“From birth I was cast on you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God.” Psalm 22:10 (NIV)
Dedicate: to devote wholly to a purpose or cause; commit wholeheartedly or unreservedly; to set apart for a deity or for sacred uses; consecrate
Today is our 1st marriage anniversary! This last year has been packed full of all kinds of experiences. In a nutshell, this was our last year: Got married, bought a house, new job for Jessica, new baby niece, surgery for Timmy, new puppy, dead car, another surgery for Timmy, new car, lost friends, gained friends, positive pregnancy test, grandpa died, birthdays, holidays, vacation, concerts and mixed in through all of that included lots of doctor and dental appointments, the typical money issues (“we’re broke…we’re less broke…we’re broke again”), the new journey of our baby, and a constant reliance on God and growth in Him, sometimes growing like a weed and sometimes like a cactus.
We have chosen to dedicate ourselves to each other, and through all of those experiences, there is no one else in the world I’d rather have them with. So, while it looks like the coming year will also be full of experiences, both thrilling and painful, I’m so excited that I, again, get to have all these new ones with my Timmy.
And speaking of dedication…yesterday was a baby dedication at our church. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this, basically parents (typically of newborns) make a promise in front of the church to raise their children in a way that is pleasing to God, with Christian morals and values.
I believe I have already mentioned this, but when I first found out I was pregnant, I immediately prayed God would use me and this baby to His glory. In fact, it took me several months to even say “my baby” or “our baby” because I felt so strongly that this is God’s baby. So during the dedication yesterday, I found myself with my hands on my belly making the same commitment that the families in front of me were making. I felt it was important because we don’t know how long we’ll get with this child. Tim and I have decided that no matter how long we get, this child belongs to the Lord.
Appropriately, the sermon yesterday was about Hannah and her son Samuel in the book of 1 Samuel in the Old Testament. In a nutshell, this woman Hannah desperately wanted children, but was not conceiving. She prayed and prayed and prayed some more and finally she got pregnant. She was thrilled, of course and she named the baby Samuel, “because I asked the Lord for him.” She decided to dedicate her son to the work of the Lord, which back in that day kinda meant she sent him to spiritual boarding school at the temple. And Samuel grew in the Lord and went on to do wonderful things. And Hannah was blessed with a houseful of kids.
“I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.” And he worshiped the Lord there. 1Samuel 1:27-28
A few things stood out to me about this lesson. First, Hannah’s dedication to prayer. She prayed constantly that God would give her a child and He did, but in His time. The waiting I’m sure was terribly painful for Hannah, but the payoff was probably so joyful she could hardly contain herself. So, if you’re currently waiting for something, answers, babies, a husband, a job or whatever, keep praying for it because God hears you and I pray that soon you are blessed with the desires of your heart just as Hannah was. Second, Hannah’s dedication to God. She immediately recognized that her child was a gift and that he belonged to God. I believe all children are gifts from God. They are blessings that we cannot earn. Tim and I are making the choice, as Hannah did (but without the Nazirite vow), to take the blessings that God gives us and use them for His glory. And I hope we make Him proud!
Here are some of the dedications I’m choosing to make and/or continue to keep:
1. A dedicated prayer life.
2. Dedication to trusting God’s plan for my life, even when I don’t understand it or it’s painful.
3. Dedication to my husband of my life, my love, my body, and everything else.
4. Dedication to raising my children in the Christian faith.
I hope and pray as Tim and I continue to grow through this experience that our dedications will grow and expand as well.