God Answers Prayer

27 years ago, I was twelve years old and in the seventh grade. My mom began getting sick, and I would find her lying on the couch when I got home from school. Then, one afternoon she came into my room while I was doing my homework and she told me she was pregnant. I was in such shock that I couldn't finish my homework that night. I realized that God was answering a prayer that I had prayed - I had asked him for another sibling. The pregnancy wasn't the easiest on Mom, and she was often very tired. Dad and I began to do the weekly grocery shopping, which I really enjoyed. He and I would come home with all kinds of extra foods that we didn't really need! Mom made all of her pregnancy dresses and continued to serve in the music ministry at church. When the day came for the birth I stayed with Momaw and Popaw, who lived next door to us. I remember Dad calling to say that we now had another GIRL! I really believed now that God does hear and answer prayer, because I had asked specifically for a sister.

27 years ago, I jumped off the school bus and ran through the orange grove up to the house. Mom was coming home from the hospital that day, and when I ran inside the house I found her sitting in the living room holding our new baby. Those first few moments of holding the baby were wonderful...almost as if she was my own.

In the years that followed I did a lot of babysitting, watched the same Disney movie repeatedly for at least 500 times, woke up in the morning to a little sister staring at me or putting stickers all over my radio, found her wearing things that I had put in the trash, found her wearing my retainer (gross!), spent countless hours listening to her singing, got really tired of her peeking under my door, fussed with her because she always wanted to do things her way, and prayed with her to receive Christ. When I got my driver's license I would take her to the Winter Haven library, the Shake shoppe and the park in downtown Auburndale, Boardwalk & Baseball, Epcot, the Magic Kingdom, and we often went shopping together too. I always thought it was funny when people would ask me if she was my daughter. I didn't think it was funny when she tipped over a store mannequin. She was always my biggest fan and she promised she would always love me no matter what. God in His wisdom knew that I needed her and she needed me.

I know God places us in families.....for a purpose, for His purposes. I am thankful for the family God has given me. If we fail to acknowledge the sovereignty of God and His wisdom, we fail to recognize the larger plan for which we were put on this earth. If we fail to love and forgive, and fail to live peacefully with one another, we miss the whole purpose of the family. I hope I will live up to His purposes so that when I see HIm face to face He can say, 'Well done." Moments shouldn't be wasted and love shouldn't be withheld....."You don't know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for little while and then vanishes away." James 4:14 Each moment together is precious.

Rachel, you are an answer to prayer. Happy Birthday.

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