Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Isaac, My Son of Laughter, See How Good God Is?

I think I've shared this story before on my Word Press blog, but it's a story worth repeating. He will celebrate his eleventh birthday on Friday. I can hardly believe it, my oldest son! A little man. Strong, full of adventure, funny, learning to be kind but still tough. Trying to find that balance, he'll perfect it in time, but now sometimes he teeters. Leaving behind make believe and some childish things, replacing them with dreams and books. His head is full of Alaska, how he and Moses will go there someday. They'll fly bush planes and he'll study medicine first, in case any of his friends crash their bush planes and need an arm set. No doctors way out where they're going. They'll hunt and trap and make a wind mill to generate power. If he gets married, she'll have to be tough. But, hey, he just read a book about a girl who raced the Iditarod and won four times! So there you go, there are girls like that out there somewhere. 

He goes to work with his Dad when he can. Blue eyes tells me that he works harder than many grown men he's known. Yup, we're proud of him. He likes to work side by side with his Dad on a Saturday. Splitting wood, hauling logs. Oh, and he knows how to drive a stick shift, too! He loves to drive the truck whenever he gets the chance.

He is our third child. His older sister was born eight weeks premature. She weighed three and a half pounds. So tiny, going through major surgery immediately after being born. We said a blessing over her and then without being able to hold her or touch her she was whisked away. After a month in the NICU she came home. They warned us that babies who undergo a gastroschesis repair are often little bears because their tummies hurt a lot. And she was. She fussed and moaned for the first year of her life. She hardly grew. It was hard. Then other things came up, things that gave our three year old marriage a good shaking. I had postpartum depression. I just could not overcome it, I felt like I was lost in this horrible blackness and my desperate pleas to God seemed to echo away into nothingness. It felt like I could barely survive day by day. It finally came to a crisis point and slowly things began to get better. 

Just in time to discover that I was pregnant again. Our closest space between any of our children. I was so afraid! I could not bear the thought of going through another year like that. I had read that some woman were prone to PPD and I was terrified that I would be one of them. I was paralyzed with fear, unable to hope, dream, accept what was. Trying to care for little Annika, who had just learned how to walk, who was so funny and cute but still very grumpy, and hardly growing. We later learned that she had Celiac Disease, and putting her on a strict gluten free diet literally changed her life in a matter of months. God be praised!

And so the life within me grew and my tummy grew and I met a new midwife. I was able to share my fears with her and she was kind and good. One day as I was driving to a prenatal visit, thinking and praying. God spoke into my thoughts, that I should not be afraid, our baby would be a boy and we would name him Isaac. It was such a sure and peaceful thought. Neither Blue eyes or I had ever thought of using Isaac for a name at all, but when I told him about it later, both of us just felt complete peace. So it was settled, without an ultrasound to confirm, we knew Isaac was growing in my womb.

A week or so later I was talking to my sister on the phone and told her about this revelation. She asked me if I knew what the name Isaac meant and I didn't. (I don't know why I didn't think of that right away.) But, of course, I looked it up right then, and found much to my delight that Isaac is a derivative of the Hebrew word for laughter!  When I was so afraid of sorrow and sadness, God was giving me laughter. I dared to hope again, I dared to dream. I dared to hold my two little girls close and tell them that that was their brother kicking around in there. I told them, because I knew, that he was a gift from the Lord and he would make us laugh.

Finally, the time came when he should be delivered. His birth was beautiful, in just three short hours he was born. My midwife was kind and good, she stood back and let Blue eyes and me deliver our little son. In the quiet, dimness we looked at his wrinkled, little face and I think we laughed, because he was precious and funny and absolutely everything that our son should be.

And we came home and snuggled with his sisters and God caused me to truly and completely fall in love with motherhood. We ate a lot of frozen pizza and let the house get messy but we learned to love. I knew how exhausting caring for a newborn baby was and I thought, when I remember back to the first year of Isaac's life I want to recall this feeling, of a tiny boy held close to my heart, of rest and sleepy contentment. And I do, still, eleven years later, I remember a beautiful, holy year. Full of healing, restoration, and holding a tiny boy close to my heart. 

My whole family loves this story and each year I tell them again of the goodness of God and how He brought laughter to my heart again. How each of them is a special story, given in God's grace, in His perfect time, marking the pathway of my life with goodness and purpose.

Once when Isaac was three, I woke up in the morning to find him with his chin propped in his hands staring at my face, his own inches from mine, when I opened my eyes he said, in a most solemn voice, "Mom, ors pretty and ors nice too." O, my heart! See, I tell him, this one incident makes up for all the times you just say, "yup" when I say I love you. Being a's pretty special! 

"With my mouth will I make known His faithfulness, His faithfulness. With my mouth will I make known His faithfulness to all generations!"


  1. Lovely! I love that God spoke to you and you believed and trusted! So wonderful that HE blessed you with laughter, love and healing! A son to be proud of for sure, a gift to be thankful for each day new. May God's blessing hand be upon Isaac all the days of his life (and all of you!) Emma

  2. I love his story, as much as I love all of you. God bless a boy named laughter!