We were on our way to our 20 week check-up. It was the appointment where we would get to find out – boy or girl. There were mixed emotions and hopes as we arrived – a buddy for our Isaac would be fun; the prospect of a mini-me…would be scary. Will they be able to tell? Would Chris cry? How would I respond? The ultrasound was underway and amidst an amazing display of technology (giving us a sneak peek of the little one inside me)…the technician remained silent. Asked if we wanted to know…the word ‘girl’ poured over the room in a crashing wave. Chris teared up – my mind raced – a baby girl. We smiled, we giggled…the tech remained silent. We were soon escorted into an office where we were met with the very somber face of an often jovial man. I have no clue what all he said in the moment – I only captured phrases like ‘never seen this before’, ‘cannot see crucial organs’, ‘unsure of survival’ and then we were escorted out a back door so no one would see me crying. No other answers would come for over a week, where after a more in-depth ultrasound, we were given the option to abort. Shocked that we declined, doctors gave us an unsure ending to this pregnancy. That is when my Christopher assured me that whether here on Earth or in heaven – we had been blessed to be called to be her parents and love her always. Peace washed over and trust in an unknown began. It was all just a matter of time.
As the weeks passed…the Lord moved, He healed, and 13 years ago – today – a beautiful, determined, passionate, strong-willed, dramatic, artistic, big-hearted and healthy baby girl entered this world – forever rocking mine.
For a large majority of her childhood, Lacie has been a fighter. She fought being loved. She fought herself and the poor choices a poor attitude often brought her. She fought any and all figures of authority. Wrong someone she loved, however, and that fight would become deeply personal. From her earliest days I have been confident that the spiritual warfare that so engrossed my baby girl was because Satan was scared witless by her. He has come at her thoughts, her attitude and her heart mercilessly over these last 13 years because he knew that if she decided to cling to Jesus…then Satan was in trouble because all that fight would be directed his way. Only it wasn’t a matter of if but when – yes, it too was just a matter of time. Just a few days ago, Lacie sent the following message to me – something she had written and sent to encourage the girls in her small group. Something she sent to encourage me and something she has given me permission to now send to encourage you.
“So I have been thinking a lot recently, and mostly about time. Like time on earth, and the time I get to spend with people – you know just time. Also recently I have discovered how much I miss my papa which brought me to this thinking of time. So I looked and I saw that wow I’m almost 13. What happened to the 13 years I have been on this earth? Sure there are memories, but it went by so fast. As I said we only live here for this amount of time . So I experimented. I drew all day yesterday, and before I knew it – it was dark. Time had gone by so fast. I went downstairs and my brother asked me to play with him but I said no. Then my dad told me to play with him for at least 5 minutes – so I did. Before I knew it we were in a nerf gun war and even dad joined in. It was awesome! I hit dad in the head MULTIPLE times – great! After we cleaned up, I couldn’t help but say how fun it is to play with these people. If dad didn’t stop me- I wouldn’t have had such an amazing time.
Time…. TIME! That’s when I saw it! Wednesday we were coming home from FUSE I had asked for ice cream (because I’m obsessed with the stuff) but dad said no because we needed to eat first. So I said ok and closed my eyes. When I opened them we were at Sonic and was like…what!?! He asked me what I would like and he got it for me.
Time…. love… I realized how much I am loved by my mom who was there for every performance. She rushed from a airport just to see me on stage. Dad gave me ice cream even though he had said no. He wakes me up every morning to run. He always says nice things about me even when I’m a mess. I feel guilty. I feel like I don’t do enough to show them I love them. But realization comes over me that they DO know I love them – because it shows.
Time, love,…. music! A song! One of my favorites says “how you live to how you die love is sacrifice. Let my life be the proof, the proof of your love” Love is sacrifice. Dad sacrificed his money to give me ice cream. He sacrifices time from watching a movie to playing with us instead. Mom sacrifices her time just so that she can give me a hug or talk to me. All this made me realize that time is precious. It goes by so fast and if you don’t do something about it…. soon someone you love will be gone… your best friend will be gone… your time to spend time with others gone. It will all be gone if you don’t get off your phone when people want to talk to you. It will gone when you don’t pay attention in class and you get a bad grade. It will be gone when you start your project and finish it last minute. You wasted time. And then later on you will regret it. Gosh I wish I had gotten off the computer to talk to papa more – if only I had more time. NO! I did have time I just made that decision – that’s on me! In Hamilton! Elisa took her time to tell his story when he died- she stopped wasting time!
People, seriously take the time to go tell your family how much you love them. Take the time to play with your brothers or your dog! Take the time to spread the word because that is why God put us on this earth in the first place!!!TAKE THE TIME RIGhT NOW!!!! Because before you know it….. it will be gone… time will run out one day…. and then you will think – did you do enough? You know, did you spread the word until you can’t breath anymore? Did you serve God’s purpose? Please look now because later you are going to look back and say wow what happened, I’m already 50 and I’ve wasted so much time! Take the time to love on people otherwise it will be too late and I know how that feels! I feel the regret!!! So I now know I can’t make the same mistake! Soon and I don’t know when but my grandma will die, my “Grandma Grape” will die and many others – so I need to use my time, sacrifice my time, to give it to others. Others who can’t see the good, who can’t see that they are running out of time!!! I’m serious! Don’t. Waste. Time. It’s too precious. You must do something now before it’s too late! So what are you doing? GO back to school. GO back to work. GO back to your family. GO put this phone down and enjoy company while it’s here. If not, you are going to miss out on what Hof had for you and how He can use you!!! Go love on those who disrespect you. Go love on those who don’t love you back. They need your time and energy please!!!! Again it will be gone before you know it. GO!”
So, from a young lady who was first looked at as completely broken, whose very existence was in question and who many first tried to discount before she ever took her first breath…comes hope and encouragement. Yes, from a young lady who has spent the majority of the life she was given fighting anger and frustration, fighting authority and constantly questioning how God could love one like her, comes inspiration and a challenge. Yes, from my beautiful (and brand new) teenage girl, comes a reminder of what God can do, what He hopes and wants to do – if we would just give Him ourselves, our lives, and yes, our time. Her challenge here is very reminiscent of a passage out of Proverbs “How long will you lie there, you lazy person? When will you get up from sleeping? You sleep a little; you take a nap. You fold your hands and lie down to rest. So you will be as poor as if you had been robbed; you will have as little as if you had been held up.” (6:9-11) Our call is clear and our time is fleeting. If you don’t call Jesus Lord – now is the time. If you claim to be His, but aren’t loving others as He would – now is the time. If you aren’t living the life He has purposed for you – rise up – it is time. May the words of my sweet girl, and even more so the words of my gracious God – become your prayer today. “LORD, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered–how fleeting my life is. You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath,” Psalm 39:4-5 so that I might say “Here am I. Send me!” Isaiah 6:8. May this reminder call you to action today – for if a young teenage girl can rise to the occasion surely you and I can too.
This is so powerful! We are only here for a moment, and all we truly have to spend (so the real currency of our life) is our time. I like to “invest” it and not squander it. But oh how easy it is to forget!