs at the hotel for a few hours this afternoon.
- The way the sand feels underneath your feet.
- I wanted so badly to see a Seal while we were here and we saw one tonight! He came right out of the water and let us take his picture from the wharf.
- Dinner on the pier.
- Clam chowder. Really fresh, really big chunks of delicious clam.
- Bread bowls. What a great idea.
- Got to face time with my sweet kids this afternoon.
- Josh was able to get the big splinter I got from the pier out of my hand.
- Cute dogs on leashes everywhere you look out here.
- I’m enjoying every minute of my extended date with Josh.
- Found a Sprite in our mini fridge to help settle my stomach.