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Friday, February 13, 2009

Meet Palmer

This is a preview of what's to come. Palmer's birthday is tomorrow and I wanted all you newcomers to meet my baby. So learn about his life and his name and his calling because I'll be sharing some awesome answers to prayer for his birthday post. Palmer Jett Smith is an amazing little guy.

From April 25, 2007: Beautiful Feet

Fourteen months ago, my son, Palmer, was born. He was a beautiful dark haired, blue eyed, chubby, cuddly baby. He was perfect in every way.

But, there was just something about his feet.

The doctors said he had probably just laid in a funny position in the womb and not to worry. By the time he was two-weeks-old, I was scared. I could not figure out why his feet looked so different to me, so unique and unlike my other babies' feet.

I casually asked the doctor. He casually answered me. This momentarily eased my fears.

After all, if something were horribly wrong, a doctor would notice it, right?

I prayed and asked God to allow others to see what it was I could see, to show me if I was being a weird, paranoid, freaky mom.

We continued to get check-ups and to get the okay.

Fourteen months passed. I did not consciously worry. He has been described as "pigeon-toed" and other such terms. I asked general questions to the doctor and to others. Again, slight reassurances were gained.

Subconsciously, I was terrified. I silently declared victory as each developmental phase was reached. He rolled over, stood in the exersaucer, bounced in the bouncy thing, crawled, stood and walked around furniture. I breathed a sigh of relief each time we put on tennis shoes and he attempted to take a step. Each time thinking that when he hit the next milestone I would believe nothing was wrong. No achievement eased my fear.

Then someone I love who is around Palmer regularly voiced concern over his foot turning. As she voiced her concern exhorting me to call the doctor, I silently vowed to race him to the emergency room if I needed to.

The truth is there is something unique about his special little feet that only his mother (and his Heavenly Father) can see. I believe God gives us the "mother alarm" to alert us to things with our children that no one else seems to notice. Whether the sounding of the alarm moves me to pray more fervently or to demand a diagnosis more quickly, I believe God truly helps us to parent our children. I had asked God to allow someone else to see what I had been seeing if I needed to pursue this matter.

Outwardly I calmly replied that he was due for a check up as I echoed my concern. Inwardly my mind raced through hair-raising possibilities beginning a downward spiral that would threaten to overwhelm me with fear...and (gulp) guilt.

As I visited each worst case scenario in my mind, I began to pray. I scheduled a doctor's appointment. I prayed some more.

The first thing God did was remind me that fear of any magnitude is sin. I repented.

He then showed me that any "concern" or preoccupation we have is darkness and sin until it can be uncovered and totally in the light. I was worried about Palmer's feet. I would talk it out, look for answers and ask for God's help. I had been telling myself that everything would be fine when...He crawled, stood, wore tennis shoes, walked, turned one, etc. The Lord reminded me that the only way to dispel darkness is by getting it into the light.

I told myself I had asked the doctor about it...Light.

The Lord reminded me of the difference between a cloudy, rainy, dark day and a clear, bright, sunny one. Both are day. Both are in the light. One is marvelous light.

"But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. " (I Peter 2:9)

I'll take the marvelous or wonderful light over dimness or dreary and gray any day!

As I rocked him that night and prayed for a quick diagnosis (or quick walking), an effective treatment (if necessary), a wise doctor whose heart would quicken in response to my pointing this "thing" out and relenting guilt for not strongly pursuing this issue earlier in his little life.

God asked me a series of questions beginning with the issue of His sovereignty. Do I really believe He is sovereign in all things? Did I entrust Palmer to Him even before he was born? Do I believe God is in control of Palmer's life? Do I believe He's sovereign in identifying any potential problems at just the right time? Do I believe He can lead us to just the right treatment or heal him instantly if He chooses? All of these I answered yes. Do I believe anything I did or did not do while earnestly seeking God in prayer could mess up His plans? No, I do not believe we can thwart God's plans no matter how many blunders we might make.

Then, I recited Palmer's life verse, his name verse, claiming it for his life once more.

"See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands." (Isaiah 49:16)

As I prayed I began to see and once more believe that God is totally sovereign, even in the small, personal details of our individual lives. As belief and trust and faith began to well up inside of me, I began to experience His peace. I began to once more focus on who God is and not what may or may not be wrong with my baby.

I saw the purpose of this from an eternal perspective. God wants glory. This is not my life; it is God's. This life is not about me; it is all about God. God wants to receive glory from everyone and everything even little Palmer's feet.

As I began to pray this way, the war was so clear to me. Whether my baby's feet are used to run track or to climb to mountain villages in faraway places to share the gospel, God wants to get glory from Palmer's feet. He wants my baby to live a life of service and worship that gives God glory using all of his gifts and talents...even his feet.

As I prayed for God to make his feet healthy, whole and beautiful, God spoke again.

"The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." (I Samuel 16:7)

God asked me, "How do I define "beautiful" feet?"

"How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, 'Your God reigns!'" (Isaiah 52:7)

There is a spiritual battle taking place over my baby's feet, over my son's purpose in life, over how this child's life will glorify God, over how his feet will be used in Christian service to glorify God.

Please pray with us as we fight for him on our knees.

"He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
His heart is secure, he will have no fear; in the end he will look in triumph on his foes (whether they are sickness, fear or worry)." (Psalm 112:7-8)

P.S. We had our first doctor's appointment this week. Our regular doctor said he would like to see him regularly until he begins to walk or until he turns eighteen- months-old. He is considered a "late" walker. I had two other "late" walkers. He said his foot position could be a sign of a balance issue, neurological problems or a muscular issue. There are a number of things it could be that would resolve themselves as he grows, develops and walks. Then again, he may need help getting there. We are getting a second opinion. Pray for wisdom, direction, peace and protection for us during this time.

And from July 4, 2007: Happy Feet

Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. (Galatians 5:25)
The beautiful feet are now also happy, walking feet!!! Praises to God!!! It's hard to get a picture of Palmer walking because walking is such hard work. It makes him hungry and tired! He's such a laid back boy, he just walks a little at a time. He's so proud of himself he grins and claps after each step. He does a little dance before he takes a step...so it's boogie...step...step...boogie...step... step...so cute. We are all grinning and clapping too! It won't be too long before he's running circles all over the place with his brother and sisters. We are praising God for his happy, walking, beautiful feet.


Melanie said...

I sure appreciated this post about your precious son, Palmer.
I have a concern about my youngest son, too. He is 11 and has been having headaches almost daily and vision issues. I took him to our pediatrician but will be seeking another opinion. The concern I have has been waking me early in the mornings with him on my mind.
I'll be praying for your boy.

Rebecca said...

He is precious!!!!

That is so funny that you went to Heights. I went to Heights as well. Heather and I were in the same grade and our brothers are in the same grade, so we have known each other for awhile.

That's cool that you go to GBC. My landlord is actually the pastor over there, so I live with a lot of "GBCers" BUT I go to Central. I worked there when I was in college. What a small world!

Joyful said...

Oh, he's such a little sweetie! So adorable!!! I love how the Lord took you to His definition of beautiful feet.

Precious post.

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

Isaiah 52:7 went through my mind as I read this, and then you cited it. Blessings on you and Palmer.

Luanne said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and spiritual battle against the one who wants to destroy us with fear, doubt, and uncertainty. We are more than victorious through Jesus Christ our Lord!!

Kathy S. said...

What mom cannot relate with the inner battle with fear and gaining perspective that you conveyed here! How well you did it too! I was right there with you. Thank you for sharing this story, truly, that photo of feet blessed my heart!!
What a sweet little boy! I am sure the Lord has wonderful plans for his beautiful feet!