By Heather Templeton
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:4-7
We’ve been studying the names of God in this series, and it’s been something extra special to me. My mother had a list of the names of God taped to her mirror in the bathroom, so she could meditate on them every time she was getting ready for her day. I would read it often when I was in there with her, and came to find it fascinating that God had so many names with so many beautiful meanings.
The name I chose was Shalom, or The Lord is Peace. It has always been a favorite of mine.
I will tell you something … it still makes me stand in awe at times, for how wonderful the Lord is.
He just knows.
He knew that I had a special little blog working itself up in my head.
It was going to focus on the almost inevitable hustle and bustle of this holiday season that we are rapidly approaching.
And I was going to write about what greater gift to give the weary of this world, in all of their rushing and fretting, than Yahweh Shalom?
Peace tied it all together, with one giant, metaphorical Christmas bow.
But then Wednesday rolled around.
I was already a bit on edge. Our pediatricians office had called on Tuesday asking if we could move Conner’s well visit appointment from March to this Wednesday, simply because our doctor was going to be out of town in March, and they had an immediate opening.
I instantly had a strange feeling come over me, and agreed that yes, we could come in.
I hung up and prayed.
“Lord … if there is some reason why he needs to be seen tomorrow … be with us. I don’t know why I’m nervous, but please calm my heart.”
I felt calmer, and went on with my day, not really thinking much about it after that.
On Wednesday, we checked in and walked into our room, happy to see our wonderful pediatrician.
He conducted his standard check up. All looked good.
And then he listened to my boy’s heart.
And he heard a sound that was different than before.
My boy had developed a murmur.
I sat very still as he started to explain what that could mean.
It was probably nothing.
It could be caused by growth, and could very well be gone by his next checkup.
BUT … there was no guarantee.
It could be a sign of something else.
And to fully know what we were dealing with, we would need to do an echocardiogram to get a full picture of his heart.
My fear took over. I struggled to hold back the tears, and as we left the office that day, I tried to process what this was going to look like over the next few weeks.
Waiting. Praying. Hoping for a benign murmur that meant NOTHING to my Conner-boy’s overall health.
We schedule the echo next week, so we are smack dab in the middle of the waiting.
Yesterday the tears would not stop flowing.
I allowed myself to go down a path of WHAT IFS that had me sobbing uncontrollably, and I could not stop for a majority of the day.
Because this was my BOY. He had stopped breathing and we had nearly lost him at just two days old. The Lord has spared his life and brought him out of a truly terrifying start that could have meant brain damage and long term issues due to oxygen loss for an unknown period of time.
My boy was whole. He was a walking testament to the Lord’s mercy and goodness.
And now I did not know for sure if he was still whole.
I DO NOT know for sure if he is still whole. We are in the waiting.
I trust, and I pray, and I WAIT.
I focus on what I know.
I know that God is good.
I know that no matter what the outcome, Conner belongs to Jesus and JESUS loves him even more than I do.
I know that He is Shalom.
He is our Peace.
I read an article online that said it so well:
“The meaning behind Shalom goes deeper than just the absence of conflict or being calm; it further means wholeness, finished, perfection, safety and wellness. True Shalom comes when one abides with God in a covenant relationship because He alone gives complete satisfaction, fulfillment and harmony with himself and others.”
I sat very quiet while I took this in.
It was exactly what I needed, what I was praying for, what I was LONGING for.
Not just for my son’s physical well being.
But for his and my whole family’s spiritual well being.
Our walk with the Lord is the only thing that matters in this life. The love we show others, the work we do with our hands, the attitudes we take in our day to day living, the choices we make. Each and every detail of our lives springs from either a close relationship with our Creator, or a distance that is desperately trying to be filled and puttied and mended with something of this earth.
I do not know what my sweet Conner’s heart physically looks like at the moment.
But I DO know how I can take his hand, feed him the living word of God, and help shape his spiritual well being to where I know without a shadow of a doubt that he is WHOLE.
My friends, we are all broken.
Satan fights daily to use circumstances, people, actions, and uncontrollables to spiral us into a lonely place of unanswered questions. Oh how I wish I had taken that first sting of fear captive, and eradicated it with the Word of God. I wish I had kept eradicating it until I knew in the depths of my soul that the Word had penetrated that place of fear and replaced it with Shalom. With the peace and wholeness of knowing that my Creator would NOT let me go, would not let my boy go.
He is GOOD.
And I know this down to the core of my being.
So let me encourage you to run to the one who gave everything to save you. To bring you peace. To love you so deeply and so well that nothing and no one could ever pluck you out of His hand. Satan cannot reach you when you are sheltered under the wings of the most high God.
So remain there. And I will remain there.
And we will praise Him apart from any and all circumstances.
IN the wait.
Because He Is Shalom.