Tuesday, August 14, 2012


One day late last summer, Rich and I had the kids down at the river to play.  There was a little girl there, probably about 2 years old.  Her Daddy called to her, "Selah, come here!".  I thought, oh what a beautiful name.  When we got in the van I told Rich I had a name for a little girl if God ever blessed us with another one.  He immediately said "Selah!  I heard it too!"  A month or two later, there was a preacher at church who preached the most beautiful sermon I've ever heard.  It was titled "Selah".  Most people have heard the word, but really don't know what it means.  Selah is a little word used in scripture, mostly in the book of Psalms.  A selah is a musical pause.  A time during a song, to pause and reflect.  An interlude.  This pastor explained that we have selahs in our life as well.  In fact, our lives are like songs that the Lord has written.  There are times where we need to pause, take a moment to ponder what God has done, and look forward to what new thing He is going to do.  Sometimes a selah is the end to one chapter and the beginning of another.  An end to one thought, the beginning of a new one.
Selah Joy.  Our baby's name.  Today we found out that it is a baby girl waiting for us in heaven.  The ultrasound was wrong.  Her testing showed that she had completely "typical" or normal chromosomes of the female variety.  There is no explanation for her loss, except that it was in God's plan.  I have cried a lot today.  The heaviness of a child lost.  My arms and belly feel so empty.  But my heart is full.  As I prayed today, the Lord showed me that He had named her even before He began knitting her together in my womb.  He knew we would need to pause, reflect, and wait.  She was our Selah.  Our musical pause. Wait for what, you may ask?  Wait for what the Lord has promised.  Wait on His perfect timing.  I need to back up, so hang on. 
At the beginning of 2011, we were driving home from S. Georgia and we passed a children's home.  Cassidy inquired about it.  When I told her that children live there who do not have parents, she immediately exclaimed, "Go back!".....  "What?"  "Go back and get one!  We have room in our van!"  My heart broke in that moment and delighted at the same time.  This was the first indication of a very obvious calling on my daughter's life.  We always knew that God had a big plan for her big personality and her big strong will!  Cassidy talked for 5 hours on the way home about these children and insisted that we need to "get one". We talked about how God commands us to care for the orphans and how there are different ways that we can do that. There are workers at the orphanage, there are people who support orphans and adoptions financially, and there are families whom God calls to adopt.  I finally told her to pray about it, and see where God led us, because it wasn't as easy as just going and picking a child up. 
Cassidy prayed.  And she prayed and she prayed and she prayed.  And soon Mommy began thinking that maybe God had put this on her little girl's heart for a reason.  No way, right?  We have 4 children and we live on one salary.  We only had 4 bedrooms in our house.  I'm busy enough already.  There's just no way.  However, I know that God is beyond those things, so I half heartedly prayed, and sought His guidance.  Well don't you know that every time we would get in the van there would be a commercial on the radio about adoption.  Everywhere we went, we saw children who had obviously been adopted.  Movies would come on about adoption.  It was a little weird....so I prayed a little more.  Then one day I was preparing for a photo shoot.  It was an engagement shoot, so I had the Bible opened to the "Love" passage in Corinthians.  I was planning to photograph their rings on the Bible, using the macro (or closeup) mode on my lens.  I was focusing on Love is patient....when I focused a little too far down....and this is what I saw. 
It's hard to envision, but when I moved my focus, the word adoption was huge and in my face.  Love is adoption.  (that's another blog post)  I want a canvas of this on the wall to remind me when the road gets rough, that God has called us to this.  Over the next months, God confirmed His plan over and over again.  He even made it more specific.  Just when you get comfortable....He pushes you further.  And you grow.  Strong.  Because He exposes your weakness, your inabilities, your sinful ugly heart filled with selfishness and the world's ideas.  But in your weakness....HE is strong.  He has big plans for us.  Bigger than we can handle.  Because of this, He will get the glory when we are doing the impossible. 
He has called us to adopt.  We were right that it's not as easy as going to the orphanage to pick up a child.  The home study is rigorous, time consuming, and expensive.  But do you know that on the day I called the adoption agent, I received 3 phone calls for photo sessions! I had not been taking photo sessions at all at this point so no one ever called!  I earned $1000 toward the $1500 home study within a couple weeks just by saying yes when God provided work.  When it came time for the last payment of $500, we did not have it.  Sunday morning, Rich went up to pray at the altar and asked the Lord to provide.  While he was praying, I stepped out to use the restroom.  Our sweet friend caught me in the hall and handed me an envelope, and told me that her husband told her to give it to me.  I took it back in the sanctuary and when Rich got back from the altar we opened a check for $500.  Our God is good, and faithful.
I have so much more to share, I will have to do it in multiple blog posts.  However, as you can see, we were not expecting a pregnancy in March.  We were caught off guard, surprised, and so very excited....but a bit confused as to how this would fit in with God's plan.  Now it is a little clearer.  Our precious girl was our Selah.  She was meant to help us pause, hold a space in time, fill it with joy, and help us ponder where we've come from in the past year and a half, and look ahead to where God is taking us now.  We are ready and waiting for our newest child.  We will miss Selah, but we are so thankful for the joy she brought to our family while she was here.  She filled my every moment with joy for 4 months.  The Lord gave her the name Selah, but Mommy named her Joy.  Selah Joy.  I'll be home soon sweet baby.


Anita Elisabeth Szaller said...

Oh Natalie, I am crying as I read this. This is so precious! I can't begin to imagine what you are going thru but do know you are deeply loved by an amazing God. I know you know that. I know you know God has a beautiful plan for your lives whether we understand it or not. Your beautiful baby girl, Selah Joy is in the precious arms of Jesus right now. I know you will be reunited one day and it will be a glorious day in heaven! I can just see her smiling and laughing and loving on our Savior. I love you and your precious family. You guys mean so much to me! :)

Lucia Dawkins said...

Wow. What a beautiful post. So powerful, meaningful. So much good you are doing. I'm sorry for the loss of your sweet selah