Friday, October 11, 2013

The Engraved Invitation ~ Day Six

Welcome to Day Six in a 31 Day Series

~31 Days To Becoming His Pearl~

See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands ; your walls are ever before me. ~ Isaiah 49:16

This scripture is a beautiful engraved invitation.

The Father inviting us. Calling us unto Himself, to lean in close.

He opens this scripture with the word, see. 

It is a loving offer, extending relationship to His children.

The truth that the God of all creation wants each and every one of us to be mindful that He
is ever mindful of each and every, one of us is an incredible thing.

Not only is He mindful. But He longs to draw us unto Himself.

He wants us to be still and know. He wants us to trust in Him.

Our names are engraved. Inscribed. They are deeply impressed.

They have been carved. Never to be removed. 

Your name is permanently etched.

He invites us to see. To know. To be reminded of this truth in this scripture in Isaiah 49:16.

This invitation offers great comfort when life becomes too much to bear.

When life hurts and when life leaves us breathless and completely undone.

When we can't for the life of us gather any kind of understanding, but choose Him in spite of it all.

We can hold our hands wide open, fully surrendered to Him and His ways and His great love
because we have a hope and we have faith and although we may not have understanding, we can
trust that the same God who engraved our names on the palms of His hands has our lives lovingly planned.

No matter what.

Even if that means that He may ask us to surrender our babies.

The babies we've prayed for and hoped for and longed for.

The babies we've already called by name.

The babies we've already made spaces and places for in our hearts and our homes.

And sometimes, He may call us to deliver their precious bodies and then He will ask us to surrender.

He will unravel us in the middle of a delivery room and require of us the very thing we never dreamed He would.

He will reach down with the same hands that are engraved with our names and theirs and He will ask of us an offering almost too great to bear.

He will ask of us our children.

The ones who belonged to Him all along.

Sometimes we are the ones who are called to the unbearable sorrow of an offering of that magnitude.

And sometimes we are the ones who are called to walk with the ones who have given that sacrifice.

I have been honored to walk with some very dear friends who gave such an offering.

Our beautiful friends Sarah and Jonathan Cantrell. 

Two years ago on this very day, Sarah delivered their boys, David Casswell and John Wilson.

And the Father asked her for the unthinkable. 

He leaned down with engraved hands and asked that instead, they spend eternity with Him.

And never one day here on earth with their parents.

Glorious suffering.

The weight and the magnitude of what He's asked of them is beyond comprehension.

And I have walked with this precious couple and witnessed first hand the strength of their faith.

Tried. Tested and True.

Tested by unimaginable fire.

I've witnessed Sarah and Joanthan give and sow and pour and love and offer..... to many in the midst of their own grief and sorrow.

I've witnessed Sarah give baby gifts and host baby showers and preach the gospel and give her testimony about the very goodness of God, with two babies of her own offered up as a remarkable gift.

I've heard her voice, countless times, remind me, in the midst of my own suffering, about the goodness of God.

And about how He is faithful and true.

And that He will never leave us nor forsake us. No matter what.

And so I asked Him to help me give them a special gift.

I wanted to thank them for their friendship and to offer a way to honor their boys today.

And because He is a good Daddy and He loves us so much...

He was faithful with a vision.

And Sarah and Jonathan were willing.

They responded with such gratitude and willing hearts.

And they agreed to allow me to photograph the price that they have paid to follow Him.

Two tiny hospital bracelets and two birth certificates with the tiniest foot prints I have ever seen.

They agreed, to allow me to write the names of their children on the palms of their hands.

And to photograph them.

I prayed that I would be careful with the tiny pieces of their babies delivery day.

I prayed that I would be careful as I wrote out the names of their baby boys on each of their hands.

I prayed that He would anoint the pictures and that Sarah would be able to use them when she ministers and when she invites others into a relationship with Him. Many of whom have lost their babies too. Many of whom have tiny hospital bracelets and tiny footprints on birth certificates but who have had to deliver and offer up their babies as well.

And He reminds us, that we lean not onto our own understanding.

Costly oil. Such a high price.

I'm not sure that I will ever be able to articulate how precious our time together was, as we gathered together in His name to create something that would bring tremendous glory to Him.

What an indescribable gift.

Sarah and Jonathan,

You are Kingdom builders.

Willing and obedient servants who have paid an unbelievable price to point others to Him.

I pray that these photographs cause many hearts to heal and many more to come to know Him.

I pray that they bless you for years to come.

I am completely awestruck by the two of you and count our friendship as one of God's greatest gifts to my family.


I am thankful that God alone, saw fit to weave a beautiful friendship between us.

He went before us.

So that when the suffering came in like a flood....

He had already prepared the pillars to hold up our arms when we simply could not.

You are a beacon of light beautiful friend.

A living epistle of costly oil poured out like an offering before our God.

A sweet fragrance of sacrifice and faith who carries the hope of Glory.

May the ministry He has given you cause great revival to break out in the hearts of His people for a thousand generations.

May He give you a double portion of beautiful children and an abundance of increase so wide that there would not be room enough to receive it all.

Honored to love you.


I pray this song and these pictures bring healing balm to your hearts today.....


paige said...

such a powerful testimony....their hope, their joy....
so powerful. so tender. so heartwrenching. beauty from ashes...

Deborah said...

Simply beautiful.......

Michele said...

Absolutely beautiful - my thoughts and prayers are with this beautiful couple. Was totally moved and honored to hear Sarah speak at The Pearl Event in Nashville. What an inspiring couple they are.

Love Being A Nonny said...

The most precious of gifts.......

Bravehearted Beauty {formerly LLH Designs} said...

No words. Just sweet tears over this today. What a story they are living. What a gift you have given them. Thanking God for the vision He have you.