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I Am Strong in the Lord

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In the wee hours of the morning following Seth’s birth, I found myself alone and afraid in a cold, dark hospital room. Despite comforting words from nurses and doctors, and Joel being just a phone call away, I don’t think that I’ve ever felt so alienated. My only comfort came from clinging to God’s Word- and I mean that literally. I held my Bible against my chest while I tried to sleep, with fears, anxieties and stereotypes dancing through my head. At 4 am and with no chance of sleeping, all that I could think of was a song written by my sweet friend Star Smith that I clung to during dark days throughout our time of waiting- “I Am Strong in the Lord.” (If it’s not in your iTunes library, I highly recommend you download “I Am Strong in the Lord” by The Smith Band. It will bless your socks off.)

It's just the beginning for Seth and Ella

So, I pulled out my iPod and found the song. Turning it on and just opening the Word of God, I sobbed. I wept. I cried out to the Lord. “Why Seth? Why our son? Why does he have to have Downs? How am I supposed to do this? How can I give him what he needs when I feel like I haven’t even mastered mothering a perfectly normal toddler? How is this going to change Joel and me? How will people treat us? How will people treat him? I don’t want to do this, Lord. It’s going to be hard and it’s going to hurt.” I closed my eyes and with tears streaming I sang these words:

I am strong in the Lord and in the power of His might
I confess that my strength comes from Him.
On my own, I am weak, and I cannot see to fight
But my strength- it comes from the Lord.

I lift my eyes up, where does my help come from?
It comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and maker of earth.
He is the fortress of salvation for His children as they cry
You are the Lord and you are the strength, the strength of my life.

You held out your hand and your healing power
Causing my eyes to see
You poured out your Word in my darkest hour
Teaching my heart to see

That I am strong in the Lord and in the power of His might
I confess that my strength comes from Him.
On my own, I am weak, and I cannot see to fight
But my strength- it comes from the Lord.

Once again, I felt His supernatural peace and healing wash over me- I felt His presence heavy upon me as I sat there in my bed and just worshipped Almighty God. How humbled I am that the God of all the universe is interested in helping me walk through this. I am not alone- I am not alienated. No, I am even more aware now of His help and His love for me and Seth. I furiously scribbled these words in the back of my Bible, knowing full well these words were from the Lord and were direction for me in how to walk through the unknown days ahead. I searched my concordance for the word “strong” and reflected on the following:

Deuteronomy 31:6- Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of this, for the Lord your God goes with you. He will never leave you nor forsake you.

Proverbs 18:10- The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.

1 Corinthians 16:13- Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10- “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Ephesians 6:10- Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.

Praise you, Lord Jesus! You are my strength- and I don’t have to try to do it by myself. You are my fortress that I will run to every day. It’s neat how the Lord prepared Joel and I for this in the months, weeks and days leading up to Seth’s birth. I was studying in Ecclesiastes 3 the days before delivery- where Solomon talks about how there is a time for everything. A time to weep and a time to laugh stands out (vs 4), appropriately. Surely, the Lord promises us in Psalm 30:5, “weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” With no physical strength to speak up, but certainly a renewal of my spirit by Jehovah Jireh- my provider- I buzzed the nurse and asked to be wheeled down to the NICU at 5 am….I had a very special little guy waiting for his mommy to come sing over him.

Still praising, Em

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9 Responses to “I Am Strong in the Lord”

  1. erin Woods May 19, 2008 at 6:15 pm #

    I can’t wait to meet sweet little Seth. I can’t wait to see his precious little personality shining in just the way God intended. And I can’t wait to see you again. You are such an encouragement and your presence is very much missed on Wednesday nights.

  2. Liz May 19, 2008 at 10:25 pm #

    Great post…it’s awesome to see how God truly moves in someone’s heart and mind…thanks for your transperancy
    Love 2 Corinthians 12:9,10!!! I’ve “clung” to that one many times myself.
    I love you!!

  3. Mimi Skaggs May 19, 2008 at 11:18 pm #

    I couldn’t sleep, so I came to the computer and clicked on the website…I’m blessed and encouraged again and again because of how you allow God to speak through you to others. Thank you our sweet Em.

  4. Amanda May 20, 2008 at 2:25 pm #

    What a great song. Em, you encourage me everyday. I think of things you have written or told me that the Lord has shown you and it blesses me so much. I praise God for your friendship and what you mean to me. i love you so much.

  5. mariana May 21, 2008 at 8:00 am #

    i’ll tell you one thing i know…the fun house is also the blessed house. thank you for blessing us through this journey. i’m praying with you all the way!

  6. Jen Cates May 21, 2008 at 9:13 pm #

    I am blessed to know you even just a little bit. And I LOVE that song so much!

  7. becca phillips May 22, 2008 at 1:06 pm #

    Emily, I can’t tell you how incredible you are. The Lord is using you in so many ways. you are an incredible mom. Seth is precious and I hope to meet him soon!

  8. Lindsay Wagner May 22, 2008 at 4:51 pm #

    this post just moved me to tears. i LOVE that i got to meet sweet seth today…he is a doll! i can’t wait to be a part of your journey by being your sister in Christ. you are a wonderful mother, and I know seth’s life is going to be so much richer because the Lord chose you to be his mommy…how lucky he is! and his daddy isn’t so bad, either!!! 🙂

  9. michelle sanders May 24, 2008 at 2:51 pm #

    emily, if there is one couple that can do this is…it is you and joel! this post blessed me so much today and know that God is using you and your faith journey in so many ways ALREADY. i want to come meet baby seth when we can and bring you some dinner.

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