I have been going to church for as long as I remember. When I was young, I remember being one of the first to arrive and one of the last to leave. My mom was a music pastor, and we were always involved in everything. We were there every time the doors opened. I was a “good” pastors kid, who loved Jesus.
It wasn’t until I was a senior in high school that I realized Jesus wanted my heart. Not just the good parts, but all of me. It wasn’t about what I was “supposed” to believe or being a “good” person, it was about having a personal relationship with Jesus. Since then, my relationship with the Lord has grown by leaps and bounds.
On October 13-14, I went to the first annual Moms in the Making Conference in Dallas, Texas. The Lord spoke to my heart in huge ways. Ways that I am still processing. One of the biggest eye opening moments for me, was realizing all the lies I had allowed to creep into my heart.
I have never doubted that Jesus loves me or that He is good. However, after years of struggling with infertility and after losing two babies, I left room for lies to root in my heart. It’s actually hard for me to admit, because it sounds so funny when I type it, but I had allowed myself to believe that maybe Jesus didn’t love me as much as He loves everyone else. I felt like maybe, just maybe, I was the terrible stereotype step-child. Sure, I was loved, but not as much as the children who were blood.
That lie started to break down when the worship team played a song called Reckless Love by Bethel Music. The verse starts with:
“Before I spoke a word
You were singing over me
You have been so, so
good to me”
Tears instantly started falling down my face. Jeremiah 1:5 says before we formed, the Lord knew us by name. I have known that verse my entire life, but thinking about the Lord singing over me, before I was formed is something else. The God who created the entire universe, who keeps the earth spinning, who holds the seas in place and who controls the wind… celebrated me even before I was formed.
The chorus continues:
“Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
Oh, it chases me down, fights ’til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine
I couldn’t earn it
I don’t deserve it
Still You give yourself away
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God”
I loved the words of this chorus, but the complete meaning really didn’t hit me until I got home. What does “leaves the ninety-nine” really mean? In Luke 15, Jesus shares several parables. The first, in verses 3-7 describes a shepherd who would leave ninety-nine sheep behind, just to find one. It’s not because he doesn’t care for the ninety-nine, it is because he loves the one so much he can’t possibly imagine life without it. That little sheep didn’t do anything for the shepherd to look for it, the shepherd simply loves it just the way it is. It may sound crazy, maybe even reckless, for a shepherd to leave ninety-nine sheep behind just to find one… but that’s how Jesus loves us. He would give anything… ANYTHING… for me.
The bridge of the song continues:
“There’s no shadow You won’t light up
Mountain You won’t climb up
Coming after me
There’s no wall You won’t kick down
No lie You won’t tear down
Coming after me”
Luke 15:8-10 describes a woman who turns her house upside down because she lost one of ten coins. Imagine if you were given ten $20 bills for your birthday. If you lost one of the $20’s, you wouldn’t stop looking until you found it. The Lord loves us just like that. It doesn’t matter how many children He has, he would continue looking for me. No darkness, no mountain, no wall, no ocean, no lie will keep Him from coming for me.
This shook me to my core. We aren’t facing infertility because somehow the Lord loves us less. Jesus loves Dan and I more than we can imagine. He didn’t call us to struggle through infertility. It is His design that we would be fruitful!
When we got home from the conference on Sunday, I was unpacking all of the wonderful gifts that I had received at the conference, and I pulled out this pen. Dan had been at the conference with me (working behind the scenes and running sound) and he joked how he really liked the pen, but would feel funny using a pen that said “Moms in the Making”. I told him that he should have gotten one anyways, and then we moved on.
I had honestly forgotten all about the conversation about the pen until Monday at lunch. I went home, checked our mail, laid it on our buffet and started making my lunch like I do everyday. When Dan got home, he checked the mail and then started laughing. This pen had arrived:
The same exact pen with Dan’s name on it. The same exact style and the same exact color. It may seem like a silly thing, but this pen completely undid me. Although I had been helping with the conference planning, I hadn’t really been involved in picking out the pen. I actually didn’t even know what the final product looked like until after it had arrived at our founders house. There was no way this company could have gotten our address or my name, let alone Dan’s name!
Getting this pen in the mail was a reminder that the Lord sees Dan and I. He loves us, and wants us to have the desires of our hearts… even something as small as a pen.
Also, the timing of receiving this pen is so special. If we would have gotten this pen a week earlier, it would have never meant what it did. God is ALWAYS on time.