It's my birthday! I'm turning 24 years old today. The only thing exciting that I can think of is that next year I'll be half way to 50. Which, hey, I'm not one of those millennials that thinks 50 is old so cheers to me! Plus, at 25, my car insurance (supposedly) goes down. And that's ALWAYS something to celebrate. Anywho.... this post isn't about the ups and downs of turning a certain age. It is, however, going to talk about where is all starts- BIRTH.
I had the amazing honor of shooting my first labor and delivery session for a dear friend of mine just a couple of weeks ago. My sister had to have a c-section with my niece so I had never witnessed a live birth with someone that I was close to before this. LET ME TELL YOU WHAT........ I cried more than that naked baby feeling the cold air of this world for the first time did. It was an absolutely amazing experience. Breathtaking. Let me explain, though.
The way the female body is able to house a living human being for 9 months and be the sole protection and nourishment is astonishing in itself. In fact, I find the way the baby is created to be even more flabbergasting! (clearly we aren't going into detail here because we like to keep it at least PG rated but, really? that's all you have to do?! that little guy has that much power?? daaaaaang.) What really is above all else to me and the reason for this blog post is the scripture "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations." Jeremiah 1:5. Now THAT will bring someone to tears.
This precious baby that doesn't know where she is, how to communicate or understand why it's suddenly so cold in the room is now in the loving arms of her mother. Why? Because the Lord had it all planned way ahead of time. You see, the beautiful thing about this story is that this baby isn't the first born. She was born 10 years after the youngest child and 16 years after the first. No one in this family ever expected to add a new family member. The Lord works in such mysterious ways. He knows every moment of this little girl's life. Every. Single. One. He knows all the amazing accomplishments she will have and all the hardships and let downs she will experience. He knows when she will start walking and He knows the first knee scrape she is going to have. He knows if she will be an all start basketball player in the WNBA or if she will be the first female president. The Lord loves and LOVED this baby before the family even knew she was on her way.
Sometimes it's hard for us to see direction in our lives. We feel like the Lord had this amazing drawn out plan but had to erase a few things and forgot to pick the pencil back up. I've been in that place so many times. Why is this happening to me? When is this hard time going to end? What do I do next? The best way I know to answer that is to just think about your BIRTHday. In fact, think about the months and years before then. Guess what? Not only did the Lord have a plan for you, but He loved you; before you were learning to ride a bike and singing in your first talent show here on earth, He loved you.
Life gets so, so messy for so, so many of us so, so often. James 1:2-4 gives an unexpected view on these hardships "(2) Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. (3) For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. (4) So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing." The way I see this is that troubled times in your life can produce an abundance of joy... spending time with the Lord and seeking what he wants you to do is exciting!
Look. My photography business did not just land in my lap. Not only did I leave one job in faith, I left two! There was a small part of me that was worried but the majority was excited to just follow the Lord's guidance. Literally every single day was an adventure with Him. I've had some amazing ups and some serious downs in this journey. Recently, though, I've really recognized the importance of reflecting back on that Jeremiah scripture. I hear Him say "Cheyenne, I love you. I loved you before anyone else. I love you more than anyone else. Trust me. I've got this. Let me carry your burdens".
I just want to send encouragement out there to anyone and everyone reading this. Before the Lord ever formed you, He loved you. Just meditate on that. Remember it.
Cheyenne (almost Carter) Freeman