One of my favorite stories in the Old Testament is that of Hannah, a once barren woman who prayed faithfully to the Lord to bless her with a son. Her account is recorded in 1 Samuel ch. 1.
Hannah said to the Lord, "O LORD Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant's misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the LORD for all the days of his life." (vs. 11)
The LORD remembered Hannah and she conceived and gave birth to a son and named him Samuel, which means "Because I asked the LORD for him." (vs. 19-20)
And as she committed, when Samuel was weaned, she took him to the house of the LORD and presented Samuel to the LORD. While there, Hannah spoke to Eli, a Jewish high priest and said, "I prayed for this child and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD." (vs. 24-28) After this Hannah prayed a beautiful prayer (1 Samuel ch. 2).
What a testimony of God's graciousness to reward Hannah for her faithfulness. Children are a gift from the Lord and it is clear that Hannah grasped what a gift she had been given in Samuel. God entrusts children to us as parents while we live here on earth. But Dustin and I know full well that Madison Grace belonged to the Lord before she was born to us. He knew her before He formed her in "the secret place" of my womb (Psalm 139:15) where she was fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14).
For this reason Dustin and I know that dedicating Madison to the Lord is a demonstration of our understanding that she belongs to the Lord first and that we commit our lives to teaching her the ways of the Lord while we have her this short time on earth.
This Sunday, at our church, Stevens Street Baptist, Dustin and I will stand before hundreds of people who have been praying for Madison long before she ever arrived, and dedicate her to the Lord. It will be a time of great joy for us as her parents but we know that her dedication is meant to challenge us to "train up our child in the way she should go, so that when she is old she will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6
On Sunday, in a small way, I believe I will feel like Hannah did. Having a baby had long been the desire of my heart when the Lord finally blessed us with Madison. Just as Hannah, I had prayed for this child and the LORD granted me what I asked of Him. And that is why will we dedicate her on Sunday.
I look forward to Sunday with great anticipation as we share such a blessed day with our family and church family. Those of you who read our blog that are not a part of our church family, let me remind you of something Dustin said in a past blog:
Family goes beyond being blood relatives. If you have ever cried for Madison, prayed for our family, brought us a meal, traveled to Nashville or Cookeville to see us, or met any need we had, you are family. We have been provided for by hundreds of our family members. We love each and every one of you!
So while many of you will not be present on Sunday to witness Madison's dedication to the Lord, we will still be sharing the day with you. Thank you for your continued prayers for our little family. Know that you are loved and prayed for in return.
Can't wait to post pictures of Sunday's occasion. I know I will be one proud momma!