Ultra sound room. Third pregnancy. 2008. Edric and Elijah were with me, anxious to find out if our baby was a girl. When the Sonologist announced, “It’s a boy!” My first instinct was to lock eyes with Edric and then with Elijah. When I saw them, my heart sank. They were trying so hard to look happy and excited but it was far from convincing.
Elijah had been praying for a sister. He was sure that God was going to give us a girl. He loved having a younger brother but he was ready for a sister.
Despite his best effort to remain unaffected, the tears came. And he blurted out, “How come God did not answer my prayer?” He turned to look up at Edric for an answer.
Edric fought to keep his composure because he too was disappointed. He was really praying for a girl. We all were. But his more immediate concern was helping Elijah to process the news correctly. He hugged Elijah tightly and said to him, “God does not always answer our prayers that way we want him to, but he always answers our prayers. He always gives us what is best and he has a reason for everything…”
Did my 5 year old son understand this? He really tried. But it was not easy. It was a faith building moment for him.
I was still lying on the bed finishing up my ultra sound so Edric took him out of the room so he could talk with him some more. I started to tear as I thought of Elijah’s tender faith and his attempt to reconcile what he knew about God to be true and present circumstance.
This was the first time Elijah was ever disappointed with God. And it hurt me to see him like this. But Edric and I could not believe for him. We could only reinforce and reassure him that God has a plan for all things — good and bad.
Present day. May 6, 2012. I watched Titus, my third son, blow out his four birthday candles. As we celebrated the day together with family and friends, I decided to write about Titus as my offering of praise to God.
I praise God for his knowingness, for always giving what is better than our best hopes and expectations. I wanted a baby girl four years ago. But God hand-picked Titus for me to love and formed him in my inward parts. He knit him in my womb. He is fearfully and wonderfully made.
Some months ago, I had a conversation with Elijah about Titus. And I reminisced with him, going back to the moment when we were in the ultrasound room. What he may not have grasped then is clear to him now. He would not trade Titus for anything. All three of my boys are each other’s best friend of choice.
Titus added just the right mix of spunk, intensity, comedy, and curiosity to the personality of my other two sons. I can’t imagine our family without him. God threw some spice in there when he gave us Titus. He colored our world.
There were many highlights this past year in young Titus’ life. But one of my favorite ones was when he ran up to me with a drawing he made and said, “Mom, look at this maze I drew! See? There are monsters here (pointing to a section of his paper) but you don’t have to be scared because Jesus is in your heart, right? There are only monsters in hell, not in heaven, right?! And if you have Jesus in your heart you go to heaven!” I could hardly contain my laughter.
Like my other kids, I believe that Titus is a child of purpose. God has a special plan for him and his personality, quirkiness, strengths and weaknesses. On his fourth birthday I want to remember that and thank God for the gift he is to us. Happy Birthday, Titus! I love you!