Behind the Scenes

 

 

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Photos by Sweetlife Photography (www.lovethesweetlife.com)

I will never forget the wisdom passed on to us during a very difficult time, from very close friends.  Jake and Anna came to visit us in the hospital the day Maya was born (and would take her newborn pictures a week later!  If you’re in the Portland area and in need of photographers, they are truly the BEST in the biz and you won’t be sorry you hired them!).  It was the day before she began experiencing complications and had to be transferred to the NICU.  The next few days that followed were a blur of doctors, little sleep, tubes and tests for our little girl.  I don’t think I’ve cried so much in my life, yet I don’t think I’ve ever felt so supported and cared for in all my life.  People all over the country were praying for our sweet Maya, and our church community (which Jake and Anna were a big part of) was right there along side us the whole way.
0512_Liilard-Maya_37I remember talking to them afterwards, explaining how the doctors really couldn’t find anything and somehow Maya just kept improving enough to the point where they sent us home.

We were amazed at all the drama that ensued only to lead us to the doctor’s prognosis of “I guess she just decided to puke green stuff.  It’s odd, we don’t know why, but she’s okay.”  And she was.  Even though generally a newborn who is less than 24 hours old and has not swallowed meconium should not constantly projectile vomit bright green (we were told most likely she had an intestinal blockage and would possibly need immediate surgery), she suddenly began slowly holding down milk and spitting up much more normal colored spit up.  She no longer gagged all day long.  By day four, we were about ready to be discharged…  This time WITH a baby!0512_Liilard-Maya_56

“I guess it was a fluke thing,” I remember David and I telling Jake and Anna one afternoon.  “She just stopped vomiting green, and it became like normal baby spit up,” we continued.  “It must have just been a really weird fluke thing.”

Then Jake said something I will never forget.

“You don’t know that,” he said, looking at Maya.  “You had a loooot of people praying.  You never know what God was up to behind the scenes.”

It was as if a light bulb went off in my head.

Wisdom, straight up!

This has become one of my life’s mantras, no joke.  We seriously don’t know what God is up to behind the scenes.  We do know that He is good (Psalm 116:5), He loves us (Romans 5:8) and has plans to give us a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).  He is sovereign (just close your eyes and turn to any psalm, you will see “Oh Sovereign Lord” written on every other one!), His purpose prevails above all (Proverbs 19:21) and all things can be used for his glory (John 9:1-3).  He is at work even when we can’t see (Numbers 22:31)!

0512_Liilard-Maya_02Krista already shared about Elisha the prophet and his assistant when they were being chased by the King of Aram.  When surrounded by the king’s army, the young man trembled in fear.  Yet God opened his eyes and he saw far more of the Lord’s army ready to fight than the King of Aram’s.  God was working behind the scenes, and when He allowed the man’s eyes to open, suddenly everything changed.  The king’s army was the same, but the circumstances were substantially different.

The same kind of thing happened with Balaam in Numbers 22.  He was frustrated that his donkey would not do what he was commanding it so he began beating the poor animal!  Little did he know that the Lord was working behind the scenes…

31 Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the roadway with a drawn sword in his hand. Balaam bowed his head and fell face down on the ground before him.

32 “Why did you beat your donkey those three times?” the angel of the Lord demanded. “Look, I have come to block your way because you are stubbornly resisting me. 33 Three times the donkey saw me and shied away; otherwise, I would certainly have killed you by now and spared the donkey.”

34 Then Balaam confessed to the angel of the Lord, “I have sinned. I didn’t realize you were standing in the road to block my way. I will return home if you are against my going.”

God can still do this today.  He may or may not open our eyes to physically see what He is up to– he may or may not invite us into the script to know exactly what it is He’s up to– but we can be assured He still works behind the scenes.

As Perry Noble would say in his book Overwhelmed, “It may be time to stop praying, ‘God, get me out of this’ and begin praying, ‘Jesus, let me see You.'” (p. 81).

It is a peaceful, all consuming, overwhelming, ABUNDANT feeling to truly know that God is working behind the scenes on our behalf.

It is also incredibly life giving, gracious, and precious beyond words to have friends who speak wisdom into our lives, even in the hardest of times.  We are so thankful for Jake and Anna’s friendship.  And they take pretty amazing photos too :).

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***This post is not sponsored by Sweetlife photography; all these opinions are purely my own.  Like I mentioned, if you live in the pacific northwest and need photography for any reason, these guys will beyond impress you.  Not only are they incredibly talented, but they are so. much. fun. You won’t be disappointed!  Check them out at www.lovethesweetlife.com

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5 thoughts on “Behind the Scenes

  1. Rachel, I look forward SO MUCH to reading what you & Krista have to say! Your words are truly ordered by God for those who will read them. I am so thankful for you both!

    I have a “YAY GOD” for you. I had a complete hysterectomy on June 9, 2014. My omentum was removed as well. Pathology diagnosed ovarian & uterine cancer. Only microscopic remnants were found in the biopsies, nothing in the lymph nodes. (YAY GOD) I am currently undergoing chemotherapy because of those remnants, which will go through the end of this year. I just saw the latest blood test results (run every Monday), and the marker that indicated the tumor originally is now almost in the normal range!!!!!! ( HUGE YAY GOD!!! ) That’s my evidence that God is working behind my scenes!

    Yes, I’m losing my hair. The hospital my doctor is associated with offers free wigs to patients! (YAY GOD) I have 2 on the way. I also get to rock some hats just for fun. I have so much to be thankful for! Thank YOU for your faithfulness to what God calls you to do and write. This was just what I needed today. Much love to you & Krista!

    • Karen– your story made me teary! What a DEAR you are! You are such an encouragement to me, and I’m sure to all those who are privileged to know you! What you are going through is TOUGH. What an incredible journey you are on, and what an incredible testament you are to trusting the Lord with everything you are! YAY God! And YAY to YOU for keeping such a wonderful perspective in the midst of such times. I love your joyfulness– I can see it through the screen. What a blessing you are. I will pray that God will continue to work on your behalf and shrink that dang tumor down to nothing, absolutely nothing! Thank you so much for your encouragement it means the world. 🙂

  2. I was looking at a song and then read your blog. The word overwhelmed came up and it reminded me just how overwhelming the Lord is. “I melt in Your peace, it’s overwhelming.” God certainly knows the course of the path that He has paved for each one of us, and He puts things within that path that seem so unrelated. Those unrelated things have a tendency to be the pivotal points within our journeys. How marvelous is our God! At the end of the day I sit in overwhelming peace because He has done a many great things.

    Jake and Anna are blessings as are you, David and Miss Maya! That summer with everyone is one of my fondest memories and definitely one of my favorite summers. Blessings upon you today. I love reading how God is challenging you, opening your heart and growing you. Love you dear friend!

    • Kels, oh Kels! That summer was absolutely so much fun! It’s something I think back on when I think of Oregon and our old house… Game nights, movie nights, cooking nights… All such great times with you all. Love who you are and am eager to see how God will continue to use you for his glory! xoxo 🙂

  3. Pingback: Much More | Urban Hallelujah

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