13 November 2007

Thankful for Protection

Evangeline & Elianna Ray wearing their (RED) shirts!

Every time I hear Carrie Underwood's incredibly over-played but still very powerful "Jesus Take the Wheel" I well up with tears. The kids lovingly mock me for being such a sap (I cry at everything - greeting cards, Hallmark commercials, Adoption Stories, weddings, baby dedications, graduations, you name it), saying, "Quick! Get the tissues! Mama heard someone got their adoption referral! Here comes the flood!" but, they love it when the tears of joy or pride are for them! That song came out when I was pregnant with Evangeline, and worrying about her health and safety every day and having to give that fear to God on a daily basis. So, it still makes me weep every single time I hear it because it reminds me of how grateful I am for the Lord's hand of protection that surrounds us every moment of every day, even when we're not aware of it.

You are my hiding place;
You will protect me from trouble
and surround me with songs of deliverance." Psalm 32: 7

When I was about 8 months pregnant with Evangeline my new car was stolen. Marg and I were out on a girl date in Newport Beach. We had gotten our hair and nails done, had lunch, gone shopping, and then we met the boys at the movie theatre. The back of my car was filled to the brim with fall clothes and shoes for the kids, a few Christmas gifts (getting a jump on shopping before the baby came), a stroller and infant car seat still in boxes, and I had just picked up Evangeline's custom-made crib bumper, crib skirt, and window coverings for the nursery.

At the movies, like all preggoes I had to go to the bathroom every 15 minutes and missed the end of the movie. Michael called me on my cell in the bathroom and said, "What happened? Are you OK? Where are you? Did you leave?" I couldn't figure out why he was so worried until he said that my car was gone. Bummer! The police officer who took our report said that Fashion Island had been having a rash of car thefts by a very sophisticated East LA gang that the FBI had been tracking for months. Very likely the car jackers had watched us drive up and had stolen the car and disabled the OnStar system within minutes. My first thought was, "Thank Jesus that we weren't IN the car when they stole it!" Everything we lost was easily replaced. It was just stuff.

Anyone who knows Michael knows that his guardian angel works overtime when he's driving his little Porsche, Brigitta, like the proverbial bat. More than that though, he also helps guys who've been in gangs, ex-cons of violent crimes, and drug addicts get back on their feet. Most of these men end up doing very well, walking the straight and narrow, going to church, staying in a clean-living facility, and eventually going on to renting their first apartment, or even buying their first car or home. Although it's been a wonderful privilege for him, sometimes Michael has ended up with a large, dangerous, drugged-out scary guy not very happy with him. The Lord has been so gracious to us and protected him in every way, praise GOD!

So many other situations come to mind: Marg has been bucked off her horse several times and never suffered anything worse than a sore tail bone. Ricker, a few years ago kicked a beehive and was swarmed (We stopped counting his sting marks after 25.) and lived to tell the tale. Jackie seemed determined to drown himself at the beach when he was little. I pulled him out of the surf countless times sputtering sand and salt water. And Elianna Ray came home from Ethiopia 100% healthy!

Today I'm reminded to be thankful for God's sovereign protection, that He is "at the wheel". Now, tell me you don't shed a tear of gratefulness over that, too!


emily said...

What a great post my friend! I cry easily too:) We would be a sight to see at The Notebook (insert many other titles here)together!!

Have you seen a preview for August Rush? cry each and every time it comes on....can't wait to see it next week.

Julie_JoshB said...

thank you so much for your note! so encourging. i think your daughter is soooooooooooooo gorgeous...i have been stalking your blog! :) how long did u wait for your referral?