Eleven months?! Can it really be true? This time last year, I was in and out of hospital... wondering how long we could make this baby hang on in there. It was a scary time, but there was a peace throughout. The promise that the Lord had laid upon my heart,...
"Do not be afraid... wait and see what the Lord will do"
It was during this final month, as I whiled away long hours in hospital, that I increasingly felt the conviction that this baby was to be a boy, and that we were to name him "Elias" - "The Lord is God". I've never shared a lot about the still small voice that spoke to me through that time... perhaps wary of wanting to seem "overspiritual", but in a time that could have been anxiety-ridden, and in which there were very real fears about the potential risks of delivery of this particularly difficult pregnancy, I felt nothing but peace and a genuine deep-seated joy throughout. I actually look back on that time with a fond thankfulness. It was precious and beautiful, and the Lord showed us so much mercy throughout it. I whiled away hours reading Scripture, journalling, praying over my growing family, reading aloud my children's bedtime story on an audio app, so that Dave could play it back to them as they lay, tucked up in bed, every evening. I wrote a lot. I thought a lot. I spent precious time with dear friends and family who tirelessly visited. I had daily little visitors who delighted in exploring Mama's temporary "home", I prayed thankfulness for a husband who incredibly kept the ship afloat, caring for our children, and for me, like no-one else could.
I am so thankful for the Lord's goodness through that season.
And yet here we are, eleven months on, and this is the gift we have. He was indeed a little boy. And he was to be called Elias, just as that sense of prompting had required. And in his birth, and in his delivery and every day since, he has been a constant reminder that the "the Lord is God". Our sovereign, generous Father, who loves to give good gifts to his children, and whole upholds and strengthens in the valleys.
Elias, you have brought so much joy to our lives... you are a most precious gift, a diamond etched out of the hard rock of suffering. I will forever be grateful to the Lord for sparing both of us on that bright Saturday eleven months ago, when things could have gone so differently.
You are our roly-poly, mischief maker. You are exploring sound now - constantly calling for "mama", and occasionally repeating back other words too. You purse your lips and huff and puff through that little scrunched up face - you love to oooh, and aah and have the most delicious little cackle. You roll your way around a room proving there is no need for crawling, though you are half way there with a slightly lop-sided commando-crawl at present. You sit confidently, and have started attempting to pull yourself up to standing, those strong little legs still a little wobbly. I used to worry that you might be behind because you came so early, but you are proving my worry to be in vain!
We are so proud of every little achievement... you have come such along way, and your Mama finds it hard to conceive that in one short month we will be celebrating a full year. It has been the most wonderful, joy-filled year with you Li-Li... we thank God for the gift that you are, and our heartfelt prayer is that one day you will know the Saviour who has kept us both so well... the Saviour who loves you more than we ever could.
The Saviour to gave himself up for you.
We love you little Li-Li.
Happy eleven months