I have been blessed more than I deserve. The most amazing thing is happening in my family. Our daughter Mary is expecting her first child, a girl, in about 10 weeks! I have fallen in love with her, my granddaughter, who I will be calling Grace (her middle name).
I am always amazed at how God works. Already this child is changing the lives of several people, me in particular. I never dreamed that I would be writing for children. My own dream was to write things that encouraged women. There have been many things I've written that have encouraged men as well. I feel very blessed that God is using me to get His message out there, but He seems to want me to write about children or for them.
For instance, I intended to write 'An Encouraging Word' for my first book, but it turned out to be 'A Christmas I Remember'. It all came about because a friend asked me to write her something for Christmas. (You can read all about it at www.deirdretolhurst.com.)
Then I got back to writing, this time about trusting God, something that I was learning more and more how to do. Then a tragedy happened that took me away from that book. My daughter's best friend for many years had a stillborn son in August. We were all so devastated, she is like one of my own, and all day Mary and I were on the phone or texting, she telling me how things were moving along. We were both so excited about little Ethan coming. After so many hours of induced labor, sadly, he was stillborn. Mary and I cried and cried. I just couldn't believe it. I know that God has a reason for everything that happens to us, and sometimes we just don't understand what good could possibly come from tragedy. So that following Saturday, armed with pencil and paper, tissues, coffee, and Bible, I went out to my back porch and prayed. I asked God to give me the words for these young parents who were going through their own hell. I can't even begin to imagine the pain, but God can.
An excerpt of what He gave me is this:
"Don't tell me he's gone!
In my heart he lives on!
I've seen his sweet face though not felt his embrace.
His smile I never was able to see, but his memory lives inside of me.
Why did You allow this happen to him? How could You take him from me?
What did I do to deserve such a pain?
From this hurt will I ever be free?
Child, your son is not gone, in My house he lives on!
His heart is as pure as gold!
He knows My face, and has felt My embrace,
Here, he will never grow old!
You will see him again, though you know not when,
His home is here with Me.
I've opened the door to life evermore,
Where he'll live for eternity." ©Deirdre Tolhurst 18 August 2012
This is followed with scripture from Mark 10:13-16. Please understand that I am not putting the entire poem down because copyright infringement happens all the time, and people other than the author or artist wind up profiting. This poem will be available on my website (listed above) after Christmas on 3.5' x 8.5" cards. The poem is altered for both boys and girls. I will also have them available as framed wall hangings. The point is that these poems have blessed parents that have lost a child either at or shortly after birth. My church has purchased some as well as the local Hope Pregnancy Center.
I am honored and very humbled that the Lord has given me an opportunity to bring comfort into the hearts of grieving parents. I received permission from Ethan's mother before I made it available for anyone else. It was a very personal thing for me, and this loving mother was comforted and wanted to bless other parents. That is a very selfless act. I have given credit to Ethan on all the work I make from this poem. That little boy is alive and spending time with our Savior! There is no unhappiness in his life at all, praise God!
A week after the world lost Ethan, Mary told us that she was four months pregnant. The Holy Spirit then informed me to 'write a devotional for pregnant women to read to their unborn child.' So that is what I have been doing these last few months. The grace of God has showered over me and brought me to my knees. I am filled with His love to overflowing, and I need to share that love in this book of devotions.
This has become a complete labor of love for me, and I have great plans for this book! I am following what happens to the mother and child as he or she grows by reading up on the baby's development on the Internet. It is wonderful to know what is happening inside a woman that she is unaware of. I think that the most awesome part of this is that I am writing something to a child I don't know yet, but I love, and thanking God for it, and then writing a scripture. Every day my daughter reads aloud the devotion and the prayer and scripture, and every day my granddaughter hears it! Yes, they hear everything at this point in her pregnancy. My hope is that later on in her life when she hears a scripture it will seem familiar and she will feel comfort. I pray over her every day, and then I email it to my daughter who prays over her every day. I certainly didn't have anything like this when I was pregnant, so it is a tremendous blessing that I can give this glory to God!
Here are two examples of devotions:
Week 20, Day 1 - Miracles Continue
Dear Child of Mine,
This week is the halfway point in my pregnancy! You have gone from one cell to a small and distinguishable person! You are about 6 ½ to 7 inches long from the top of your tiny head to your little bottom. From head to foot you are about 10 inches long! You weigh about 11 ounces. You are able to better hear noises outside the womb now. Can you hear me tell you that I love you? I do, very much! And Jesus loves you, and God the Father loves you! Always remember that, okay? No matter what happens in your life remember your mama’s voice telling you that you are loved by the Almighty God! And hear me say, I love You, Father! I love You Jesus! I love You Holy Spirit! And I love you, my precious child!
Dear God in Heaven,
Thank You for this baby. This baby is a miracle in my life! You brought her to me when You knew I needed You most. You are showing me Your deep and unending love of life. I am falling in love with this child and want to be the kind of nurturing parent that You are to me. Teach me to do that, Father, to nurture my child and be a blessing to her. Teach me to raise her up righteously. She hears my voice! She will know that I speak to You every day. She will hear me pray and worship You and give You praise. She will be born knowing songs of faith and hope and love! I will read Your word to her! Thank You for my voice! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
“Children are a blessing and a gift from the Lord.” Psalm 127:3 CEV
Week 26, Day 4 - Beacon of Light
Dear Child of Mine,
Your eyes are beginning to open, and even though you can’t see anything yet, you will follow a light placed on my belly. Light is from God, my precious child, He is light! And we are drawn to His light with a desire I can’t contain! Then His light spills over onto us who believe and we become beacons to those in the dark. Just as you follow the light you see in the dark world you now live in, so do many here on the outside. Keep following the light, all your life, my little love, for it is truth and peace. You will be light in a dark world someday!
Dear Father God,
Thank You that my child will know Your light. Thank You that she will be drawn always to You, and that she will be a beacon of hope to others. Bless her Lord, while she is still unborn, that Your own light and presence makes an impression on her heart so that she is born knowing Your sweet life-giving light. I love You, for Your light is beauty beyond compare! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16When a woman has mixed feelings about a pregnancy and is contemplating abortion, perhaps if she is given this book she may see that little innocent child's life and realize the miracle that is within her. It is true, God never makes mistakes, even with His timing. It is exactly as He intends. There may be extenuating circumstances that brought this pregnancy to be, ones that may be terribly difficult to bear, but it wasn't the child who was to blame. God always has a reason for when and why, and to whom a child is born. When a woman isn't feeling anything going on inside her it could be very easy to terminate, especially if she has morning sickness. I pray that the words in this book will open the eyes of those women and bring enlightenment to them.
I pray, dear Reader, that this book is well received by mothers to be everywhere. I hope to have it to the publisher soon. I thank you all for keeping up with my posts and for having patience in the times between posting. You are all a blessing to me. If you would like to leave a comment, please do, or if you would like to contact me, you can do that through my Website at firstname.lastname@example.org. Have a blessed day, and know I appreciate you.
"Then young women will dance and be glad, young men and old as well. I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow." Jeremiah 31:13