Announcing the newest member of the Keith family....my first grandchild, Avery Jay Bernhardt. He came into this world 5 weeks early on Monday, November 8, 2010 weighing a whopping 6 lbs. 2 oz. He measured 19 inches in length. The most important question of all is...what will I be called? My name shall be Grammy because I will be award winning. Now this may sound proud, but aren't you supposed to be proud of your grand-babies?
His proud parents are, Billy, my son-in-law and Lindsay, my daughter. The timing of his arrival was what caught us all off guard. His daddy was stuck in Arizona waiting for a plane home. I was stuck on a cruise ship about to set sail to the Caribbean. His mommy was stuck at home alone.
Now that I have set the scene...let me tell you about the God moments in this birth. Lindsay had the child in three hours, without pain medications. God sent an angel nurse by the name of Sarah that helped her through her first birthing experience. Billy arrived about an hour after the actual birth. Avery was born with no huge health issues...and that is truly a miracle when you think about all of the risks that can happen with premature babies. I praise God for all of those details working out.
But for me, it was a hard faith time. I was in the middle of the Caribbean on a ship going the opposite direction of where my family was expanding and I had NO cell service. Believe me, as a mom, you want to be present at your daughter's birth experience, especially her first child and my first grandchild. This is was and continues to be a major life event. So it is understandable that I had a major mommy meltdown once I got the phone call about Lindsay going into the hospital. I felt so alone....and didn't understand why God had allowed that to happen at that time on that day, five weeks early.
In retrospect, I can see now where God gave me five "God" moments on that ship. I realize that it was His best for our family. Well....that's what I cling to. My human mind can't absorb His reasons really.
1. Compassion. To comfort me he sent Jenny Simmons from Addison Road to give me encouragement. It was like we were sisters in the same family. She talked with me, understood me, listened to me, hugged me and to told me it was going to be ok. She talked me off the edge of the ship so to speak. She made me see past my personal pain and look for God's purpose in the timing of everything.
2. Association. God sent three House FM couples from Maud, OK who embraced me in prayer and allowed me to hang out with them thus becoming my instant family aboard. Thanks Christy & Ed, Carrie & Steven and Lanetta & Randall. Your prayers and friendship mean the world to me. I was bonded to you in my glue of adversity and you were a strong shoulder to lean on.
3. Consideration. God worked in my son Shayne as he was the home anchor of communication to family and to us as cell service was sketchy and unpredictable at best. It reminded me of day of Lindsay & Bill's wedding when he gave me that "No-worries-Mom-I-always-am-here-for-you-hug". Tender moments, tender memories.
4. Inspiration. God provided the right music through the concerts on the Music Boat, at just the right time to encourage me and focus on Him. With those lyrics I was able remember His love, His grace, His mercy and through it all He helped me take the next faith step.
5. Restoration. God proved that even though there was the family separation of 1700+ miles, there was no separation of feeling His presence. Since returning home I have gotten to to visit my new little grand baby. I have been able to love and hug that cute and precious little boy like a Grammy should.
When has God allowed a faith exercise in your life and how did he bring you through?