My dearest Heavenly Father,
Your righteousness covers me. Therefore, I am counted among the righteous ones of which your Word speaks. You order the steps of the righteous (Psalm 37:23). You guide me, lead me as only a tender Shepherd can. When I have roamed out from among Your fold, You have graciously brought me back with the goads of affliction. I count it all as joy, my Lord. I have thanked You for 12 years for barrenness and childlessness. Lord, I remember when I wept on the floor of our apartment those years ago and You met me in my suffering with words of comfort from Isaiah 54:
1“Sing, O barren one, who did not bear;
break forth into singing and cry aloud,
you who have not been in labor!
For the children of the desolate one will be more
than the children of her who is married,” says the Lord.
2 “Enlarge the place of your tent,
and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out;
do not hold back; lengthen your cords
and strengthen your stakes.
3 For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left,
and your offspring will possess the nations
and will people the desolate cities.”
I remember the night You shared Your plan of eternal comfort with me through this Scripture. You spoke. You heard my cries and my pleas, not for children, but for more of You in the midst of suffering. Thank You, Father. Thank You, Holy Spirit. Thank You, Jesus for making a way for me to cry out to You.
Father, I remember how You taught me to enlarge the place of my tent: my heart. You started teaching me to enlarge my heart for those who needed You, and how I could give them You. Jesus, You began teaching me to nurture the spiritual lives of those around me through nourishing them with the Word. You taught me that, Lord. How kind You are. Father, the stakes of my habitation were strengthened and the cords were lengthened. Our home began to overflow with college students and high school students who needed nourishing and spiritual parents. God, You made this barren woman a spiritual mother to so many.
But Father, that season is changing. You have given us the gift of raising a son to be an arrow in our quiver (Psalm 27:3-5). Jonathan Ryan Saylor will be a well prepared arrow to go out into the uttermost parts of the earth to share the Gospel, and do what arrows do: take down the enemy. Lord, I vow to You this day, just as Your servant Hannah, the mother of Samuel prayed… God I promise to give him back to You to destroy the enemy and cause Your kingdom to come on this earth just as it is in Heaven. How sweet You are to us Lord, to entrust us with this precious child. Lord, I pray you would quicken his spirit to saving faith. Father, would you cause his precious heart to always be tender to Your Word, Your Spirit, and Your people? Lord, you have done far abundantly more than I could ever ask or think. This gift, so undeserving, Lord, will be wielded for your glory.
God, how could I ever comprehend the good works You predestined for me before You spoke the world into existence (Ephesians 2:10)? And those plans included me becoming a mother to a child I only carried in my heart. Lord, You knew how I longed for him before I even knew him, this sweet Jonathan. Father, how could I have ever known You would allow our family to look like the nations? Our family will look like heaven one day: all peoples, all nations, all races. Lord, use this for Your glory. Use Jonathan’s caramel skin and big brown eyes to reach the nations. My precious Father, may I always remember that mothering- regardless of biology- is an act of love that only You can strengthen me to do. I trust You. Be my refuge as I mother this sweet baby. May he be a force that brings the enemy to his knees, and may he always remember WHOSE he is… He has always been Yours.