Sadey was born with a congenital abnormality in her right ear, the full extent of which we don’t yet know. The condition is called Microtia, which literally means “little ear”. Basically her ear is underdeveloped. When I first learned about it I was a bit surprised, but I’ve never seen it as a problem. Yet if Todd had been born with the same abnormality, I’m not sure that I could have been so easygoing about it because of my frame of mind at the time. For Sadey, her special ear is simply a part of who she is. One day when she was only a couple of weeks old, I was thinking about Psalm 139:13-15 where it says,
13For You did form my inward parts; You did knit me together in my mother's womb.
14I will confess and praise You for You are fearful and wonderful and for the awful wonder of my birth! Wonderful are Your works, and that my inner self knows right well.
15My frame was not hidden from You when I was being formed in secret [and] intricately and curiously wrought [as if embroidered with various colors] in the depths of the earth [a region of darkness and mystery]. (AMP)
As I was considering the passage, it occurred to me that Sadey’s ear wasn’t perfect according to my understanding of the word. God showed me that as He was knitting her ear He stopped before it was “completed” and said, “That’s perfect. Perfect for My purposes.” Then He reminded me of the man born blind that Jesus healed. The disciples asked Him why the man was born that way. Jesus told them, “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him.” (John 9:3 NLT). The man was born that way so that God could be glorified. God showed me that the same is true for Sadey. More recently He also showed me that we should always expect to receive from Him, but we should let Him decide what we are going to receive. I didn’t know how God would use Sadey’s ear for His glory. He could’ve chosen to miraculously heal her, He may have used doctors, or the ear may have remain as it was, but either way God would use her life and testimony to bring glory to Himself. By the grace of God I’ll always have faith for her healing, but I will accept whatever He has for us. (God has given me more clarity on this in the last couple of months, but I’ll share more about that later.) Before Sadey was born I was given prophetic words (I Corinthians 12:10) that she will be a leader and she will bring peace and joy with her. God has already started fulfilling this promise. I can’t wait to see just how God will work all of this out as we continue to move forward.
Another thing that God has shown me lately is that there is a difference between hurt and offense. Hurt will happen to us as long as we live on this earth. On the other hand, being offended is a choice (Psalm 119:165, James 1:19). No matter who they are people are not perfect, and they will hurt us (James 3:2). Sometimes we hurt ourselves because of our own poor choices. We have an enemy who wants to destroy us. We live in a fallen world and circumstances will take place that are out of our control. Even God hurts us sometimes when He needs to. He is our Father. Because He loves us He disciplines us (Proverbs 3:11-12, Hebrews 12:5-7), and discipline usually hurts. The thing is, it hurts Him, too. When people hurt us we can either choose to be offended or to forgive (Proverbs 17:9, 18:19, Matthew 18:35, Luke 11:4, 17:4, Colossians 3:13, I Peter 4:8). When we reap the consequences of our actions we can choose to be offended and to play the victim role or we can accept what we’ve got coming. When the enemy attacks us we can choose to ask “Why me?” or we can position ourselves to allow God to turn it into good for His glory. When we’re hurt by circumstances or God’s discipline we can either choose offense or to accept, learn and grow from what has taken place (Matthew 11:6, Luke 7:23).
This time I was able to choose acceptance rather than offense. This time I can say with Job, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.” (Job 13:15 NKJV) (Job also had a lot more to lose than I did.) Choosing to accept the circumstances that present themselves at any given time enables me to hear from God no matter what I'm facing. I’ve allowed myself to become fully planted at Christian City Church Greensboro (c3greensboro.com) and I am flourishing (Psalm 92:12-15). I’m being freed from fear and enabled to love and be more aware of God and those around me. Everyday I'm amazed at what God is doing in my life. His blessings are awesome!