Circled in Grace


I’m one of the lucky ones. Or since I don’t really believe in luck I’ll use the word blessed. I have heard over and over again the story of when I was born. How my Mom was visiting her sister and that particular day she just had to go shopping in San Francisco. And how that night she went into labor 3 months early. She told me how scared she was, how unprepared they all were.

How if she hadn’t been close to Stanford Hospital that weekend I might not have made it. 

I have heard my survival story over and over; how everyone prayed for me as I fought for strength, all 3 pounds of me in that little incubator for weeks and weeks. I have heard how worried my Grandparents were. Maybe they were thinking of their little Annie who they lost when she was four. I was anticipated……wanted…..sought after. What a gift.

The most important phrases that my parents sewed into the fabric of my life early on were “I love you” and “You are a survivor.” Sometimes we don’t realize the power of our words. Good, affirming words spoken over us when are very small will be carried over all though our life, and so will destructive, wounding ones. 

They believed I had strength, that I was a survivor, and as a result I believed it too. That one phrase has helped me get through all the tough times in my life, because when someone believes in you, you give yourself permission to do the same.

The best way we can value our kids (and even each other) is by telling them how happy we were that they were born. And how happy we still are by celebrating their life in all the little everyday ways. Tell them about how the world outside stopped when they saw you for the first time. Give them a place of importance by telling them what you observed and remembered about them as they were growing up. Most of all, speak words that bring life. Words that make them bloom.

But over and above everything I said up to this point, you need to know that even if it seems no one cared or took notice of the day you were born, God did. In fact, let me take it back even a little further than that. God Himself goes as far as saying that before you were even born, He saw you.

Our life is circled in grace friends. Double circled and outlined in red. There is a star by your name. God has highlighted us in grace. If our life were a book, God would highlight and dog-ear every page. We matter that much.

If your loved one’s voice doesn’t tug at your heart, take a step back and remember when it did. Remember……there is power in remembering too. Remember as far back as God does.

He loved you before you were born, and He will keep loving you beyond your very last breath. Take a step toward the circle of His grace today. I invite you.

For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.

Psalm 139:13-16

Photo: An older picture I took of my niece Lauryn. Her voice makes my heart melt.  

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