What is a “God thing”?
I was raised Christian. Our family went to church on Sundays. I knew the story of Moses, Noah, Adam & Eve. My sister and I went to church camp every summer. I was baptized. But I never really felt like I had a relationship with God. I felt like I was following the motions that a Christian should, but that I was missing a big piece of what it meant to be Christian. I envied people who told stories of how God spoke to them. Where was my God? Why wasn’t he speaking to me?
Growing up, a phrase my mom used all.the.time. was “it’s a God thing!” This phrase could be applied to a ton of different scenarios, but it had roughly one translation: This moment has some kind of divine intervention/this is how God is speaking to me.
Special Ways God has Spoken to Our Family
Looking back on our experiences this past year, a few scenarios stick out in my mind where I feel God was speaking to and taking care of me and my family:
- The very first craniofacial surgical team we met with was at Dell Children’s hospital in Austin. I went into this meeting prepared. I had read an entire book — Cleft Care: Family Edition — and was ready to go interview with this team. As it turns out, the nurse coordinator we were meeting with had helped write different chapters of the book! And part of the team’s mission statement even stated, “We are called to be a sign of God’s unconditional love for all and believe that all persons by their creation are endowed with dignity.” A “God thing”? My mom and I definitely thought so!
- I had an incredible birth. It wasn’t perfect. There was definitely some puking and screaming (more on this in a later post)! But it was incredible because I was surrounded by people who loved and supported me. My husband and family (obviously) but also our nurses loved on us. It really was such a special experience, and it seemed like every person who played a role in my labor and delivery was put there by God. Can you hear my mom in your head telling you it was a “God thing”? Yea me too.
- Chris and I have been really stressed about the financial strain Christian’s cleft will have on our family. Our lives these past few months have been filled with conversations about deductibles, out-of-pocket max amounts, coverage, childcare, and more. Daycares wanted to charge us more a month for Christian having “special needs”, and we were just above the maximum amount to qualify for financial help. While we’re still figuring out all the financial aspects of the coming years, we were able to get childcare figured out. Conveniently enough, we found a mom who lives a few houses down from us, who has experience with children with different needs, who loves God, and who is extremely affordable. A “God thing”? I think yes!
- Other things that have just seemed to work out include Christian’s ability to eat like it’s nobody’s business, the way she’s completely fine with her taping and NAM, interactions we’ve had with strangers who have surrounded us with love, etc. It’d be hard not to identify so much of our experiences with Christian as a “God thing”!
These are just a few examples of how God has loved on us recently. After years of feeling like I couldn’t hear or witness God communicating with me, this past year has been a blessing. God hadn’t abandoned us with the cleft diagnosis, he has been with us — and will be with us — throughout this journey.
Raising a Christian
Most importantly — this blog has felt like a “God thing”. I was really hesitant about starting Raising a Christian. Writing has always been therapeutic for me and a way I process my emotions. But the idea of sharing my personal grief scared me, and I didn’t like the thought of being so vulnerable to the world wide web. However over the past 5 or 6 years, specifically the past year, people have mentioned how I should start a blog. People, ranging from strangers on social media to close friends, were encouraging me to do something that had been on my mind for a long time. Maybe these people telling me to start a blog was a “God thing”? Well God has seriously confirmed that.
I cannot thank everyone enough for reading my blog, supporting me, and for all the encouraging words. I’ve had constant feedback from so many of y’all about this blog, and it just confirms that I feel like I’m on the path God intended for me. I love advocating for my daughter. I love spreading awareness for people who have different needs or who look different. And I love reaching women who may be going through similar experiences.
I’ve had numerous women reach out to me who are currently pregnant and have been given a cleft diagnosis for their babies. Some of them have stumbled across my blog randomly, some have been shown my instagram by a close friend, but no matter how we found each other, it’s just awesome that I can connect with these people. Thinking back to when I was pregnant with Christian, I was scared. It was devastating learning about Christian’s cleft and learning about how it would impact her physically and emotionally. The women who have reached out to me are in the exact same boat I was in. And I love hearing from them about how this blog and Christian’s story is helping them. If this blog reaches one mommy in need, then it’s a “God thing” to me!
Don’t you love when God confirms the path you’re on? Can you think of times in your life when you just knew something was a total “God thing”?