Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Dedication: I almost missed it

Sabbath, July 5, 2014 we had Edmund dedicated at the Livingston Fellowship church. My father and brother were there to stand up with us.

I have to admit that I did not expect to be emotional about it at all.  I thought it would just be a happy event with smiles and no tears.  And it was a happy event.  But there were tears too.  At least for me.

John Cook did the dedication and prayer of dedication, but before that he shared a few Bible verses.

Deuteronomy 6:5-9
 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.

As soon as John said Deuteronomy 6:5 I looked at Matthew.  

That is the verse we had chosen for Edmund's Bible verse.  We chose it no knowing John would use it, and he didn't know that it was special to us.  This is just one of the many ways God shows His love and presence in our lives.

These are the other two verses.

Matthew 18:2-6
 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. 

Mark 10:13-16
13 People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. 14 When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 16 And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.

Before the prayer of dedication John asked Matthew and I three questions.
Do you as parents confirm your commitment to a surrendered life in Jesus Christ?
By God's grace will you raise your child in the love and truth of Jesus our Lord and Savior?
Do you dedicate your child into the hand of our compassionate Almighty God, desiring His glorious will for Edmund's life?

As John asked those questions I felt this feeling overwhelm me, This almost wasn't me.  I almost wasn't here to say, "Yes!" to these questions.

There was a time in high school where I was sure that though God existed, He did not care about me, and so I did not care about Him.  But through the loving faith of others I saw His love for me and began on a new journey to know Him.

Standing there, holding Edmund with Matthew's hand on my waist I felt all I would have missed. My relationship with Matthew began because of our individual relationships with God and wanting to serve Him. Our marriage is loving and strong today because we kept committing ourselves to God even in the hard times- and we still do. We have Edmund because we prayed for God's will for us in having a family and God said, "Yes!"

Then John asked the church family these questions:
Will you join in dedicating this precious child to our gracious God?
Will you love encourage and nurture and pray for this family?
Will you assist in working toward a future day when this child and all our children  will by God's grace make a personal decision for Jesus and for baptism?

Beyond just my amazing family of Edmund and Matthew I would have missed my church family.  When I think of those in the church that are more than family to me, my heart swells.  They are ones who have been Jesus' hands and feet in my life, in my marriage, and now there are some who are joining to partner up with Matthew and I as we raise Edmund for God.

This almost wasn't me.  But it is.  By God's amazing grace it is.  I almost missed out on all this.

Sabbath, September 20, 2014 we had Edmund dedicated at Cookeville SDA church.  The White's were there to celebrate with us.  And Edmund was awake this time.

It is an amazing thing to dedicate your child to God, and to me the most amazing part is that there is this whole body of believers standing up next to you joining you in praying for your child to have a personal walk with Jesus and will be the village to help you do that.

I love this little boy.  He is teaching me about God's love for me.  I'm so thankful.  So incredibly thankful that I said Yes! to Jesus all those years ago and didn't let bitterness take away all the joy that was to come.