In 2008, on Christmas Eve, our gracious pastor and church allowed us time away to seek the Lord following the death of our infant son, Gabe Chaney Grubbs. A gracious friend offered their beach condo for us to spend time together with one another and with the Lord.
So on Christmas Eve, we said goodbye to family and went to be comforted by the peace of Christ. We needed a change of scenery, and what a healing place we found in Orange Beach able to reflect surrounded by God's creation. The condo has double balconies, one of the beautiful pass and the other looks out over the ocean. There's something about the beach for me, the sounds of the waves crashing on the beach that reminds me of the beauty of our God, His power, and His sovereignty.
The Lord was teaching me all about His sovereignty in through the loss of yet another child. I also found Him compassionate, as He Himself was witness to His Son's death, He's no stranger to grief. We serve a compassionate God who does not delight in bringing affliction to His children (Lam. 3:33) yet "who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God." (2 Cor. 1:4)
He was our Rock during the storm, our Anchor when the waves of life were crashing all around us...He was (and is) the CALM, the PEACE in the storm. I found Him to be enough His balm that soothes the hurt, the pain, is incomprehensible to me. But was completely sufficient. I praise Him for giving me so much love always, but particularly during those days.
Honestly, "I thought" that the Lord must have had an incredible plan to get glory through an incredible healing in Gabe's life. track with me for a moment: My water broke 19 weeks into pregnancy, it was a miracle that the Lord sustained Gabe's life through the first night in the hospital, He continued to have many close calls as his heart deceled at times...but my thoughts continued...if God had sustained His life with such little water for 10 weeks of me on my back in the hospital, if He survived birth, andsurvived transport to another hospital 4 hrs away (all miracle within themselves if you talk to medical personel), that there must be a BIG plan for Gabe's healing.
There WAS a big plan! An ULTIMATE HEALING in being absent from his body and present with the Lord Jesus. Paul says it best, "Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord." God called Gabe Home on Dec. 20, 2008. Gabe did not continue to suffer and be in pain, Gabe found himself in the arms of His Heavenly Father...how can we NOT prefer Gabe to be present with the Lord? I long for that day myself. I rest in Him. I look forward to being reunited with both of my sons who're already there, Gabe and Graham.
I receive much joy when I recall ALL the Lord taught me in being Gabe's mother as he was on earth...although briefly, those days were precious. 28 precious weeks of carrying and nuturing Gabe in my tummy, feeling his happy feet kick my sides, reading to Gabe, singing to him, praying for him, and looking into his eyes....all such tender moments from the Lord. Such treasured vivid memories.
It wasn't until March of 2009 that we began to hear God speaking to our hearts about adoption. But it was in October that we stepped out of the boat in faith and watched God being to prepare us to parent another child. Oddly enough, He spoke first through Christian radio and the testimonies of others who had big hearts for caring for orphans as parents. I didn't want to believe that message was zeroed in for our family; but there was no denying He was at work, and we needed to join Him.
To celebrate Gabe's first birthday, we returned to Orange Beach, rented a condo at the same location we had visited following his celebration of life (which most refer to as a funeral). On the balcony, Thanksgiving, morning, we spent precious moments with the Lord. He continued healing our hearts while preparing us for the future son he had for us. We did a lot of business with God that week; many jogs on Beach Boulevard...up and down the grueling bridge...something about talking to God and "running my heart out" before Him, soooo refreshing! It was a sweet celebration of past and of what was yet to come.
This week, in my first return trip to Orange Beach for the first time since 2009. Last year at this time, while Garrett returned back to Orange Beach, I found myself stranded waiting for another adoption that we were pursuing in another state.
What a joy to return to Orange beach with our son, CALEB ELLIOT GRUBBS, who God called us to adopt August 12, 2011 after a long faith journey. We have the privilege of praising Him where our hearts were praying for him.
Part of me wants to knock on the condo door at Grand Pointe and say, "Excuse me, can I borrow your balcony for a few precious moments with my son and the Lord?" I would absolutely hold him up in the air, toward Heaven, and say to the Lord, "Here is Caleb, the child you promised to entrust us to raise on this earth. THANK YOU for your kindness towards us. May we always remember whose child he is. May we be found faithful as his earthly parents in pointing Him to you every moment you ordain us to walk this earth together." I want to sing a praise to my God there. I want to weep before Him there with tears of joy! He has turned my ashes (grief) into beauty! He has filled the desires of my heart (Ps 37:4).
"You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy," Psalm 30:11