Shafer celebrated his 3rd birthday with friends and family on October 15, 2012 at Mystery Dog Ranch in Ringgold, Georgia. Our little cowboy enjoyed riding horses, fishing, a hayride and lots of cake and presents. The blessing of the day overwhelmed me…
I’m realizing more and more how much sweeter life is. Every day is a cause for celebration. Baby Shafer reminds me of God’s goodness even when times are extremely hard.
Life is short…for all of us. The scriptures remind us in James 4:14 that “life is a vapor.” We are only here for a brief season. We must be more intentional to relish every moment in every day.
Regardless of what you are presently going through, it won’t last forever. So, if you are on the mountaintop and life is overflowing with good things, savor every second. The tide will turn and there will be a period in the valley. If you are just barely holding on right now and you are in the middle of your midnight, know too, that this will pass. However, I want to challenge you not to wish your life away. I think it is only human to want life to be good (isn’t that the slogan, “Life is Good!”), yet I have seen the Lord do more miracles around sick beds and prison cells than celebratory times of accomplishment and/or wedding bells.
God meets us in the hard places of our lives so He can provide peace and comfort to soften our hearts and soothe our souls.
As I reflect on those perilous days when Shafer was withering away, I am drawn to the devotional entry, “The Hardest Lesson,” from God Calling
. Here’s an excerpt from my journal writing on that day, when he was only 3 weeks old:
“O God, my heart is broken and is aching right now. As we wait to see how things are going to turn out with Baby Shafer, my soul is in anguish. I’m trying hard not to question why this is happening. I’m trying hard to resist the urge to become angry and withdrawn. I want to be found faithful, Father, but I am struggling. I want some encouragement that I will be able to feel joy again. I want to know that at some point I can look forward to what a day holds instead of being scared of it. I want to feel the constant strain and pressure from my chest removed.
And I’m trusting you, God, to perform these miracles in my life. But most of all, I’m asking you for a miracle to heal my son’s kidneys. God, you are able to touch them and reverse this process. I am thanking you in advance for what you’re going to do. Use Shafer and this condition to show your power and glory in a mighty way. I want you to show us your miraculous daily plan.”
What a journey we have traveled since that fateful day
when the doctor encouraged us to place Shafer in comfort care. Has it really been three years since we were given very little hope of our precious son surviving this horrible disease?
Shafer’s birthday celebration was another reminder of how fortunate we are to still have our sweet little boy. Psalm 33:20 states, “Our soul waiteth for the Lord: he is our help and our shield.” How true these words have played out in our life.
We also had an extra special Halloween this year. Shafer wanted to dress up like Jake (as in Jake and the Pirates) to go trick-or-treating. After I found his adorable outfit, he wanted the rest of us to become his pirate family.
Never in a million years would I have imagined us
heading out to the church festivities in the community all dressed up in pirate attire! Everyone was more than surprised by our fun treat.
Living with Shafer has loosened me up. I now exude a spirit for daily adventure that was not evident before. Shafer’s love for life is infectious and I’m better because of him.
As we prepare for the holiday season, I just can’t wait to experience all that God has for us. Stay tuned for more…