My little Li-Li!!
Two years ago, I was lying in an operating theatre, with a room full of people, after being rushed in to a "code red" with a lot of tense instructions being batted around over my head. It should have been one of the most anxious moments of my life, and yet somehow there was a peace, assurance and confidence that still is so precious to me to this day. The trauma we had been trying to avoid for the entirety of my second and third trimesters had just happened, and I found myself in a room full of medical professionals, who though calm, could not hide the concern written all over their faces, as they stuck me full of cannulas and needles and pumped me full of all sorts of necessary drugs.
Both you and I were in danger, and to be brutally honest, things got a lot, lot worse before they got better. But that's a story for another day.
Two years later, I sit here with this delicious little person, beaming his toothy grin, cheekily informing me that he can do everything "ganz alleine!" (all by himself), giving the best hugs, and being the most endearing little friend to all of his siblings.
Elias you are such a gift to us.
From those early whisperings and assurances through my pregnancy, you have been in the Lord's hands. I haven't talked a lot on here about the still small voice that grounded and anchored my soul through that stormy pregnancy... partly because it has felt preciously private, partly because I don't want it to be misunderstood as some super spiritual experience, and partly because I still don't quite understand it myself. But throughout all the anxieties of the pregnancy and very real possible complications, I deeply knew the Lord telling me four things...
You were a boy
That the Lord would deliver you safely***
That you were completely in his care
That your name would be Elias which means, "The Lord is God"
You were born that afternoon... the third attempt at a caesarian section, in a different hospital to where we started, and both of us completely knocked out for the entirety of the birth.
But despite all the trauma of that day, despite the shocked reactions of literally everyone who heard our story after that day. Four things remained true...
You were a boy
The Lord delivered you safely
You were completely in his care
You were named Elias, which means "The Lord is God"
Your little life is a daily reminder to me of the sovereign care of our God. The one who comforted my soul in the deepest place, and made the run up to your birth very precious and joy filled in my memory. You are a joy-filled boy... you love deeply and honestly. Your affections are real and tactile... and you openly share your joy at being with the ones you love! You chatter away and have the cutest and deepest belly-filled giggle I think I've ever heard. Right under your chin is your tickle spot!
Of course, you are also very much learning to push boundaries, you are fiercely independent and intensely stubborn. You know what you want and what you don't want. You know who you want and who you don't want, and you don't pack your punches in terms of letting us know how you feel!
You are our little bookworm. You would literally sit for hours reading story after story after story. Your sisters have always been book lovers, and Jonas more recently, but you are already completely gripped by a good story, and enjoy a good bit of interaction too! Reading with you is a delight (though I'm usually done after about 5 books! You would just keep going!)
Today is your second birthday, and I am so thankful for the way you enrich our family, and genuinely do bring joy to each of us. I love watching your relationships unfolding with your siblings. You and Ava - two peas in a pod - SO similar in so many ways! Heidi, your biggest fan and mother hen who just dotes over you and overloads you with vigorous affection (sometimes a little too much!) and then your friendship with Jonas, which literally brings me so much joy. You look up to him, he protects you, and I often overhear you telling each other "bester Freund!!" The two of you have so much fun together, and though you have the odd bicker over the Paw Patrols figurines, or magnetic wooden fishing rod, you actually get on incredibly well most of the time!
My prayer for you, Elias, is this. That that natural joy which comes so instinctively to you would root down deep in the Saviour... because that kind of joy weathers whatever life brings. My prayer is that your affectionate nature would overflow into a love for others which shines bright and shocks people with its generosity and willingness to sacrifice. That your love of books would lead you into a love of and desire to study and meditate on and learn God's word which will be a lamp to your feet, and that your relational strengths will give you an ability to get alongside all people, whatever walk of life, background or situation, and tell them of the love of Jesus which gave up everything for them... the love which died on a cross and offers you the power to be this kind of person. Christlike.
Ultimately, my prayer for you, Elias, is that you would always remember the truth of your name, and walk according to it...
I am so thrilled and thankful and joyful to be your Mama,
Our little Li Li...
Ich hab dich so lieb!
Happy birthday baby boy!!
***(To be clear, I don't believe the Lord always promises this.... and in the trauma around Heidi's illness, although we knew a deep seated and unexplainable peace, we never had any sense of certainty that 'all would be alright in the end'.)