In the Father’s Hands

26 Mar

In the Father's Hands.

Little L.A.M.B. (Lucy Autry Maria’ Brown)

26 Mar

Little L.A.M.B. (Lucy Autry Maria' Brown).

In the Father’s Hands

25 Mar

Lucy and Carrie

Philip and Carrie have been in the hospital for over 50 days now.  50 days of hospital food, 50 days of beeping monitors, 50 days of an endless stream of posts and visitors and calls.  Everyone eagerly watching, waiting, wanting news about the birth and life of this miracle baby.  I am reminded of the wise men as they eagerly waited news of the one they had heard about for years.

Numbers and stats have become a way of life for Carrie and Philip and for us and for anyone who is anxiously watching this story as it unfolds.  In the midst of all these stats, here’s one I like to cling to and one I know they cling to as well: 100%, never lost a battle, always the victor, never defeated, always redeemed.  Yeah, I think I’ll take those odds. Even when our finite thinking has left us grappling for answers, we can still boldly and confidently echo the sentiments of two of my favorite people.  “God is Good All the Time.”  Many know (some do not) Lucy is not Carrie and Philip’s first baby girl.  Carleigh Gayle was my first little niece.  Simply put, she was born much too early.  As a family, we have wondered why she is not growing up surrounded by loving uncles and aunts and cousins. And just for the record, God does not fault us for our questions.  He knows how limited our thinking is.  After all, he created it to have limits and bounds.  Even today, there is no answer to the age old question of why bad things happen to good people.  In an endless search, I have found but this one thing to be a solace.  When you break your arm, knowing what caused the ligaments to tear and how they all fit together is not nearly as important as knowing what can make the agonizing pain stop.  Carrie and Philip and everyone on the fringes of that battle found the healing balm to make the pain stop: the surpassing love of Christ and the peace that passes all understanding.  I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I will never forget the day Philip spoke at Carleigh’s memorial service.  Without a tremor in his voice, he said, “Even if we had been given 85 years with her it would have been small in light of eternity.  It was a small amount of time, but we are thankful even for that small time because it was long enough to see that God is Good All the Time.”  I wish to God that we could all view the loan of parenthood in this same vain. What courage, what strength!  That day he understood what so few do. The love we have for God and the love he has for us is too great to be defined by our circumstances (good or bad).  I have never been prouder of Philip than I was that day.

If we look through scripture, it’s not hard to see that sometimes THE LAMB is returned to the father and sometimes THE LAMB is nailed to the cross. Unfair some might say?  Not so. In either instance, THE LAMB is never defeated.  The only defeat that exists is in the perspective of the spectators. As I have prayed and searched the scriptures these some months, I have come to realize that Lucy Lamb’s birth is a type of resurrection.  Even in 19 short days, she is being used by God to resurrect hope and joy and belief in the hearts of so many men and women. 

A couple of days ago, I saw the most beautiful picture of Carrie holding Lucy.  It could have been the softness of the image, but I think it had more to do with the clarity of the vision.  You’d be hard pressed to find a clearer picture of redemption and love than was rendered in that photo.  God quickened my spirit with a profound truth. That’s exactly how we look to God.  We are but a tiny, innocent LAMB resting in the presence of his mighty palm.  He delights in us and beams with pride at the reflection he sees.  It is a piece of himself.  He knows how helpless and fragile we are, but he also knows we are soothed by the sound of his voice.  He is faithful to comfort us in good times and bad times.  Carrie and Philip are not pilgrims down the path of comfort.  Their faith has been tried and tested in the fire of adversity time and time again.  In rocks and cracks and dark days, they have bent their faces like flint towards the rock of God’s sovereign grace and have yelled into the echoing caverns “God is Good All the Time.”  It’s no wonder their Daddy is smiling as he looks at them in His Hands.  He knows where their loyalty lies.  To Him Alone.  Thank you Lucy for preaching one of the greatest messages this world has ever heard without even uttering your first word. Even in a very tiny body, you are a mighty instrument in the hand of an even mightier God.  I love you so much.

Aunt Carrie 

Little L.A.M.B. (Lucy Autry Maria’ Brown)

19 Mar

This blog is dedicated to telling the story of my special niece’s birth.  To say she is my niece is a bit of a false statement.  She is actually my very tiny, very precious, cousin, but I like to call her my niece because my uncle, Philip Brown, (my mother’s brother) seems more like my brother than my uncle.  A facebook page has been dedicated to Prayers for Lucy.  After talking with Philip and Carrie, I decided to start a blog to give all the (300 and counting) followers a little more information, not about her status or condition but rather about the miraculous journey surrounding her birth and life.  I also wanted to provide a tangible gift to Lucy for when she is older.  I wanted her to know that her Aunt Care Bear (Carrie Bell) loved her and wanted to record her life even when it was still very young and small.  I also want to provide readers with a glimpse of the special family that is the Browns.  I have been a part of this family my entire life, and because of this, I have become rather conditioned to the extraordinary quality of it.  However, in moments of adversity and struggle, as we are accustomed to in this family, I am reminded of what serves as the glue that holds us together.  It is the presence of God that binds us together: sisters and brothers, aunts and uncles, friends and coworkers, cousins and nieces.  Thank you for becoming a part of our family throughout this trial.

Still loving her pacifier: a family tradition

Still loving her pacifier: a family tradition

From the beginning Philip and Carrie’s mantra has been “God is good all the time.”  This is easy to say in the sunshine and glory.  It’s tougher to say when tubes and wires and looming clouds hang near the life of your 2lb 7 oz baby girl. Yet, in the cloud, we cling not to what we see, but rather to the promise of the rainbow: God’s covenant of protection.  He will sustain Philip and Carrie, and he will sustain life even in the flood.  This is a big ark, and we are so glad you have stepped on it.  In here, you will find THE LAMB.  Carrie and Philip have shared their story time and time again, but for those less familiar, they have said but one thing they have sought: That God might be glorified and uplifted.  Emphatically, I would say that he is, but you be the judge. “God is Good All the Time.”

I love you so much, Lucy. -Your Aunt Care Bear