Seventy years are given to us! Some even live to eighty. But even the best years are filled with pain and trouble; soon they disappear, and we fly away. (Psalm 90:10, NLT)
She made her entrance early into this world, weighing all of 2 pounds, 12 ounces.
Tiny premature babies face giant hurdles.
But this was 1936. There were no NICUs, no incubators, no supplemental oxygen.
There were only prayers. And the will to survive.
Her hand was the size of her father’s thumb nail, and her entire body fit in the palm of his hand. They brought her home from the hospital in a shoe box. There were no car seats in 1936, either.
But the hand of God was upon her. She survived.
The first five years of her life were rough. Bitter New York winters brought annual bouts of pneumonia, and frequent hospitalizations.
But she was a fighter. Strong-willed, like her dad.
She grew stronger, and then she grew up. Graduated from high school and business school. Got married. Had three kids.
She loved variety and change. The life of a military wife suited her well. Except for that one dark year when her husband was far away, in harm’s way. But her Creator reached through the darkness, took her by the hand, and called her by name. She began to call Him, “Savior.”
Her kids grew up, and had kids of their own. She enjoyed traveling, especially if it took her near the coast, her favorite place to be. And those early prayers for her survival were now paid forward, as she became a faithful prayer warrior, interceding for others.
But always, there was that pesky shortness of breath. She accepted it as normal. She had just learned to live with it.
When she was in her early seventies, doctors discovered a hole in her heart. Congenital. From birth.
The hole was successfully patched in a procedure that was developed for newborns with the same defect. The doctor remarked that he had never performed the procedure on an adult before, much less a woman in her seventies!
But that’s my mom. She’s tough. A survivor.
Tomorrow that premature baby with a hole in her heart will turn 80.
Her life is a miracle. She is special–to God, her family, and all who know her.
Of course, the aging process can present its own challenges. As my dear paternal grandmother used to say, “Old age isn’t for sissies.” (She lived to be 98.)
But GOD never ages or changes. The One who brought her through eight decades of life will continue to be faithful to her–and to us.
Even to your old age I will be the same, And even to your graying years I will bear you! I have done it, and I will carry you; And I will bear you and I will deliver you. (Isaiah 46:4, NAS)
What a precious promise, spoken from the tender heart of a good Father. He who created us will carry us, every single day of our lives. “From life’s first cry, to final breath…”* He will remain. He will sustain.
So Happy Birthday, Mom.
Your life IS a miracle life, nurtured and sustained by the gracious Giver of Life.
You really shouldn’t be here, you know.
But we’re so very thankful to God that you are.
* Lyrics from “In Christ Alone,” by Stuart Townend.